Οι στιγματισμένοι
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Οι στιγματισμένοι

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  540 ratings  ·  71 reviews
Ο πατέρας εθνικιστής, φανατικός, ταγμένος στην υπόθεση της ιρλανδικής ανεξαρτησίας. Η μητέρα γερμανίδα αντιναζίστρια, που βλέπει την Ιρλανδία σαν προσωρινό καταφύγιο. Και τα παιδιά, καταπιεσμένα, συγχυσμένα, μετέωρα ανάμεσα σε δύο κόσμους, ανάμεσα σε δύο γλώσσες - τα ιρλανδικά του πατέρα και τα γερμανικά της μάνας. Όμως το μόνο που θέλει ο μικρός ήρωας του βιβλίου είναι να...more
Paperback, 341 pages
Published 2004 by Νεφέλη (first published September 5th 2000)
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Community Reviews

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Friederike Knabe
I found The Speckled People after encountering a fascinating article by Hugo Hamilton on the "Loneliness of Being German". Similar to the article, the book immediately struck a chord with me. Those living within and without their own language will find a special connection to this book. Language as the identification of "home" and "country" and "language wars" are explored here in a rather exceptional way - through the voice and outlook of a growing child. Like a patchwork quilt the vignette cha...more
Suzanne
My daughter recommended this book to me and it is a memoir of Hugo Hamilton's life growing up in Ireland. His father was fanatically "Irish" and his mother was "German". Hence the title. The father would only allow Irish (Gaelic) spoken in the home and was rabidly anti-British. The mother spoke German. This memoir of two boys growing up in Ireland makes for riveting reading. It gives one a very different view of Ireland than you would get reading Frank McCourt or Roddy Doyle. Highly recommended....more
Faith
The Speckled People - one of the Irish autobiographies I found in Ireland this summer. Hugo Hamilton is an acclaimed Irish novelist, and in this book he brings alive his German-Irish childhood in the 50s. It is not easy to belong to the speckled people, the people who are different, the people who are neither Irish nor German, but just speckled. Especially after the Second World War it's not easy to be speckled German.

The book is very touching and real (human). Hamilton manages the child's pers...more
Persephone Abbott
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ryan
The language is soft and gentle, and the descriptions are from a child's perspective. The combination makes the tyranny of the father even worse, the passivity of the mother more distressing, the fun and cakes slightly ironic.

The story of the father is interesting. He was nationalistic to the extreme and only allowed Irish - or German, since his wife was German and it was not English - to be spoken, but his children lived in a world where English was spoken by so many. I respected his belief th...more
Aleesha
Awful, Awful and just beyond awful. Maybe I am just not a very intellectual person like the rest of the people reading this book . I normally finish a good book within 2 hours but with this one I spent 2 weeks because I found it physically impossible to pick it up and torture my own brain.

This book sounds more like the rambling of a 5 year old child. Have no idea what the publisher and editor were thinking.
Some problems:
1. The author has no consistency, no clear theme established in any chapter...more
Margot
I don't really know what to think about this book. It has been hightly recommended to me by a couple of people who actually used to share my type of books so I was really expecting a great experience. But I have been quite disappointed. I don't know if it is the childish point of view (and language level) that lowed the experience but I didn't enjoy it as much as I was supposed to. Well, I truly believe that the time you read a book is a huge factor in your appreciation of it and with all the wo...more
minnie
I really liked this memoir of a boy growing up in fifties Ireland with a german mother and Irish father.As in a lot of memoirs I read, the father was stubborn and misguided and the mother an understanding saint of a woman. The writer never faltered from telling his story from a childs point of view. The fathers belief in a future Ireland where only the Irish language was spoken, forbade his children to speak English or even listen to it spoken.The children were ostracised from their peers and ma...more
J.S. Dunn
Touching story of what would today be termed a dysfunctional family, told by an unforgettable child narrator. How true that every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. (Tolstoy)

The pain is somewhat mitigated by the end, and without sentimentality or an improbable happy outcome ( those are left to fictional accounts).
Janice Windle
This autobiographical novel is extraordinarily well written. Hamilton uses the voices that he might have had at the various ages from which he records the incidents, characters and emotional situations of his childhood up to his teens. The result is a novel of stunning immediacy, beauty and quite a bit of humour too. We meet Hamilton's strange, obsessive and abusive Irish father, his warm and life-affirming German mother, and gradually learn their stories through Hamilton's accounts of his mothe...more
Carricklass
Loved this book - could identify with a lot of his childhood, though I wasn't beaten for speaking English - for plenty of other things - like being caught knitting on a Sunday! Informative book written in a deceptively easy style - plenty of fun masking the pain.
Sushmita
It is not a very breezy kind of novel and is a story recited through the eyes of a boy. The story depicts the dilemma of a boy who is caught between multi nationalist parents and society and how he gets out of it. His odd childhod wherein he has to encounter a fiercely nationalist Irish father and German mom. Both the father and the mother are again caught in their homesickness. His mother's for Germany, his father's for an unavailable Ireland and the boy for a home and homeland of his own.The s...more
Maol Mhuire O'Duinnin
Intriguing and heart-breaking account of Hamilton's childhood in 1950s Ireland being pulled in many different directions. His father is Irish and a stickler about his children learning Irish Gaelic in defiance of the increasingly encroaching English mainstream society in Ireland, including the language. Hamilton, however, is forced to learn English in school and he and his siblings are made fun of because they speak Gaelic by their Irish schoolmates. They are also antagonized for being half-Germ...more
Polina Kolatsi
In this deeply autobiographical novel Hamilton tells the story of a "speckled" -half Irish - half German- family in Dublin Ireland, trying to build their lives and home following the end of the Second World War. The narrator - and author- speaks to us as the oldest son of a German mother and an idealist and often purist Irish Catholic father who opposes the “anglophication” of Ireland and makes obsessive efforts to reinstate Irish as Ireland's native language, in the aftermath of the Irish Civil...more
Julia
Hugo Hamilton erzählt von seiner Kindheit in Irland mit einer deutschen Mutter und einem irischen Vater, der seinen Kindern verbietet, englisch zu sprechen. Man kann sich vorstellen, dass das für ihn und seine Geschwister nicht immer einfach war, denn in den Fünfzigern waren die Nazis noch recht frisch im Gedächtnis (und Kinder können ja so grausam sein) und auch irisch war nicht mehr wirklich üblich.

Das Buch ist auch ungewöhnlich in dem Sinne, dass es wirklich wie von einem Kind geschrieben wir...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘When you’re small you can inherit a secret without knowing what it is.’

In ‘The Speckled People’, Hugo Hamilton writes, from a child’s perspective, of his Irish childhood. He writes of growing up in a home where the languages spoken were the Irish of his nationalist father and the German of his mother. English was forbidden by his father, who was so obsessed with trying to hold onto his linguistic and cultural heritage that he would not do business with anyone who could not pronounce his Irish n...more
Marleen
I rated this book 3.5 stars.

In this memoir Hugo Hamilton tells the story of his youth. Born in Dublin in the 1950’s with a German mother and an Irish, nationalistic, father his upbringing was anything but conventional. Because of his father’s strong and uncompromising views on being Irish and resurrecting the Irish identity it was forbidden to speak English in their house. While the rest of Dublin lived in an English speaking world, Hugo and his siblings grew up speaking German and Irish at home...more
A. Mary Murphy
This memoir did not engage me right from the start, and I think that may partly be the result of its departures from genre. Ultimately, those are the very things that give the book its depth. Hamilton's narrator is supposedly a child, and he does relate things in a fragmentary way as a child would, but his sophistication is not the accidental sophistication of the child. He speaks of language as a home, as a country, as a way of knowing who and where we are, and he shows ways in which culture do...more
Dudu Zen
Um livro bem chatinho, não via a hora de terminar. A narração é arrastada.....parece que ele nunca vai direto ao ponto, fica fazendo divagações e tenho a impressão de que o livro seria infinitamente melhor se tivesse só umas 70 páginas, com toda a informação resumida. Seria beeeeeeeeeeeeem melhor....
Luisa
I'm not sure what to think about this book. After some moments of doubt I decided to rate it as "I didn't like it" for many different reasons. The were parts of the book that I found interesting but soon after the author passed on to a different story altogether and it was sometimes hard to follow his train of thought. Towards the end I started to get very impatient and couldn't wait for the book to end and that is probably the reason why I didn't quite grasp the reason of the author's father's...more
Iva
This excellent memoir never strayed from a child's observations of his life in Ireland in the 1950's. There have been many tyrannical fathers in memoirs (and fiction) but typically they are not obsessed with the Gaelic language. The father takes it to lengths not possible to imagine: not allowing his children to speak English, using their Irish names at all times, and trying to convince others that Irish is the true language and English should be abolished in all of Ireland. Then there is the Ge...more
Elizabeth
This is a beautiful book. Genuinely touching, and authentic in the way it deals with human experience. A memoir written through the perspective of Hamilton's child self using deceptive language that is rich in poetry, metaphor and complex modalities. He describes difficult family relationships with his Irish nationalist father who refuses to let his children speak English, and with subtle shifts of focus, shows us the harrowing experiences of his mother in wartime Germany. He gives insight into...more
Dovofthegalilee
On the being fair side it's hard to put a value on anyone's life, it is after all a privilege to read someone's memoirs and get a glimpse of what they experienced. For that the story was unique. The writing style, the content itself made me wonder over and over again how this was ever published. The death of his father and how it was explained was so confusing I still don't know which version of the two examples was the cause of death. I'm sure it would be a great story to hear it in person with...more
Ginger
This is a book about secrets and what they can do to a family.
This is a book about children living with feeling of not belonging due to the actions of their parents.
In this book the main character's father is an Irish Fundementalist who won't let his children speak English...only Irish Galiec or German. Because his mother is German he is bullied and picked upon by the other children due to their language barrier.

This is a good, well written memior which can be sometimes hard to follow as it hops...more
Cherity
The topic of the book was very close to me, as I also have some identity struggles, coming from a multiethnic home and being an immigrant.
I liked how the author used metaphors of countries for identities.
The book is written from a child's point of view and sometimes that can be annoying, because the style is simplified on purpose, and story lines mix all the times, as if in child's memory.
I liked the book a lot, but it wasn't an easy read, both because of the issues touched in the book and becau...more
Dawn
An unusual book - parts of it I found extremely boring and bland, but other parts were interesting, funny and enlightening, and for sheer originality I give it 4 stars. It is written in an almost childlike voice which is refreshing.

The author made me love his German mother, but I grew to detest his fiercely patriotic Irish father fairly early on because he made his family's life a misery through pointless and futile Irish nationalism, causing confusion and anger. Although his father apologised,...more
Heather
Jul 09, 2014 Heather marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Sept . 2014 RS book group
Janet Meissner
This was a depressing book. Children wearing lederhosen and Irish fisherman sweaters in Ireland, speaking onoly Gaelic or German around their parents, then having to speak English in school, much to their father's militant objection. What a confusing childhood, when parents keep their children from fitting in in order to either support their political views (father) or retain something that was lost (German mother). I loved the author's telling of reunions with German relatives: "Ja, ja, ja. Nei...more
Jana
Endearing story about childhood in Dublin during the 50s. His father was Irish, never wanting to speak English, and his mother was German, constantly called Nazi. He grew up as a polyglot, basically juggling between the Gaelic, German and later in life English language. Wonderful storytelling about how it was in Ireland and Europe after the war. Hamilton is narrating from the child's point of view, and so many of his family perspectives are bundled up in the rarely seen honest emotions.
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Hugo Hamilton is an Irish writer.

Hamilton's mother was a German who travelled to Ireland in 1949 for a pilgrimage, married an Irishman, and settled in the country. His father was a militant nationalist who insisted that his children should speak only German or Irish, but not English, a prohibition the young Hugo resisted inwardly. "The prohibition against English made me see that language as a cha...more
More about Hugo Hamilton...
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“Maybe your country is only a place you make up in your own mind. Something you dream about and sing about. Maybe it's not a place on the map at all, but just a story full of people you meet and places you visit, full of books and films you've been to. I'm not afraid of being homesick and having no language to live in. I don't have to be like anyone else. I'm walking on the wall and nobody can stop me.” 112 likes
“-Nobody can force you to smile, she says.
-What? I ask. But I know she's not even talking to me, only to herself, as if she's the last person left in the room.
-They can make you show your teeth, but what good is that? Nobody can make you smile against your will.”
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