De thuiskomst
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De thuiskomst

3.17 of 5 stars 3.17  ·  rating details  ·  1,235 ratings  ·  182 reviews
Vertaling van Die Heimkehr.
Nederlandse vertaling door W. Hansen
Hardcover, 298 pages
Published 2006 by Cossee BV
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(showing 1-30 of 2,288)
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Friederike Knabe
"... because I wanted a new life, but did not know what it should be like." Most children growing up knowing little about an absent father will at some stage seek clues from the past in order to comprehend their own persona. The quest to fill gaps and to identify with their own behaviour may reveal unpleasant surprises. These can be especially disturbing for those growing up after a war during which their fathers may have condoned or even committed atrocities. In "Homecoming", Bernhard Schlink t...more
Kristine Morris
Bernhard Schlink should have written an essay or article on the theory of law, justice and the philosophy of good and evil and left it at that. Instead he tried carve a story about a boy’s search for an absent father into this lecture. I think there are some interesting concepts explored in the book, and it had the potential to be another “The Reader”- his first novel, but it needed to be revised (more than once) and a heavy hand of editing would have helped too.
I like books that have a mytholo...more
Miroslav Mateev
You know how there is books that make you stop all you are doing and just sit down and read. Well this one does the exact opposite - to make you want to do anything but read!
I am a big fan of Bernhard Schlink's "The Reader," even though it has now been Oprahfied. So I began "Homecoming" with high expectations. I was somewhat disappointed. "Homecoming," I believe, tries to do too much. It is a story of a lost father and the guilt and sense of mystery a young German feels as he tries to recuperate someone whose life was lived in the shadow of the Third Reich, but it is also organized around The Odyssey, attempting to play off that classic, and is, moreover, a meditati...more
'We make our own truths and lies....Truths are often lies and lies truths...'

Bernhard Schlink stunned the reading public with his brilliant novel 1999 THE READER and once again with HOMECOMING he proves he is one of our most important authors today. Written in German and translated by Michael Henry Heim, HOMECOMING addresses, as did THE READER, the prolonged impact of the WW II fall of Germany on the lives of those who survived it. Not only is this a gripping story of a deserted son's search for...more
Perhaps more daring in conception but less well realized in execution than The Reader, Schlink's Homecoming uses Homer's Odyssey (in the sense of its being of the class of nostoi) as a metaphor for "homecoming." As is so often the case, this is an example of demanding too much of a metaphor. The basic idea is sound and interesting, but Schlink has relied too much on references to the details of the Odyssey appearing in strange ways throughout the narrative, which has the dual effects of strainin...more
Hannah  Messler
So the criticism that the lady who gave me The Reader had of it was concerning this part where the main character goes skiing toward the end of the book and he skis in a teeshirt. And she was like "That just seemed over-the-top and melodramatic and idiotic to me, like [affects silly German accent:] 'Oh I am so German and desensitized I will just ski in the freezing cold in a teeshirt because I have no feelings after all that has befallen me,'" which, yeah, is pretty dumb, I guess, if you read it...more
The whole thing feels rather forced. It begins with an unlikely obsession (fragments of a long-lost novel that the narrator, Peter DeBauer just has to find out more about) becomes a search for his father who was supposed to have been killed in the war. But there are way too many far-fetched clues - people who remember conversations and incidents from over 40 years earlier, for example.
The characters themselves don't come alive. They're more like pieces in a chess game, and often seem to be ther...more
More like 2.5 stars. Really enjoyed Mr. Schlink's novel, The Reader, but this one fell a bit short. Probably would have embraced it more in my college years, but the novel lacked in engaging storytelling with its odd forays in philosophical discourse and a whining protagonist.
Feh. This was a BORING book. The author tried to draw parallels with The Odyssey, which just ended up reminding me how much I hated Odysseus - how much he was a womanizing, cocky, douchebag.

"[...] I was too much in love with the play of my ideas to impose a structure on them."
This book may have done better as a scholarly essay, the forced plot and love story was boring and pointless.
The Homecoming? It should have been called The Meandering. Maybe I would have gotten more out of it had I read the Odyssey first. But alas...
Das Leben des Deutschen Peter Debauer ist in diesem Roman wie eine Odyssee angelegt. Die Hauptfigur surft auf dieser Irrfahrt völlig wirr und sinnlos durch sein Leben und das Jahrhundert, auf der Suche nach dem Ende eines Romans, auf dessen Manuskript er zufällig als Kind gestossen ist und hinter ständig wechslenden Personen her.

So spannend das Epos von Homer ist, so lähmend ist diese Geschichte, denn ganze 260 Seiten weiss der Leser nicht wofür die Hauptfigur dies alles tut, wohin diese Geschi...more
This book showed much promise from the blurb on the back cover. I had read his other book The Reader before it was made into a film and really enjoyed it so naturally I did not hesitate to give this book a go. A fair go I did give it, 159 pages to be exact, and it went nowhere, well, nowhere I wanted to continue to go!

The premise of the book was good in that a man who had spent most of his childhood with his grandparents during the summer months realises that the have been writing manuscripts an...more
I discovered ‘Homecoming’ by Bernhard Schlink a few years back during one of my random browsing sessions at the bookstore. Schlink was more famous for his book ‘The Reader’ which was made into a movie of the same name and which won Kate Winslet her first Oscar. ‘Homecoming’ appealed to me because of its bookish cover and the plot. I thought I will read it for German Literature Month. It was gripping from the first page to the last. I finished reading it today. Here is what I think.

What I think

Schlink's novel 'The Reader' was excellent so I was excited to read this however, I found 'Homecoming' to be disappointed. Don't get me wrong, Schlink is a great writer and first 2/3 of the book are very well written but the latter portions of the book I found to be flawed and dull indeed. Losing a star for that.

'Homecoming' involves a young German man's search for the father who disappeared before his birth and his father's involvement in the war.

My problem is Schlink's work seems to too high o...more
The first two-thirds of this book were pretty good. We start with young Peter describing his childhood visits to his grandparents in Switzerland. His grandparents edit a series of light novels, one of which is the story of Carl, a German soldier, and his struggle to return home from the Russian front after WWII. Unfortunately, Peter has only the manuscript of the book, and the ending is missing. What happens when Carl returns home and finds his wife with another man and two small daughters? Does...more
It took a while for me to figure out where Bernhard Schlink was going with this book. I loved The Reader, so thought I was in for another treat. Not so. I enjoyed the perspective of WW11 from a German insider, and the details of the fall of the Berlin Wall, there were some good quotes that I stopped and thought about but really the story did not grab me. I really did not enjoy the way the narrator kept finding meaning in pieces of an old novel he found and pieced together. It seemed too coincide...more
I love Bernard Schlink's writing. His discussion of the human toll of war, even generations later, is like a balm for the open wound.

Schlink's The Reader was an amazing book and Homecoming is equally remarkable. As the title suggests homecoming is explored with the backdrop of Germany after WWII. This was a difficult time for Germany, but also for other nations whose troops were returning home after the devastation of war. This powerful novel comments on evil, justice, ethics, and morals before...more
Alumine Andrew
I've really enjoyed reading this new (for me) author and have just started a second book by him. The reason I picked this one up is because Schlink wrote "The Reader", the movie of which I thoroughly enjoyed.
In this novel, homecoming as a theme is explored through the main protagonist, Peter Debauer. He explores his childhood mystery regarding his absent father, a figure he only knows through brief details from his mother and a wonderful relationship he has with his paternal grandparents.
The Od...more
Schlink, Bernhard. HOMECOMING. (2006; US 2008). **. One of Elmore Leonard’s rules of good writing is to leave out those parts that readers tend to skip over. If that were the case with this novel, we would end up with over 250 pages of blank paper suitably bound for using as a journal or sketch pad. This is a journey to identity story that many writers seem to need to write. You don’t have to read them, though. Some of them grab you early on and won’t let you go. This one didn’t.
Jun 14, 2008 Stuart rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Conrad, Krissa, Craige
Recommended to Stuart by: Krissa Cavouras
Bernard Schlink's characters feel unique in so many ways, adding to the visceral and at times biting reality of this book. Characters do not act with clear or indeed any motivation at times; there is logic, emotion, confusion and apathy in equal measure. I couldn't come across a new person without having an emotional response to them within a few pages.

The theme of homecoming is inventively explored, with twists and turns, literary parallels and heartbreaking discoveries. The backdrop is of post...more
As befitting its title, the opening chapter of Homecoming is luminously nostalgic: the narrator recalls the train journeys he used to take by himself from post-war Germany to visit his grandparents in bucolic Switzerland.

But the comforting image of friendly train conductors and boat rides on a lake is swiftly dispensed with in the next chapter, in which the narrator recounts a harrowing series of truck rides. His single mother hadn't the fare for the train, and so cast her child upon the kindnes...more
A homecoming within a homecoming within a homecoming. If you liked THE READER, this is even better. Involved, circuitous, and good reading. The underlying discussion among the search for his father and the search for the author involves whether good or evil prevails. If you learn only evil, do you become evil? Do you encounter only evil? Does an evil act for a good outcome justify itself by the outcome? How much of each person is evil, and how much good? Does that change with the situation? Cons...more
Let me start of by saying this, may be a wonderful book but maybe just was not the perfect match for me. I've given it 3 stars based on my experience with it, not based on the author's talent.

There were a lot of philosophy references and existential thought comparisons. I have never been a philosophy student nor enjoyed the disputes and conversations of the whole existential thought movement, so with this in mind, it was a slightly difficult read for me. I enjoy a good story, simply. I do enjoy...more
Diane A Brown
Homecoming is usually a memorable and happy experience however this journey is one filled with so many twist and turns I found myself lost on several occasions.

The story starts out simple enough. Young Peter travels across the German / Swiss boarder to visit his grandparents during the summer. The descriptions here are well done and easy to visualize. The stories were interesting.

Peter becomes infatuated with a story his grandparents are editing and is frustrated when he can’t find the rest of t...more
Roger W.
I read this book after hearing a number of installments of an audio version on Kultur Radio.

What intrigued me was the connection to classical literature, Homer's Odyssey. There was also a literary detective story which flowed through the book too. It seemed to me that both of these threads seemed to peter out before the book came to a close however, so that my overall impression of the book was one of disappointment.

One of the blurbs on the back says the book takes us though many phases of most...more
Fabulous! As much as I enjoyed his stories in Flights of Love, especially "The Circumcision", I absolutely loved this book. First, hats off to the translator. I am sure it's easier to translate a German language book into English, rather than, say, Russian to English, but this was done so well that the words just sang. A testament I'm sure to the author, but also to the translator, who has to pick the right English words to do the German justice. Fabulous.

Peter Debauer is a fabulous character. T...more
I've read other reader's reviews here and I agree that the the jacket copy for this novel is really pretty misleading. The majority of the story focuses on Peter Debauer's quiet life as he grows up with his grandparents in Switzerland and then leaves to pursue a career in publishing in Germany. Eventually, he discovers a book in his grandparent's bookshelves that intrigues him based on its Odyssean focus. In his obsession to discover the book's author, Peter unravels a mystery his stubbornly sil...more
I read Bernhard Schlink’s latest book, Homecoming, based on a brief blurb in USA Today’s Winter books preview: “Moral questions confront children of WWII parents; set in Germany.”

Based on this description, I was expecting something different than I found in Homecoming. Yes, the main character, Peter Debauer, does have parents who lived through WWII. Yes, the book takes place in Germany. But Schlink is a German himself, and the book was translated from German by Michael Henry Heim.

Although the no...more
Here’s the blurb from the publisher:

A child of World War II, Peter Debauer grew up with his mother and scant memories of his father, a victim of war. Now an adult, Peter embarks upon a search for the truth surrounding his mother’s unwavering—but shaky—history and the possibility of finding his missing father after all these years. The search takes him across Europe, to the United States, and back: finding witnesses, falling in and out of love, chasing fragments of a story and a person who may or
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Bernhard Schlink is a German jurist and writer. He became a judge at the Constitutional Court of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia in 1988 and has been a professor of public law and the philosophy of law at Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany since January 2006.

His career as a writer began with several detective novels with a main character named Selb--a play on the German word for "sel...more
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“I did not know that children think the hard questions they ask are easy and thus expect easy answers to them, and that they are disappointed when they get cautious, complex answers.” 6 likes
“The value of being brave, working hard, saving money keeping order depends on what it's for.” 5 likes
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