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The Valley of Unknowing

The Valley of Unknowing In the twilight years of Communist East Germany Bruno Krug a womanising People s Champion of Art and Culture who once penned a world famous novel falls for Theresa Aden a music student from the We

  • Title: The Valley of Unknowing
  • Author: Philip Sington
  • ISBN: 9780099535829
  • Page: 435
  • Format: Paperback
  • In the twilight years of Communist East Germany, Bruno Krug, a womanising People s Champion of Art and Culture who once penned a world famous novel, falls for Theresa Aden, a music student from the West But Theresa has also caught the eye of a cocky young scriptwriter who delights in satirising Bruno s recent, tamer offerings.Asked to appraise a mysterious manuscriIn the twilight years of Communist East Germany, Bruno Krug, a womanising People s Champion of Art and Culture who once penned a world famous novel, falls for Theresa Aden, a music student from the West But Theresa has also caught the eye of a cocky young scriptwriter who delights in satirising Bruno s recent, tamer offerings.Asked to appraise a mysterious manuscript, Bruno is disconcerted to find that the author is none other than his rival Worse than that the book is good very good but also subtly subversive If his pursuit of Theresa is to end in triumph, Bruno decides he must employ a small deception However, in the paranoid labyrinth of a police state, knowing the deceiver from the deceived, the betrayer from the betrayed isn t just difficult it s a matter of life and death.

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      Published :2019-01-23T04:48:15+00:00

    1 thought on “The Valley of Unknowing

    1. Oh I loved this book so much!! A beautiful gentle but powerful read, I was swept along in its current and was mesmerised by the emerging story as it was played out in its paranoia and self-doubt of an older man struggling with a young love which reflects his receding fame and success in East Germany. Highly recommended.

    2. This book was not only fascinating in its depiction of the German Democractic Republic two years before it fell, but also in the character of Bruno Krug, the writer at the centre of the story. Although Bruno's character is so flawed in many ways I never lost sympathy with him, I think because his flaws were so very human and primarily motivated by love. He does not come across as an evil man but simply a weak one and even though the prologue has already set the scene for a less than happy ending [...]

    3. A tale of literary thief, betrayal and loss mainly set in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall.I found this book very powerful / moving / complex / gripping. The central character was deeply flawed but utterly believable in his calculated, but paranoid, view of the world. The storyline was not only full of twists and turns, but also contained all the humdrum elements that make up life. I particularly enjoyed the central character’s (who was a writer) view of the creative process and [...]

    4. The Valley of Unknowing is the sort of novel that once you’ve finished reading it you regret having to put it away in the bookshelf. Philip Sington has successfully combined a poignant love story with a seductive thriller. At first, the story moves slowly, but gradually the tension rises and the plot becomes complex and the pace relentless. If one reads carefully, the clues to this thriller are salted throughout the book. Sington doesn’t miss a step. The story is a haunting one of a flawed m [...]

    5. Delightful mix of comedy, tragedy and suspense. Reminded me a bit of Milan Kundera (for the setting), Nabokov (for the humour) and Philip Roth (for the sexual/confessional candour). All I can say is, I had a great time and didn't want it to end.

    6. An extraordinary book, part political thriller, part love story, it narrates the life of a popular East German author during the last years of the GDR. It is both a fascinating story and philosophical tale about life under dictature and creativity, the role of the artist in such a society, the compromises made in order to survive. A wonderful read.

    7. Well I didn't expect to cry at the very last page but I did. There's humor and mystery and writerly advice and abandonment and informers -or not- and plumbing. I loved it.To rehearse imaginary conversations on paper is called literature. To do so out loud is called madness."Even if she is a spy, what's she going to learn from me? The secrets of punctuation?"Fictions unfold more naturally when accompanied by exercise. Blood flow invigorates the imagination, as well as the muscles.Characters do no [...]

    8. Full disclosure: I received this book as a giveaway. There was no promise of compensation for this review. This book is amazing. I read it in 2 days! The story takes place in Eastern Germany and it has intrigue mixed with a little love story. The character development is superb. I found myself rooting for Bruno Klugflaws and all. The plot twists and turns with a few surprises, which keeps those pages turning. I recommend this book highly!

    9. Really enjoyed this book. It's a gentle, subtle read - unsensational but compelling. I kept turning then pages to see how it was all going to turn out. The author uses language beautifully and the story has been informed by his wife's memories of actually living in the GDR before the Berlin Wall came down. Definitely worth reading.

    10. Convincing portrait of the grim and stultifying atmosphere of Communist East Berlin. Some gorgeous writing and a compelling story.

    11. ‘Deceit was dangerous, but the truth was suicidal.’Bruno Krug is a writer in East Germany. He is principally known for his novel entitled The Orphans of Neustadt, as well as for his Factory Gate Fables, which portray the country’s working masses. The Valley of Unknowing begins with a discovery by a young journalist in Ireland. Then we are taken into a manuscript produced by Krug, which is now in the hands of this journalist. In this work, Krug recalls the momentous events that shaped his f [...]

    12. The quality of the descriptions about life in East Germany are really good. There is a superb section at the start of chapter 10 where the author describes the colours he associates with the east: 'I have only to close my eyes and there they are, the distinctive hues of Actually Existing Socialism: grey, brown, grey-brown, caramel brown, rust brown, brown ochre, burnt sienna, coffee beige. These were the colours of the apartment blocks and factories, offices and shops, of construction and decay [...]

    13. Read a rave review of this book in 'The Times' and wasn't disappointed. 'The Valley of Unknowing' is a pretty flawless book. A literary novel, I suppose, but not as we know it: pacey, humorous, and free from self-conscious showing off. It's a personal story, told almost exclusively from one man's point-of-view. This limited perspective is actually vital to the action, which is shaped more by what the characters do not know about each other than by what they do (hence the title). This amounts to [...]

    14. I enjoyed this book very much and would recommend it. First, I thought it was beautifully written. I was intrigued by the characters and the plot, which was developed slowly and carefully, held my interest throughout. All the while, I had no idea where it was going and I loved this aspect of it. The ending, which so often makes a book fall flat, did not disappoint me. I learned a lot about this particular time in history and found myself reflecting upon it days after I had completed it. Very dif [...]

    15. Another brilliant novel by Philip Sington. The very well-crafted story had so many interesting and unexpected twists and turns. It was a brilliant piece of story-craft and a plausible, yet not-easily-predictable, resolution.A literary mystery set at the time of the collapse of East Germany. The differing experiences and values of the East and West perspectives color the perceptions and flaws of the main players. A very engaging read.I only wish these books were easier to find here in the US and [...]

    16. What a pleasant surprise! Had no idea what to expect as I won this as a pre-release book. It's a story of Bruno Krug, a writer living in East Germany, who falls in love with a young cellist from the West. Interesting just how far someone will go for the one they love.

    17. A very interesting well written tale of love suspicion and a surptising look into life in East Germany before the wall came down. It is the best book I've read in quite a while.

    18. Touching and sad. Horrible and, at times, laced with humour. A devastating description of life under Actually Existing Socialism in the GDR and the impact of this brand of socialism distorting human relations, sapping creativity and giving birth to all-embracing paranoia and fear. A love story, a mystery and a historical x-ray. Highly recommended.

    19. Bruno Krug is an East German renowned (but unproductive now) writer who falls in love with Theresa, a music student from West Germany. A young writer who Krug does not like appears to fancy her too, before he disappears. When Krug's agent has him evaluate a manuscript, well, things become tricky. In the end Krug sends the manuscript West with Theresa to have it published under a pseudonym. Years pass, East Germany falls, Stasi files surface, Theresa seeks Krugwho is now teaching creative writing [...]

    20. This is not a wildly exciting page turner, but is gripping nevertheless. The story is set in East Germany, mostly before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Bruno Krug wrote one very well known book, and is now a "People's Champion" with all the associated privileges. His publisher gives him the manuscript of a novel, which turns out to be by a younger rival, and to be very good and, reading between the lines, somewhat subversive. During this time, he meets and falls in love with an Austrian girl who i [...]

    21. I really enjoyed the company of Bruno Krug. There are few things more attractive than a sense of humour, and Krug's slightly sardonic, self-deprecating wit certainly appealed to me. Then there's the inner core of sadness - the orphan past! - that isn't unattractive either. Of course, the man has his flaws, but at least he is candid about them, and I couldn't help thinking: if I were in his place, living in a police state, would I have been so very much braver, more honest or less scheming? Proba [...]

    22. A definite treat: great story, top notch writing. Very sad in the end, but surprisingly funny along the way. 4.5 stars.

    23. An engaging book, great use of the East German setting, an interesting exploration of the writer and his/her ego (what, me? naaah), and of the dangers of professional jealousy. The only reason I didn't give this 5 stars was because of the author's frequent habit of giving readers the head's-up just before something was about to happen, as a way of raising tension. As if he didn't trust his story, which he should have, because it was working. He didn't need those little moments of, "It was the la [...]

    24. Amazing book. 1. My favourite setting (post WWII)2. Greta plot & engaging story3. STIRS EMOTIONS.Found the book by chance, and could not be happier.

    25. A really good read - a chilling, horrifying, fascinating look at life in East Germany. Terrific story! The audiobook was excellent, however narrator needs to learn the pronunciation of "die" in German. Geez!

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