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Lost Paradise

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  308 ratings  ·  42 reviews
In "Lost Paradise," Nooteboom sets out to connect two seemingly unrelated strangers whom he has glimpsed on his travels, and to explore the major impact that small interactions can have on the course of our journeys.
A beautiful woman aboard a Berlin-bound flight becomes Alma, a young lady who leaves her parents' Sao Paolo home on a hot summer night in a fit of depression.
ebook, 160 pages
Published November 1st 2008 by Grove Press (first published 2004)
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An exquisite tale full of symbolism, sensuality and taste.
I finished the book in just one sitting and after I turned the last page, I felt as if I had savoured an expensive rare bitter sweet chocolate.
Two seemingly disconnected stories in two separate parts.
In the first one, Alma and Almut from Brazil decide to make their dream come true and travel to Australia, a country which has always been fascinating to them. Once there, they change in different and unexpected ways, and while Alma is able t
Feb 03, 2009 Brian rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brian by: Ben
Shelves: read-2009
When I stand outside here, I do not just see the stars, I hear them.

My first Nooteboom and it was a good one. This book is in two parts, two stories, separate stories, but they're related. And as the title might suggest he taps into the energies from Paradise Lost. I've never read Milton's Paradise Lost but I'm sure there are some theme overlaps or a game of theme tag going on in this book. But then maybe not. Like I said, I never read Milton though there are a few excerpts of his epic poem scat
Sometimes a book is built around a premise so airy, so fragile, that any attempt at analysis threatens to scatter it to the wind. Such a book is Lost Paradise by Dutch writer Cees Nooteboom. This short novel describes the lives of two people who encounter each other under very odd circumstances and almost immediately lose touch, and then encounter each other again a few years later under different and somewhat less odd circumstances. Alma is a beautiful young woman from Brazil struggling to over ...more
Nesa Sivagnanam
In this book, Nooteboom sets out to connect two seemingly unrelated strangers whom he has glimpsed on his travels -- a beautiful woman aboard a Berlin-bound flight and a haggard-looking man on a Holland train platform -- and to explore the major impact that small interactions can have on the course of our journeys.

The beautiful woman becomes Alma, a young woman of German descent, who leaves her parents' Sao Paolo home on a hot summer night in a fit of depression. Her engine dies in one of the ci
When I read in that A.S.Byatt, called Nooteboom one of the greatest 20th century writers, I was hesitant to pick it up even though it sounded intriguing. Because I remember being equally intrigued by Possession, which I found to be an arrogant, overly intellectual piece of writing. Or maybe I was just really annoyed at a Loyola medieval history grad student acquaintance who carried Possession around like his personal bible. Anyway it didn't bode well for Mr. Nooteboom.

However, I was pleasantly
Jeste vrlo elokventno i divno napisana knjižica, na početku interesantna i obećavajuća, čak i obrazovna, ali me je kraj zbunio i pitam se - jesam li razumela sve što se razumeti moglo ili sam se i ja izgubila među svim onim anđelima u Izgubljenom Raju?
Het eerste boek in de reeks Zomerlezen dit jaar werd er een van Cees Nooteboom. Een auteur die zich vorig jaar voor mij bewezen had met de geslaagde novelle Het volgende verhaal. Ik zag dat de man een heel aantal boeken van vergelijkbare lengte had geschreven en dacht dat pleit voor hem. Er zouden meer Nootebooms volgen. Voor deze vakantie koos ik Paradijs verloren, omdat dat veelbelovend begint in een vliegtuig. Toepasselijk om mee te beginnen wanneer ons vliegtuig richting Portugal zou opstijg ...more
Nooteboom has never failed to make leaps that others stand idly wondering about. angels angels galore, aborigines, and connections across disparate spaces and times. Any of his books are amazing, in particular Roads to Santiago, his travelogue essays about his love affair with spain, spanish history, architecture, and painting.
Jennifer (JC-S)
This compact, beautifully written novel demonstrates how it is possible to write effectively and economically while exploring complex themes.

I especially enjoyed the thoughts about Australian indigenous clutures:

‘All kinds of things were sacred but nothing had been preserved in a book.’

When you pick up a novel that is unique, you want it to be an interesting experience. Half the time you end up with a questionable one instead of an enjoyable one and wish you had picked up something else. That is not the case with this book, which was beautifully written, well thought out and perfect in its uniqueness. It was a quick read, but a wonderful one. The two stories told seem totally unrelated to each other until you realize the connection and once that hits you everything has come to ...more
Lauren Albert
Like others, I'm not sure what to make of this. It seems to be how lives can cross in ways that seem miraculous and effect those involved the same way. Both spare and replete.
M. Sarki
A delightful and comfortable read however unremarkable it ultimately proved itself to be.
Especially impressive because of the acute way it deals with Australia!
Julia Boechat Machado
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jigar Brahmbhatt
"Lost Paradise" starts with a comprehensible premise and quickly lingers into poetic musings with no seeming concern for the plot development. I was interestingly in the right temperament, and was happy to go where Nooteboom happened to take me. Maybe, that is why I wasn't startled as much when the main character, after surviving a horrible gang rape in Brazil, ends up in Australian outbacks looking for... well, something. Her intention is to visit the 'Sickness Dreaming Place'. Along the way, s ...more
The book has two somewhat interrelated parts. Where I found the first part mesmerizing, I found my interest flagging in the second. Alma and Almut are two young Brazilian women. Alma is "European," that is, both her parents are from Germany. Alma is, on the other hand, perhaps "more Brazilian," her family containing many national and ethnic elements.

Both are fascinated with Australia and with the esoteric culture of the indigenous people. They travel to Australia, where Almut the European seesth
It's a Dutch book and I had to make an "Australia" shelf for it. :P All my other books that are set in Australian are, well, Australian. But this isn't, hence the distinction. And okay it's not just a book set in Australia, but a lot of it is and that was what grabbed me the most. The girls wanting to visit, and then finally doing so, and it was beautiful. It was so real to me, so Australian, even if they went to places I haven't visited myself.

The Todd River shown on the map is in reality an oc
I really liked this, but I'm not quite sure why. I guess it was the author's "Prologue", where he describes seeing a pretty woman on a short aeroplane flight from Amsterdam to Berlin who's carrying a slender book, the title of which he can't see, and that turns out to be...

Well, I don't want a spoiler here.

Let's just say that behind the entire thing is a sense of a "wink and a nod and 'know-what-I-mean'" which I found convivial. As if you were standing at a bar, having a beer with a friend who's
'Zij weet dat er maar één ding is dat hij wil vragen, maar het is nog niet de tijd. Zij weet alles van daarvoor, haar onaanraakbaarheid, dat wat hij niet kon weten. Een ogenblik had ze zich bijna laten verleiden, ze zou hem nooit vertellen waarom, omdat het met medelijden te maken had gehad, met wat zij in de weken daarvoor had meegemaakt. Hij kon niet weten wie ze was, en dat was goed. Zij kende zijn verhaal al evenmin, en ook dat was goed. Zo moest het blijven.' (p.133)

If you were going to search for a paradise in a present world, where would you go? And if you found it, you have to be doubting whether it still would be one. A paradise, a place in past, how it meets the present, how people are more and more drawn to it is the theme of this mesmerizing book.
Nooteboom is a master of travelogue, he makes vivid not only the scenery, but also the scent of the place. Here he uses it to intensify character contemplation.
The themes themselves are utterly European and
Nooteboom is probably one of my favourite discoveries of 2010. He writes beautifully, refers to other literature (intertextuality! hooray) which I enjoy - when I catch the references - and when I read his books, the world around me quietly blurs.

I'm giving this book three stars, though 3,5 would be more accurate. The plot wasn't extremely interesting, but Nooteboom just writes so well that he gets away with it. I'm looking forward to reading more books by him.
"(...) doch bald trockneten sie diese Thränen ab. Vor ihnen lag
die ganze Welt, (...)
Nun wandelten sie langsam, Hand in Hand
auf ungewisser Bahn durch Eden hin."

Wenn das 'Besondere' nötig wird.
Echte Erfahrung gegen Erwartung.
Verstehen, Finden, Weitersuchen, Bei sich sein, Von sich fort- und wieder zurücktreiben, Nicht alles verstehen müssen und nicht alles erklären können, Weiterleben.
This book was a very happy surprise. I checked it out of the library never having heard of Cees Nooteboom. I loved this story and the way in which Nooteboom weaves art history and travel together. It was a beautiful story, and I am tempted to give it a 5. I absolutely loved the prologue and epilogue, and especially loved his description of how he felt having just completed writing this book.
Cynthia Collu
Ali. Ali grandi. Angeli in cima a edifici,o giacenti a terra. Angeli racchiusi in un armadio, le grandi ali rivolte verso lo spettatore, come rattrapite, eppure pronte a distendersi per la fuga in alto. Via.
Non posso non amare un romanzo dove si parli di ali. Cerco le mie, le sento risolute ad aprirsi. Ecco. Il miracolo sta per rinnovarsi.
Travis McGuire
It took me a few chapters to get into this book but once I did I was drawn in immediately. The story felt dreamy in a delightful way and the way it rolled from the two characters was seamless. I liked the ending but also felt that it could have been more powerful if it had ended a few sentences earlier.
It put me in a very quiet mood. I like books that do that. It also reminded me of a favourite film: Chungking Express by Wong Kar Wai. There was a similarity of mood and I suppose because the complete work was composed of two parts tangentially related.
Alma, die auf Engel steht - Almut, ihre beste Freundin - der Kindheitstraum Australien und die Traumwelt der Aborigines - ein niederländischer Literaturkritiker auf Kur in den Bergen - verwoben zu einer kurzen, prägnanten und schönen Geschichte.
I liked this book quite a lot. Most I enjoyed the story and description of the mystique sfeer in the outback. The book remembered me of other book I read eg "Der Zauberberg" which is also situated in a sanatory in Davos.
Vaardig geschreven boek, soms wel wat lastig om de twee verhaaldraadjes goed te volgen en de onderlinge relatie te begrijpen. Moest een paar keer teruglezen om niet volledig 'verloren' te raken.
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Cees Nooteboom (born Cornelis Johannes Jacobus Maria Nooteboom, 31 July 1933, in the Hague) is a Dutch author. He has won the Prijs der Nederlandse Letteren, the P. C. Hooft Award, the Pegasus Prize, the Ferdinand Bordewijk Prijs for Rituelen, the Austrian State Prize for European Literature and the Constantijn Huygens Prize, and has frequently been mentioned as a candidate for the Nobel Prize in ...more
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The Following Story Rituals All Souls' Day Roads to Santiago 's Nachts komen de vossen

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“I looked out of the window and saw him sitting in the early rays of the sun, a dark silhouette in the sand, motionless as a rock, and knew at once that I had substituted one memory for another and that this one would leave me with as little peace as the other one had. I would exist in someone else's mind, without knowing who I was in there.” 8 likes
“Y, sin embargo, cuando cae la noche y el espectáculo ha terminado, él y yo nos quedamos de nuevo solos con el silencio, solos con una infinita escasez de palabras; nunca imaginé que éstas pudieran ser tan parcas. Pero a mí todo me parece bien. ¿O acaso me engaño a mí misma? ¿Existe la pornografía sin porno? Mejor dicho, ¿existe la pornografía únicamente como concepto, sin representación gráfica alguna? Pura pornografía del espíritu, un estado en que la mentira transforma la naturaleza de cada acto -caricia, beso, orgasmo- en algo obsceno y perverso. Reflexiono sobre todas estas cosas, aquí, tendida en el suelo mientras espero que él pronuncie alguna de sus escasas palabras, a que vuelva a tocarme y yo a olvidarme de mis pensamientos.” 1 likes
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