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The Eighth Life: for Brilka

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  3,242 ratings  ·  492 reviews
‘That night Stasia took an oath, swearing to learn the recipe by heart and destroy the paper. And when she was lying in her bed again, recalling the taste with all her senses, she was sure that this secret recipe could heal wounds, avert catastrophes, and bring people happiness. But she was wrong.’

At the start of the twentieth century, on the edge of the Russian empire,
Hardcover, 944 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Scribe Publications (first published August 18th 2014)
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Pedro Yes, it is! It will be published 14. November this year.
ISBN 978-1911617471
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Average rating 4.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,242 ratings  ·  492 reviews

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Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Believe me: You need this Georgian historical novel in your life. Really. All 944 pages of it. Haratischwili's epic saga tells the story of one family living through the 20th century in (Eastern) Europe, being shaped by and shaping history, becoming victims and perpetrators and everything in between. Niza, the narrator, conveys the destiny of their ancestors to her niece Brilka: "It really is the right thing to do, to record their stories for you. Ours. Yours. Mine, and those of all the others ...more
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Want a lesson in endurance? Read this book — its almost 1300 pages (German paperback) demand quite a lot of your reading muscle but much more from the book’s characters.

Want to know more about Georgia (view spoiler)? Read this book — its time span (1900-2007) covers pretty much everything from modern (Georgian and European) history and projects it onto the Jaschi family.

Like epic (I mean really epic) family sagas? Read this
Aga Durka
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
***I just discovered that this book is finally being translated to English (long overdue in my opinion!!) and I am besides excited!!! This is my ALL TIME favorite book in the Historical Fiction genre, and I can't recommend this book enough!! I read this book in Polish and I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for this book to be translated in English so that I can share it with my English speaking friends. Please read it and share your thoughts with me, I would love to see what all my ...more
Katia N
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
”When i was about the same age as you, Brilka, I often used to wonder what would happen if the world’s collective memory had retained different things and lost others? If we had forgotten all the wars and all those countless kings, rulers, leaders, and mercenaries, and people to be read about in books were those who had built a house with their own hands, planted a garden, discovered a giraffe, described a cloud, praised the nape of a woman’s neck. I wondered how we know that the people whose ...more
[Slight update] I don't tend to do this, but I wrote a longer review for Asymptote, and if you are interested you can find it here.

There are various things that make a book great and this one is particularly special. The ability that Haratischwili has to bring her characters to life is inspiring. I missed certain people as the focuses shifted from character to character and the history of both Georgia and the Soviet Union unfolded through the lives of one family (and its women in particular).

Jacoline Maes
More like 2,5 stars.

I wanted a lot more from this book than I got. This book is over 1200 pages and I still don't feel like I know the characters. There are so many who I think might be interesting, but every time I got to the point that I really started to enjoy reading about a character Haratischwili moved on to the next. The writing is nice and it reads fast, but because of the fact that I never felt I got closer to the characters it started to bore me after a while. So yes, this was a
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THIS WAS SOOOOOOOOOO GOOD! I got a shitload of books for Christmas (I feel a bit overwhelmed tbh, but the best kind of overwhelmed, because let's face it - BOOKS) but I really was a bit Meh about this one. First of all, I've never heard of this book, which, given the amount of time I spend (waste) on this website, is pretty crucial! I mean, how good can a book be if none (literally none!) of my friends has read or even put it on their reading list? I KNOW. Second, this book is way too pretty to ...more
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Eighth Life (for Brilka) is a phenomenal novel – right up there with the best of the best. If it’s not my all-time favourite novel (and it might be) then it must be in the top three or four.

Set over more than a hundred years in Georgia, we follow six generations of the Jashi family. There is the patriarch, a chocolate maker who creates a mystical recipe for hot chocolate that tastes divine but curses those who drink it. Generation after generation, the Jashis partake of the chocolate.

Shawn Mooney (Shawn The Book Maniac)
50 pages was all I needed to realize this was not for me: it reads like a textbook on 20th-century Georgian and Russian history with too many superficially-drawn characters interwoven—and awkwardly woven, to boot. Having checked quite a few mediocre reviews, all of them complaining about the lack of character development, I decided to jump early.
Cecilia Bastarrica
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german
A sweeping family saga, I just could not stop reading - it is not perfect but earns the five-star rating from me. Each and every member of the Jaschi family was interesting and had their unique voice, which I find quite the feat from the author. There were moments where the story seemed a little over the top, but whatever, it was wildly entertaining and very satisfying to read.
Scribe Publications
t is a great read. If you love historical sagas and romances, this is the book for you.
ABC RN The Bookshelf

The Eighth Life is the saga of a Georgian family – its intricate, interconnected lives, its losses, triumphs, sadnesses, and great loves, set against the sweep of Russian history across the twentieth century ... an unforgettable, rich and textured piece of literature.
Georgia Brough, Readings

The novel of the year.
Der Spiegel

No doubt Nino Haratischwili is one of the most important voices in
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A disappointment. I could not bring myself to empathize with the superficially described characters. Consequently, I did not finish the book, but the contents that I missed is easy to predict. In fact, the book can be considered as an elementary introduction to Georgian and Russian history interwoven with some convenient family history. It reminds me a bit of Middle England which is basically a book about Brexit packaged in a story.
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a must! it has been many years since I read a "real" novel in the Tolstoy way. sublime, fantastic....I enjoyed all 1275 pages......all of them. world literature. I regret having finished the book.
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
LOVE this book! This is now one of my favourites.
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was very excited about this novel for several reasons. First, it's about Georgia (the country, not the Peach State), a place I know very little about. Then, it has great reviews in Spanish and German (I can read just enough of both to figure that out), and then, it is big. And I love a big, juicy book.

"The Eighth Life (for Brilka)" lived up to the joy I felt when I found it for download on Edelweiss. Niza, the narrator, is living in Berlin when her mother calls to say that Brilka, her niece,
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, this behemoth of a book. It kept me occupied for the better part of a month, clocking in at 1.269 pages in total. It seems somehow befitting that a book that is so heavily invested in depicting the weight of history and time should be so dauntingly long. The good news is that it is most definitely a good novel. The real question, though, should be: is it worth your time?

It's a yes and a no from me. A yes, because first and foremost, it is a fairly rewarding journey to undertake.
Enrika Hens
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Epic about a Georgian family that encompasses six generations and the entire twentieth century. The author (1983, Tbilisi) weaves against the backdrop of the history of Georgia, and thus the Soviet Union, a tapestry in which various relatives, their passions, expectations, love, happiness, power hunger, loss, sadness and homesickness formes the red Thread. Despite all the cross-links, the writer keeps all these threads together and so this fascinating history remains constantly captivating from ...more
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought that the days of these huge epics were over. This novel proves that I have been wrong. The author tells the story of a Georgian family over 100 years using the political and cultural events of the 20th century as background, adding colours, stories, characters, emotions, a great language, and more. It takes courage to write a book of 1280 pages and take the risk that it might appear too pompous, that it comes across too sentimental, and that it might bore the reader. Summary: Amazing ...more
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a read, what a wonderful journey. Strongly recommended!
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was... my God! Best book I’ve read in years. A must-read for all.


3.5 - very good in places, if uneven, but that's probably to be expected from 900+ pages. More later.
Sheree | Keeping Up With The Penguins
No matter what they say about our shortened attention spans, the days of the sweeping multigenerational epic are not over. The proof is in the pudding: The Eighth Life by Nino Haratischvili recounts a crucial period in history, the rise and fall of the Soviet Union, through the lives of one exceptional family. Scribe has published the English translation for the first time in Australia, and they were kind enough to send me a copy for review.

Haratischvili has been writing in Georgian and German
Susanne Kali
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I wish there were more than five stars.

Better reviewers than me have drawn parallels to "One Hundred Years of Solitude". I would agree with those. This book, too, follows a family over 100 years. There is also definitely some magical realism. There is the eventually-ancient matriarch. And there are political currents surrounding the whole story.

But (thanks) I found this much easier to follow because characters have different names, which I know is primarily a difference in underlying culture,
Callum Macdonald
950 pages and a hundred years later, The Eighth Life is as engrossing as it is heart wrenching. We are carried along in the story of the Jashi family, and the mountainous ups and downs that come with a century of Soviet history. Years of history are entwined into a chcolate maker’s recipe that is passed down through generations of war, politics and familial tragedy; a recipe that becomes synonymous with enduring love and disastrous calamity. The Eighth Life is a marathon of completely rewarding ...more
Els Van
I was vey enthusiastic the first hundreds of pages, there's a lot to know about Georgia that has vanished into the partly shared past of the USSR. I liked that a lot, I'm very interested in that kind of stuff.
But as far as the novel aspect goes, one theme was like 'Wuthering heights' brother hates outsider who has a very strong (or amorous) bond with sister. And that repeated in each generation. That became a bit much for me, hence no 4 stars.
The book is simply too long, because of the same
Dec 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After a tough start of more than 200 (!) pages the book started to crawl under my skin and I am happy I finished it.

The start was tough due to the dry descriptions, the characters nor story came alive.

Finally once it started going, it was worth the read to get to know the history, characters and a bit of politics along the pages.

The last few pages felt a bit strained again, like the author was trying to find the perfect ending and over thought the phrases to decorate that ending.
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unputdownable, expressive book that stays with you. The family saga is skillfully interwoven with the historical developments in the country of Georgia and broader soviet times. Even the historic facts that are known have been masterfully presented by the author. Over 1000 pages of text just a delight to read and uncover diverse characters (mainly women).
Hidde Douna
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Long read, but very good family saga which gets more and more captivating near the end.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been reading this book over the past couple of days and now, having just finished all 935 pages, I’m left feeling ... I don’t have the words for it. Reading this book makes me feel like I’m living the lives of many different people as their world shakes over and over. There is love. There is tragedy. Unspeakable horrors and injustice happening one after another. And amongst all these is the curse of the most delicious and secret chocolate which, for a sliver of a moment, offers the spark of ...more
Shannon A
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once I finished this amazing family tale, the gold was worn off the cover in places, but the memories that made for a story told well will remained with me.
I felt part of this family as I traveled with them through time and history; as they shared with me all the threads of their woven carpet, generations old.
This book has everything, except that hot chocolate recipe written out to ease my book hangover.

I loved this amazing book.
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Nino Haratischwili (* 1983 in Tiflis) ist eine aus Georgien stammende Theaterregisseurin, Dramatikerin und Romanautorin.
Von 1998 bis 2003 leitete Nino Haratischwili die freie, zweisprachige deutsch-georgische Theatertruppe „Fliedertheater“, die mehrere Auftritte und Gastspiele in Georgien und Deutschland hatte. Von 2000 bis 2003 studierte sie Filmregie an der staatlichen Schule für Film und
“En ik vind het leven veel te kort en veel te mooi om het niet echt in de ogen te zien, het niet echt aan te gaan, het niet echt te leven.” 4 likes
“Zou je niet twee, drie, vier, zelfs talloze malen op de wereld moeten komen om aan je wensen te kunnen voldoen? Aan de mogelijkheden van deze wereld?” 3 likes
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