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Eine exklusive Liebe

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  848 ratings  ·  142 reviews
Die Geschichte eines gemeinsamen Selbstmordes aus Liebe

Zwei Menschen, die miteinander alt geworden sind, beschließen, sich das Leben zu nehmen. Er ist schwer krank, sie will nicht ohne ihn sein. An einem Sonntag im Herbst 1991 setzen sie ihren Plan in die Tat um. Sie bringen den Hund weg, räumen die Wohnung auf, machen die Rosen winterfest, dann sind sie bereit
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Paperback, 185 pages
Published 2011 by btb (first published January 1st 2009)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  848 ratings  ·  142 reviews


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Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters
UPDATE: Three years later! I must have been a more ruthless with my ratings years ago.
I'm changing my 3 stars to 5 stars.

NEW REVIEW: This is **DEEPLY AFFECTING** ....(even years later!)
Its a memoir -written by the granddaughter. The reader immediately knows the ending --but not the path that leads them there.
Within the pages the granddaughter creates a snapshot image-with dialogue- between her grandparents- on the morning they took their lives together in their Denmark apt. after l
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Cassandra
Mar 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have had this book in my possession for about a month now, if not a little longer. I've been reading it all that time, off and on. All 185 pages of it.

It might seem odd that it took so long for me to read such a short book, but it was a difficult one to read. I was hesitant to write about it, but I decided to go ahead. Reading the book helped me to exorcise a few demons. Perhaps writing about it will let me let go of a few more.

The experience of reading Johanna Adorjan'
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Rebecca
The author’s grandparents, Hungarian Holocaust survivors who moved to Denmark as refugees, committed suicide together on October 13, 1991. Her grandfather, an orthopedic surgeon who had been in an Austrian concentration camp, was terminally ill and his wife was determined not to live a day without him. This short, elegant memoir alternates Adorján’s imagined reconstruction of her grandparents’ last day with an account of their life together, drawn from family memories and interviews with those w ...more
Lisa
Aug 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: c21st, 10review, germany
This is one of the most poignant books I’ve ever read, and it’s intensely thought-provoking. It’s also another example of Text Publishing having the courage to generate debate about contentious issues…

An Exclusive Love is a memoir of the author’s grandparents, Hungarian Jews who took their own lives in Copenhagen in 1991. He was 82, and dying; she was only 71, and in good health. Together they had survived the horrors of the Holocaust, and escaped Budapest during the 1956 uprising ag
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Tawnya
Apr 01, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was expecting so much more from this book. I feel like the author strung me along, hoping to see even a glimpse of her grandparents' lives, but was very disappointed. All of her interviews revealed little, her insights were generic, and I wasn't interested at all in her personal story that she tried to interweave with her grandparents' lives. I think the choice her grandparents' made was solid. The grandfather was terminal and his wife chose to end her life with him. They were in their late 80 ...more
Rick
Jul 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
In October of 1991, an elderly couple, one healthy and the other not, deliberately and carefully took their own lives in Denmark. They were aided by an American book called Final Exit. They took their dog to a neighbor’s, saying they were going away for the weekend, tidied the house, settled accounts, and left small gifts for family members. Hungarian Jews, the couple had survived the Holocaust—Istvan was imprisoned in concentration camps but Vera managed to evade arrest. Later they had to manag ...more
Heidi
Jun 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How can a first line like this – “On 13 October 1991 my grandparents killed themselves” – do other than compel you to go on.

Like many of us, Adorjan comes late to her curiosity about her grandparents’ lives. Years after their joint suicide, she serves as both sleuth and devoted granddaughter as she interviews family and ninety-something friends, some reluctant, others cooperative, and seamlessly joins fact with imagination to piece together a riveting account of their mysterious lives and extra
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Emily Goenner
Feb 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I understand the title but also think it makes the book appear to be a romance novel, which it is in the sense it’s about love, but not in the sense of Romance Novel. It’s a memoir by the granddaughter of a couple who committed suicide together when the husband got fatally ill. The couple—Pista and Vera-- married just before WWII and were Jewish. She, writer/granddaughter, tells their story through her story of interviews with people who knew them and her memories of them; she interweaves that w ...more
Vince
May 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Johanna Adorján’s paternal grandparents, Hungarian Jews who survived the Holocaust and fled Budapest during the uprising in 1956, commit suicide in 1991. An Exclusive Love traces their lives together, as well as recreates their final days.

The book is both a testament to their love and the record of a grieving family member attempting to make peace with their decision. Adorján has clear affection for her grandparents, and even appears to understand their decision to end their lives together. A
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Moushine Zahr
This is the first novel I've read from Dannish author Johanna Adorjan. This book was written about 16 years after the death by suicide of the author's grandparents. Part of the novel is a detailed step by step fiction story of how the author's grandparents lived their last day from the moment they woke up til the moment they slept for ever at night. A second part is a biography based on interviews of the grandparents from their native country in Hungary starting in the 1930's until their exile t ...more
Dindy
Oct 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An Exclusive Love by Johanna Adorján

“On 13 October 1991 my grandparents killed themselves,” the first sentence of An Exclusive Love, a memoir by Johanna Adorján grabs the reader and does not let go until the end. Reported without emotion - but not without beauty - as a news reporter does best, (Adorján is a cultural journalist), the reader immediately knows the ending but not the infinitesimal details, so worth paying attention to, of the path that leads one there.

Shocking to the re
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Daisy
What an exercise in coming to terms (maybe) with the unanswered questions left behind after suicide. And what a stunning, concise story of the author's paternal grandparents' lives, of what they meant to each other, what they meant to her and to family and friends. In spare prose, it's almost a novella. I kept pretending it was fiction until somewhere she refers to her own last name and how it was altered to sound less Jewish, more Hungarian.

Adorján's writing is unsentimental even about potenti
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Glynnis Forsberg
I really enjoyed this book. I read this for my English class in college and I thought Adorjan writes really well. Instead of chapters there's moments where. The two parallel stories that she is writing really comes nicely in the end. How she ends the book was a surprising turn, but I don't think that it could have ended any better, to be honest. As I read it I began to think on whether Johanna was writing for her readers or more for herself. She brings up an interesting question when I finally f ...more
Charlotte Jones
I feel insensitive giving this book such a low rating but I think that this wasn't anything like I expected and though it is based on fact, at points it didn't seem very realistic. The main reason for this is that the majority of the book consists of Johanna speculating on what her grandparents did on their last day as they prepared to take their own lives. This should have been upsetting or moving, but I feel as though the writing style was to blame for this feeling of distance. This may have b ...more
Carola
Mar 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book a lot. well written, interesting concept. Due to my job I have talked to lots of people who have tried to commit suicide. I thought the concept of recounting their last couple of days "what would one do if one knew this was ones last day by choice" was very well done. Made me sad and laugh at times. Would definitely recommend this!
Sarah-Louise Kelly
It’s hard to truly encapsulate what made this book so special but given the topic, it is written with empathy but not with exaggeration or drama. It’s a beautiful book with, of course, a dark undertone that doesn’t just speak of the couples choice but also their lives together and how they came to make the decision that they did.

It’s about how being a survivor can change your perception of both life and death. It’s about devotion and family but more than anything else, it’s about a c
...more
Vonia
Mar 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only reason this is not rated higher is because there were parts I found uninteresting & therefore the pacing seemed to be less than ideal... I feel that the author didn't use very smooth transitions as she went from past to present... Then again, that could have to do with the language barrier and/or translator, rather than her. This is the first memoir-esque account I have read regarding someone using Final Exit to end their lives (Aside from the author himself)... Final Exit The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying by Derek Humphry

I frequently find
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Erin
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies
I was a bit disappointed in this book. I expected a lot more, and instead got what I felt was a lot of repetitive information. I was hoping, based on the way it was advertised, that there would be quite a bit about the author's grandparent's holocaust experience. Instead, this book contains interviews with friend's of her grandparent's as well as the author's own memories which all more or less say the same thing. I'm sure it was a very special book for her and her family, but I just found it a ...more
Ayelet Waldman
Really really fun book and fun writer.
Marsmannix
Feb 23, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This isn't so much a Holocaust memoir as another self-absorbed author writing about writing her story. ugh.
Kamilla
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a deeply moving book. Even though it was written with much love and adoration for the grandparents, this was such a hard read for so many reasons. It affected me to my core. It was like reading my grandparents's story, my own story to an extent, it brought forth my love for my grandparents and parents, my heritage. I felt deeply saddend when reading, had tears in my eyes throughout, especially towards the end. Even the sentiments in this memoir rang true, that all the treasured bits and pie ...more
Amanda
Johanna Adorján's grandparents committed suicide in 1991, after surviving the Holocaust, escaping from the Soviet's invasion of Hungary, and building a new life for themselves in Denmark. This book is half a (fictionalized) construction of what their last day must have been like, and half research into their lives and the author's reflections on everything.

This book affected me deeply. It feels strange to see the lives of two people neatly wrapped up in less than 200 pages, while they contained
...more
Maya Sophia
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never quite read a memoir like this, but I absolutely devoured it in one sitting. The synopsis itself is so compelling, but at its core, it's a really interesting exploration of identity: what parts of identity are confined to an individual's lived experience and what parts are shared or inherited. By the end, I kinda felt like I'd been hit upside the head by an emotional cast iron pan, but that's just a testament to how well the author unfolded both her and her grandparents' story.
Kayla Goggin
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. A spare, short little book that made me have some #thoughts about death, conditional love and co-dependence.
Zabrina Welter
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a real life love story... Romeo and Julia type of tragic love...
Zoë Danielle
An Exclusive Love: A Memoir by Johanna Adorján tells the story of her grandparents, Hungarian Jews who survived the Holocaust, escaped Budapest during the 1956 uprising against the Communist regime, and died together in a joint suicide in Copenhagen in 1991. Her grandfather was 82 and dying, while her grandmother was 71 and in perfect health, but they could not live without each other so when it became clear his time was almost over they swallowed sleeping pills and fell asleep in bed, holding h ...more
Amy
Apr 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5
This is a book that has floated around on my wishlist for a while, after seeing Leena Norms mention it in a book video. Adorjan's grandparents were survivors of the Holocaust, who also committed suicide together many years later. Part biography, with Adorjan exploring her grandparents' history, and part fiction with Adorjan wondering what the final days of her grandparents may have looked like. It's obviously not an easy read, but it's a really interesting one. The stories of their youth in A
...more
Maria
May 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If these were not real people you would be tempted to write about them as incredibly strong central characters who were everything but sharers. They lived their own private lives parallelly with those publicly visible ones till the end. However, Vera and Pišta were real people, who decided to determinate for themselves how and when they will die. You might find yourself thinking it is hard to blame them after what they went through. But in the end you think it is hard to blame anyone as you neve ...more
Julie
A poignant memoir, though more biographical in nature as Adorjan is piecing together the story of her grandparents and their suicide pact. Adorjan has a simple yet detailed writing style which helped me to clearly picture her grandparents and their home as well as the many friends and family she sought in trying to recreate their story. Though not overly sentimental in nature,a touching scene comes from a seemingly objective and sterile police report in the end. The report details the descriptio ...more
Tasha-Lynn
I received this book as an advanced reading copy and was told that it was a beautiful, heartbreaking story. And that it is. I started off thinking it was a holocaust story, but its so much more than that. The first chapter starts; "On 14 October 1991 my grandparents killed themselves", and it instantly captured my attention. From there the story jumps from present day, into past, and to the sad day of the event. Its a story of a love that suffers thru one of the worst events in history, and havi ...more
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Johanna Adorján, born in 1971 in Stockholm, studied theatre and opera directing. She has worked as an editor and freelance author for various newspapers and magazines. Since 2001 she has been an editor of the culture section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung in Berlin. She has written theatre pieces, as well as a screenplay that has been filmed by Ed Herzog. An Exclusive Love is her fi ...more
“Das tiefste Gefühl, das ich kenne, ist das Gefühl nicht dazuzugehören. Es ist das Gefühl, mit dem ich aufgewachsen bin. Es ist kein schönes Gefühl, und ich weiß auch gar nicht, woher es eigentlich kommt. Seit ich denken kann, fühle ich mich, als störte ich. Als wären alle glücklicher ohne mich, und das betrifft nicht nur meine Familie, sondern auch meine Freunde, überhaupt alle, immer. Ich fühle mich, als passe ich nicht richtig dazu. Als wären alle rund und ich eckig oder andersherum. Niemand liebt mich, man kann mich nicht lieben: Das ist meine tiefste Überzeugung, zugleich meine größte Angst, und wenn ich ihr bis ganz hinab folge, führt sie mich zu dem Gefühl, das mir vertraut ist wie kein anderes: Ich bin ganz allein.” 0 likes
“Syvin tunne, jonka tiedän, on tunne siitä, ettei kuulu joukkoon. Se on se tunne, jonka kanssa minä olen varttunut. Se ei ole mikään mukava tunne, enkä minäkään tiedä, mistä se oikeastaan tulee. Siitä saakka kun olen osannut ajatella, minusta on tuntunut siltä, että minä häiritsen. Aivan kuin kaikki olisivat onnellisempia ilman minua, eikä tämä koske vain perhettäni vaan myös ystäviäni, ylipäätään kaikkia, aina. Minusta tuntuu, kuin en oikein sopisi joukkoon. Kuin kaikki muut olisivat pyöreitä ja minä kulmikas tai toisin päin. Kukaan ei rakasta minua, minua ei voi rakastaa: olen siitä täysin vakuuttunut ja samalla pelkään sitä enemmän kuin mitään muuta, ja kun seuraan tätä ajatusta aivan loppuun saakka, se johtaa minut tunteeseen, joka on minulle tutumpi kuin mikään muu: minä olen aivan yksin.” 0 likes
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