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The Weekend

3.09  ·  Rating Details ·  1,252 Ratings  ·  186 Reviews
Old friends and lovers reunite for a weekend in a secluded country home after spending decades apart.

They excavate old memories and pass clandestine judgments on the wildly divergent paths they’ve taken since their youth. But this isn’t just any reunion, and their conversations about the old days aren’t your typical reminiscences: After twenty-four years, Jörg, a convicted
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Pantheon (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Feb 10, 2016 Owlseyes rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german-lit
This is a (fiction) book* about a dark period of Germany's History: 1970-1998. Some speak about a "German Autumn". Basically, it refers to the acts of a terrorist organization called Red Army Fraction (RAF=Rote Armee Fraktion), which conducted acts of terrorism against a State deemed to be "fascist". Several of its members went to jail...some got pardoned, many women got involved. I would recall the Ulrike Meinhof case, still mysterious as to the causes of her hanging while in jail. In 1998 the ...more
Friederike Knabe
Apr 05, 2011 Friederike Knabe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german-lit
A group of, for the most part, long time friends meet at a secluded, dilapidated country villa in the countryside around Berlin. They have come together to welcome back into society one of their own. Jörg, was just released that day from prison on a special pardon, having spent twenty four years in detention for several murders, committed as a member of the infamous Baader-Meinhof Gang (RAF - Red Army Faction), notorious in the nineteen seventies. The novel follows the visitors over the course o ...more
Dec 25, 2010 THE rated it it was ok
Bernhard Schlink is an author of substance, style, and ideas; it is unfortunate that this work seems only to be a pastiche of his earlier fiction. Neither characters nor plot enhance his distinctive themes of guilt, responsibility, memory, and reconciliation. Vaguely reminiscent (initially) of the film THE BIG CHILL, in this depiction, the group of middle-aged friends are not rendezvousing to mourn an old friend, but have gathered in a rural farmhouse in Germany to welcome home Jorg, a just-rele ...more
Nov 12, 2014 Deea rated it it was ok
This is unfortunately an average book, not even by far half as good as the others I read by Schlink. Some friends meet somewhere in the countryside to welcome back to freedom a terrorist who has been pardoned after 30 years of imprisonment. They all had been part of the same group of friends before he, the terrorist, Jorg, started his part in the cause he fought for (he had been a part of RAF- The German Red Army Faction). At present, they all have trouble accepting his murders and feel awkward ...more
Laura Droege
Apr 25, 2011 Laura Droege rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, literary
A convicted terrorist has been pardoned. His overprotective sister Christiane invites old friends to spend a weekend with the newly-released Jörg at her country house. As the weekend progresses, we read the thoughts of the friends about each other. Most of them parted company three decades before.

Not much happens in the book. If you're looking for a thriller, look somewhere else. Yes, the friends have dinner table conversations, arguments about whether Jörg should let Marko release a "declaratio
Oct 08, 2012 Esther rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Der RAF Terrorist Jörg wird nach vielen Jahren Haft begnadigt. Seine Schwester Christiane, die seit seiner Kindheit für ihn gesorgt hat, holt ihn ab. Um ihm den Einstieg in die Gesellschaft zu erleichtern – oder das Auftreffen auf die wirkliche Gesellschaft noch ein paar Tage zu verzögern – organisiert sie ein Wochenende in einem abgelegenen Landhaus. Eingeladen sind die alten Freunde, die sich damals zwar wohl als Revolutionäre gesehen haben, sich vor dem bewaffneten Kampf aber gescheut haben. ...more
Jim Fonseca
Sep 06, 2015 Jim Fonseca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german-authors
The author, better known recently for his book “the Reader,” takes us back to the era of Germany’s urban violence, the Red Brigades, most notoriously the Baader-Meinhof Communist-anarchist group in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, when hundreds of violent incidents – assassinations, bombings, arson, kidnappings were conducted. So here we are circa 2005, and a terrorist, responsible for the murder of four people, is being released from prison. His sister is holding a weekend event at a rural house to ...more

It started OK, but then I got bored quite quickly, maybe the tone of the book was lost in it's translation? Not sure, but I was skimming over it by page 30. Then around page 44-47, something happened which just irritated the crap out of me as a parent (not really a spoiler, but Mum and Dad hear their daughter scream and just dither about, saying "oh dear, I think that is our child screaming in fright, what is that about I wonder?" and then dither about some more. Then, they find her standin
Jul 25, 2012 Estelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I chose to read this having enormously enjoyed The Reader and it did not disappoint. The action is limited being set in a country house over just one weekend. Yet Schlink holds interest with his depiction of his characters uncertainties through extensive use of dialogue. Each character is distinct and comes with their own histories and complexities. The central theme of life after terrorism is interesting and I particularly enjoyed Ilse's story which punctuated the main story at intervals. Perha ...more
Nov 17, 2010 Laurel rated it really liked it
For such a short book there is really a lot to absorb here. A bunch of middle-aged friends gather in a dilapidated German country house for a weekend to "celebrate" their terrorist friend's pardon from prison. Felt like I was missing something by not knowing about the failed German terrorist revolution of the 1970s, but aside from that most of the themes were universal. In an amazingly short space Schlink's characters do a lot of soul-searching, mostly comparing what they had dreamed their lives ...more
Bookmarks Magazine
Dec 09, 2010 Bookmarks Magazine rated it liked it
Shelves: jan-feb-2011
Schlink's latest foray into fiction is far more concerned with ideas than with plot development and characterization. Some critics were able to overlook this unusual format -- a continuous succession of conversations -- in favor of his astute exploration of the character and collective struggle of a country still mired in the horrors of its past. Schlink skillfully mines the tension between the passionate idealism of youth and the nagging uncertainties of middle age in "a cross between The Big C ...more
Book Bazaar
Reader review from Heather - I've just finished Bernhard Schlink's 'The Weekend".
It's better than The Reader. It took me 1 afternoon and 1 morning. Couldn't put it down, a definite page-turner. 9/10 or 10/10.

It's about terrorism in Germany - Bader Meinhof gang and the Red Army Faction. . Can't believe he got so much into 221 pages. Sorted out a lot of things for me in terms of German history, from 1410 to today, and including America nd the Arabs. I liked the story within the story and the philo
Jan 28, 2011 Peter rated it liked it
From the author of The Reader which I liked much more, The Weekend also takes up part of Germany's past, in this case the domestic terrorism of the 1970s. I don't know if the problem is in the translation, but in parts of the book it's hard to figure who's doing the talking.

Shifting the perspective from one person to another in the same scene is frowned upon by writing teachers. Schlink is certainly taking chances in using that technique and while I can understand why he tries it, I found the r
Jim Dellit
Feb 15, 2014 Jim Dellit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-read
My friend Angela gave this to us and I really enjoyed the reading of it: there is something about books chosen by others. This contemporary weekend gathering of aged and former 'terrorists', (Baader-Meinhof members, symapthisers and survivors of 1970s dissent) questions the use of violence, the reliability of memory and the nature of friendship and, in a complex way, it explores personal redemption through 'truth' telling. The translation seems appropriate to the themes and is easy to read. Blis ...more
Nov 28, 2010 Karima rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Great premise but didn't quite work. This is a translation from the German and that may have been the problem for me. I am only vaguely aware of the politics of which this group of people are/were involved. I think those native to Germany have more of an understanding of what's going on here. I didn't.

From Publishers Weekly
Old friends cautiously reunite at an isolated German estate after one of them is released from prison in Schlink's (The Reader) meditative novel on the past's grip on the pre
I'm not sure that this novel from the author of the excellent The Reader really works. The conflicts over how to deal with the release from prison of a German terorist make an interesting subject, and Schlink shows how it elicits different repsonses from different friends and relatives gathered for 'the weekend', but it all rather trails out inconclusively. I rather lost interest towards the end, and felt that maybe the author had done as well.
Apr 26, 2014 Mana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some bizarre navel-gazing passages towards the end along with a lot of discussion on 'life lies'. It lost me sometimes. Overall a decent read. Explores far left terrorism in Germany and was quite enlightening in some aspects. Would I read it again? Probably not. For a short novel it seemed quite long for some reason.
Feb 24, 2012 Philip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
I wish the Weekend was more of a week, really interesting developments and characters I just wanted more space for them to operate in. Particuarly the character and mystery (spoiler alert) of Jan, who although we get a hint of what happened to him I would have like more.
Apr 26, 2015 Lily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Шлінк так помаленьку-помаленьку стає одним з улюблених письменників. Його теми переосмислення історії, вміння показати її під багатьма кутами мене дуже тішать.
Martha Koskina
Apr 02, 2014 Martha Koskina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Schlink is a master in describing human psychology. In each and every book of his.
Dec 13, 2016 Alexandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
This was a welcome, thought-provoking read after all the light reading I've been doing lately. Loved this passage:

"Sometimes something you haven't even dreamed of falls into your lap. That doesn't alter the fact that most dreams come to nothing. I'm the oldest one here, and I don't know anyone who has realised his dreams. It doesn't mean life is pointless; you wife can be nice even if she isn't your great passion, your house can be beautiful even if it isn't surrounded by trees, and your job can
Oct 31, 2016 Dimitar rated it did not like it
Шлинк е еден од најкатастрофалните писатели кои што сум ги читал. Не можам да сфатам зошто е толку познат и каде му е квалитетот, но пишува ужасно, неспретно, здодевно. Во оваа книга има вишок ликови, кои низ приказната заборава дека половина од нив постојат, има дупки во градење на атмосфера и простор, како на пример - куќата во која што седат ликовите за време на тој Викенд, нема струја, за на последната сцена да приклучат радио на струја и да слушаат радио.

Ќе одам да ја погалам мачката и мал
Dec 31, 2016 Kathrin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german-books
There is a lot going on in this short book, but the author was able to connect the storylines well and in a way that made sense. And I just love Schlink's writing style. The main character in the book is a former member of a domestic terror organization in Germany who was in prison for the last 20 something years and now spends his first weekend in freedom with friends from back in the day that didn't radicalize themselves like he has done. But it also is a family drama and it also talks how peo ...more
Nov 24, 2012 Vishy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I loved Bernhard Schlink’s ‘Homecoming’ and ‘The Reader’ and I thought at some point that I would like to read every one of Schlink’s works which has been translated into English. When I heard about ‘The Weekend’ and how it has polarized readers – with some loving the book and some hating it – I thought that I will read it and see where I stand on it. I had high hopes because Schlink had a hundred percent strike rate for me till now and typically that is the sign of a favourite author for me. I ...more
Oct 06, 2016 Heidi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though a slim book that covers just a weekend, I was slow to finish this book. The writing style is interesting as the author jumps from character to character to share that character's perspective. He takes on the issue of what it means to be a terrorist and a foot soldier for the cause of the revolution, a very thought provoking book given the current times.
Mar 24, 2008 Mark rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Bernhard Schlink hat mal ein Buch geschrieben, das ich auch in der Rückschau noch für lesenswert halte, sowohl literarisch auch als Beitrag zu einer größeren Debatte über Vergangenheit, Vergangenheitsschuld und Erinnerungskultur. Dann hat er ein paar ganz unterhaltsame Krimis geschrieben und ein bis sieben lesenswerte Artikel zu interessanten Themen (Liebesfluchten kenne ich nicht, seine juristischen Bücher brauchen hier nicht weiter erwähnt zu werden). Und irgendwie hat er sich einen Ruf damit ...more
Nach 23 Jahren Haft wird der Terrorist Jörg aus dem Gefängnis entlassen, seine offizielle Begnadigung durch den Bundespräsidenten soll erst noch verkündet werden. Jörgs ältere Schwester Christiane holt ihn zu einem Treffen mit Freunden und Unterstützern von früher ab in ihr abgeschieden liegendes Haus in Brandenburg. Die zu dem Treffen erwarteten ehemals aufmüpfigen Kinder süddeutscher Akademikerfamilien haben sich inzwischen im Beruf etabliert. Älter und schwergewichtiger sind die Ex-Revolution ...more
Apr 07, 2011 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world
Once again, another fantastic book. After reading Guilt of the Past, I am amazed how the author is able to weave those issues into fiction. Sometimes when you present real-world moral dilemmas, etc., into fiction, they stick out like a sore thumb, but he creates here a story that really delves into some important issues. Jorg is a radical revolutionary, convicted of killing four people, and essentially a home-grown terrorist, in American terms. He is a member of the first generation born toward ...more
Marisa Fernandes
Feb 19, 2016 Marisa Fernandes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A história que Bernhard Schlink nos traz passa-se como o próprio título indica num fim-de-semana: Sexta-feira, Sábado e Domingo, quando um grupo de amigos outrora revolucionários e cheios de ideais se decidem reencontrar para festejar a libertação de um deles (após vinte e três anos de prisão), em tempos membro da "Rote Armee Fraktion" (RAF), uma organização terrorista alemã de extrema-esquerda operante entre 1970 e 1998 na Alemanha ocidental.
Agora, todos eles estão perfeitamente integrados na
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Goodreads Librari...: Author name spelled wrong 3 18 Nov 09, 2014 08:51AM  
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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 about Bernhard Schlink...

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