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Omega Minor
Paul Verhaeghen
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Omega Minor

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  264 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Berlijn, voorjaar 1995. Een oude Joodse man heeft genoeg van het leven en neemt een overdosis kinine. In het ziekenhuis wordt hij wakker naast een jonge Vlaming, Paul Andermans, aan wie hij zijn levensverhaal begint te vertellen. Hoe je als onderduiker de verschrikkingen in oorlogstijd overleeft. Hoe je de herinnering aan Auschwitz te boven komt, de stad waar de vogels zwe ...more
Published (first published 2004)
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MJ Nicholls
Can’t stretch to five stars. Close. Paul Verhaeghen is a former Netherlander teaching in Atlanta as Associate Professor of Psychology at Georgia Tech (as of writing). An unlikely candidate to produce a megalithic masterwork—and he hasn’t, not really. He has produced an excellent, engaging and complex take on the Holocaust and Hiroshima intertwined with a pulp-ish thriller spiced with embarrassing but sincere erotic moments, full of eminently quotable material (see below) and staggeringly erudite ...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Let’s get the first thing out of the way because then it’ll be feed=visible. I’ll be recommending Omega Minor to you. A big thumbs up. Not genius ; but big thumbs up. “N.R.”=stamp of approval.

The rest of this Review will be of two parts.

The generation of Shoah survivors is coming to an end. Their words, their stories, their evidence will remain. The epistemological questions will remain. We will continue to ask those questions and depend upon finding their answers in words. But will the words o
This chunk of pulsating ambition greeted me unaware in a bookshop a few years past. I politely asked my wife if she would buy it for me for Christmas. She obliged, and I read it in a frantic tear, really only pausing to buy her sister who lives in Berlin a copy. Then, it was over and I thought and pondered and moved on. There isn't much that has clung to me in the subsequent years. Maybe between Europe Central and The Kindly Ones I developed a Nazi Fatigue. I don't know.
I guess I'm in the minority here, but this one doesn't do it for me. Does disliking an erudite, heartfelt, Holocaust meganovel make me a monster? I hope not.

I'll start with the good: Verhaeghen's a smart guy, and Omega Minor is a correspondingly smart book with an intricately conceived (though not, I think, successfully executed) plot concerning the memoirs of a Holocaust survivor, the development of the atomic bomb, and a neo-Nazi plot to reorder Berlin, and their various interconnections. If t
If a book could buzz, this one would. Omega Minor balances baroque descriptions with life-like storytelling, deeply philosophical thoughts with hard science, history with absurdity. The premises are familiar enough, to the point of weariness: Nazi's, Jews, The Bomb, and the gray academic life of the author's own alter ego. But in the hands of Verhaeghen, these subjects are twisted into a post-modern tale so stupidly ambitious that what impresses most in the end is how he almost, but not quite, m ...more
all i can possibly say is wow. epic. huge. for those who read vollmann's europe central, and felt the vastness of what he covered and how he told the story, this is a good next book to read. verhaeghen was his own english translator for this edition, and i think it was a brilliant move on his part. words are so infused with meaning, particularly in this story, that a less capable translator could have made an english edition truly terrible.

verhaeghen is at his best when writing from the perspect
I’ve just finished reading Omega Minor by the Belgian novelist Paul Verhaeghen, a cognitive psychologist now working in the States. Originally published in Dutch, this enormous novel – 700 pages of closely-printed text - was translated into English by its author, winning the Independent Foreign Fiction prize in the process. The English, like the novel itself, is constantly inventive, and slightly quirky; Verhaeghen has stated that he decided to do the translation himself after seeing the lamenta ...more
Un roman mal foutu. 1 page remarquable toutes les 100 pages, c'est du gâchis. Je ne sais pas comment l'éditeur a pu laisser passer un truc pareil... les idées sont excellentes, la réalisation est mauvaise, très mauvaise. Déjà le style est très mauvais mais cela peut être éventuellement la faute du traducteur, ensuite l'auteur se sent apparemment obligé de nous faire subir des descriptions gores et violentes toutes les trois pages, au bout d'un moment les scènes de passage à tabac ou de sexe devi ...more
Aug 25, 2014 wally is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: verhaeghen
ophelia, upon drowning
(a form of prelude)

im anfang war die tat--in the beginning was the act.
and this is what concludes that act, that serpentine pas-de-deux so skillfully performed against the satin backdrop of the blackest night: a lightening bolt hurls upward in a blinding curve of pristine white, the laws of gravity suspended for a quarter-second.
Lieven Coorevits
Gestopt na dertig bladzijden. Kwam bij mij over als pretentieus en bewust moeilijk doen.
Jason Lundberg
Four narrative strands, seemingly unrelated, sometimes told consecutively in the first person (so the reader has to figure out who's speaking), encompassing 50 years of Berlin history, the Nazi regime, the rise of communism, and the Manhattan Project. Somehow, it manages to not fall apart under its great ambition, and reveals moments of great empathy and emotion. And sex, lots of sex. Nothing is what it seems, and no one, and the stylistic prose is absolutely compelling through all 700 pages. Wi ...more
Kristof Van landschoot
virtuoze mooischrijverij, net iets té ambitieusom perfect te zijn
Stamatis Kourtis
The author had some very good ideas regarding the rise of the Nazis, the voluntary and/or involuntary collaboration of germans/jews with the Nazis, etc but I am not quite sure that these ideas were presented thoroughly despite the size of the book. I think it had too many characters and parallel stories.

Also I strongly believe that presenting the phenomenon of neo-Nazis as part of The Plan it does not really say anything against fascism and rather it oversimplifies it.

Finally, don’t read from
A very ambitious novel and a literary tour-de-force, but Paul Verhaeghen pulled it of. The Belgian author lives in the US, wrote this masterpiece in Dutch and then translated it into English himself.

Published in 2004, it is about the human condition in the 20th century, really.

A must-read for anyone prepared to be challenged.
The greek edition is about 900 pages. For about 300 pages i was struggling to read it, thought it was boring, but i was Wrong!!! One of the greatest books i've ever read, the time i dedicated just worth it. Reading it just once certainly is not enough, you cant get deep inside all its meanings and conclusions.
Pieter Brouwer
Enkele hoofdstukken vond ik wel leuk, maar het niet het geheel. Het was te veel een vage literaire puzzel. Te prestigieus, ten koste van het leesplezier en de leesbaarheid (en dan heb ik het nog niet over het vreemde einde). Niet iedereen in de leesclub is het met mij eens - zie cijfer.
Leesclubcijfer: 7,8
To be honest: my rating is based on very incomplete reading allthough I started twice, but that 's meaningful too,isn't it? Too much 'erudition' for me.
Frank Debaere
Mooi boek over WOII, met verrassende wending. Op het einde had ik zin de auteur een bedankingsmail te sturen.
I suppose the parts I loved outweighed the parts I absolutely hated in order for me to give it four stars.
na 100 pagina's kon dit boek me nog steeds niet boeien, dus heb ik het maar opzij gelegd
Nele Fraeyman
Helaas te veel fantastische stukken afgewisseld met mèh-stukken...
Eén van de betere en rijkere boeken in het Nederlands taalgebied
Een van de beste boeken die ik ooit gelezen heb. Episch.
Feb 11, 2008 Sunil marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Not a big fan of the genre, but heard raves abt this.

Laurent Derycke
zwaar en soms verwarrend, maar wel de moeite
Complete waste of time.
Marjoke Goethals
Marjoke Goethals marked it as to-read
Dec 27, 2014
Hub Masaq
Hub Masaq marked it as to-read
Dec 24, 2014
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Paul Verhaeghen is een Vlaamse psycholoog en schrijver.

Paul Verhaeghen in de Nederlandstalige Wikipedia

Paul Verhaeghen in de Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren

Paul Verhaeghen bij "Schrijversgewijs"

Paul Verhaeghen is a Belgian novelist, writing in his native Dutch.

His novels include Lichtenberg (1996) and Omega Minor (2004). Omega Minor has been translated into German (2006, Eichborn
More about Paul Verhaeghen...
Lichtenberg : een roman, hoewel opgebouwd uit slechts twee vragen, toch verdeeld in dertien hoofdstukken The Oxford Handbook of Emotion, Social Cognition, and Problem Solving in Adulthood The Elements of Cognitive Aging: Meta-Analyses of Age-Related Differences in Processing Speed and Their Consequences American Short Fiction Vol. 10 Issue 38 Summer 2007 Social and Motivational Compensatory Mechanisms for Age-Related Cognitive Decline

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