- Taschenbuch: 265 Seiten
- Verlag: Haus Publishing Ltd. (14. Februar 2013)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1908323132
- ISBN-13: 978-1908323132
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,7 x 2,3 x 20,3 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 2 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 223.926 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Léon & Louise (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 14. Februar 2013
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'A beautiful love story.' 'It's a great love story told with great humour... along the lines of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Atonement and The Postmistress.' 'Swiss author Capus is an apt storyteller... On its surface, this is a story about enduring love. But it is also about the way that power can be abused... and the daily sacrifices people make to preserve what they hold most dear.' 'Capus' leads are riveting, credible creations -- he sensible and correct, she feisty and headstrong. We root for them, especially when war takes over and threatens to sunder them for good... This love-conquers-all tale could easily have been trite and saccharine, but instead Capus' fusion of gripping drama and believable characters renders Leon and Louise both powerful and poignant.' '[G]em of a novel...' '[W]insome bonbon of a novel in which "The End" feels like an unexpected and unfairly realistic awakening.' 'A perfectly plotted love story, which never becomes over saccharine.'
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Alex Capus is a French-Swiss novelist who writes in German. His works of fiction and non-fiction that have been translated into English include Sailing by Starlight (2008), A Matter of Time (2009), Leon and Louise (2012) and Skidoo (2014).
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I wouldn't describe "Leon & Louis" as a beach read like, say "Bridges of Madison Country," to which it could be favorably compared, because I think it's more provocative and more artfully written than that usually implies. "Leon & Louise" offers and demands more. Yes, it's a story of the love that endures between Leon and Louise, but it's also about the love between Leon and his wife Yvonne. In addition to the love theme, there's an exploration of loyalty and honor in a marriage and in an extra-marital relationship as well as on the job and in a city (Paris) occupied (by the Nazis in World War II). It's about family in the universal sense but depicts one with unique characteristics. (I love the Le Galls!) It's about the vicissitudes of marriage As if that's not enough, it relates to the friendships we have with people we see only in passing like the concierge and the street beggar we get to know and care about as Leon does, and we also benefit from his awareness of the humanity involved in every exchange with these people we sometimes finally get to know. The book also poses some very compelling questions: How does our romantic past affect our present reality? Do some star-crossed lovers benefit from their frustration and all they imagine might have been? Should a wife encourage her husband to find the woman he once loved and lost? And how about the very broad but essential question(s): What sustains love and what matters in our lives?
These are all questions Alex Capus raises in a very artful way. But here is one question specific to "Leon & Louise" that I'm still wondering about: Why did Louise remain a stranger to Leon's family--even when loyalty to his wife would not have been compromised? The questions a reader continues to consider show the power of this book.
An additional comment, directed at Audible.com: Please let us know who the translators are when you describe the book online and when the book is recorded (as I hope this one will be). Every recording should begin with the title of the book, the author, the translator (if it's not in the language of the original), and the reader. Why is this so often omitted. I've compared translations, so I know translators make an enormous contribution!
The story returns to Leon's first glances of Louise at the age of 17. They meet during World War I during a lull in fighting in the area of France where they live. The war comes to bear on them. The peace helps them to find each other briefly. The new war contains pieces of contact. Each of them always knows the other one is the soul mate, the one person that resonates with each other. WWII in fact takes Leon as prisoner in a sense. He is forced to work in clerical support for the Nazis, and his only rebellions are caught.
Capus paints a vivid picture of the flat skulled man who refuses to fall into society as another member, but ends up doing it anyway. He has little tics and tends to pick up junk, like all the men in his family, and tinkers to set things right. He loves the sea. And we learn the little he knows about Louise. We know her smile, her strengths, her quickness. But by and large for most of the book, she is a mystery. The plot is one of small people caught in large blood lusts in a country which suffers the soaking of warfare over and over. The book draws close the simple banality of evil as it soaks through a people. At first the Nazis are a quiet presence. But things change. Yes we learn that evil banality too. This is a worthwhile book to explore and to read. It will set you to thinking as well, and those thoughts are needed in the world.
This is a good read for a rainy weekend and would probably lead to some interesting book club discussions.