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    Mercedes-Benz (Paperback) By (author) Pawel Huelle, Translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones


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    DescriptionIn the Polish city of Gdansk, our narrator Pawel tells of the driving lessons he took in the early 1990s, shortly after the end of communism. As he struggled with the tiny Fiat's gearbox, causing chaos while stalled at a crossroads, Pawel entertained his instructor - the lovely Miss Ciwle - with stories of his grandparents and parents lives. Through these tender stories we hear of one family's obsession with classic cars - in particular Mercedes-Benz - the outings, the races, the crashes and the inevitable repairs. Based on fact and illustrated with personal photographs, these tales contrast the golden era of Poland's pre-war independence with the dismal communist years, and with the uncertain new chapter in the country's history that had only just begun when Pawel was learning to drive. With elegant brilliance, Huelle creates a touching portrait of three generations amid life-changing historical events.

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  • Full bibliographic data for Mercedes-Benz

    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Pawel Huelle, Translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 160
    Width: 124 mm
    Height: 170 mm
    Thickness: 18 mm
    Weight: 159 g
    ISBN 13: 9781852428693
    ISBN 10: 1852428694

    BIC E4L: GEN
    B&T Merchandise Category: GEN
    BIC subject category V2: FA
    B&T General Subject: 360
    B&T Book Type: FI
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T18.3
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 03
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 01
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 21110
    Ingram Subject Code: FC
    Libri: I-FC
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 74
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 06, 30
    DC22: 891.85373
    BISAC V2.8: FIC000000
    DC22: 891.8537
    BISAC V2.8: FIC019000
    LC subject heading:
    LC classification: PG7167.U86 M4713 2005
    LC subject heading: ,
    Illustrations note
    10 b&w photos
    Profile Books Ltd
    Imprint name
    Serpent's Tail
    Publication date
    01 February 2006
    Publication City/Country
    Author Information
    Pawel Huelle was born in 1957. The author of Who Was David Weiser?, Huelle is a novelist, playwright and journalist who has lived most of his life in Gdansk. His latest novel Castorp was published in Poland in 2004.
    Review quote
    "'Pawel Huelle is one of the most well known Polish writers. In this new book his writing is at least as well oiled as a Mercedes-Benz 170 ought to be, full of stories and reads like a song' TAZ; 'Strictly enclosed by cars and roads, this city-road-movie explores the history of a whole family and era. Wonderful. As Brecht said, the simplest things are the most difficult to create' Bookmarket; 'Highly recommended. It's truly wonderful what this writer from Gdansk has managed to fit into such a tiny car' Focus"
    Review text
    Playful postmodernism Central European-style-entertainment for a decidedly select demographic: automobile aficionados desperate for the inside skinny on Poland's recent past. Pawel knows what he likes: talking and driving, driving and talking. And that's about it for the feckless narrator of this brief ramble of a tale. Namesake of rising literary light and former Solidarity press officer Huelle (Moving House Stories, 1995, etc.), Pawel is a motor-mouth Mercedes maniac fixated on how that spiffy car factors in his family's legend. Himself a downscale prole in the early '90s, he's a student driver tooling around Gdansk in a tiny Fiat. In the midst of learning turn-signaling and parallel parking, he reminisces relentlessly about his dad and granddad. Talking the ear off his driving instructor, Miss Ciwle, a tomboy hottie, he then chronicles their conversations to send to his idol, Czech surrealist short-story writer Bohumil Hrabal. His yarns are decent-enough accounts of everyday people caught in the web of history-his grandfather weathering mustard-gas attacks as a gunner in the Royal Imperial Austro-Hungarian Army, his engineer father finding solace by tinkering with a decrepit Mercedes during the grim height of the hammer-and-sickle years. What's better are his off-the-cuff chats with Miss Ciwle's colleague, a martinet Pawel nicknames "Instructor Uglymug." Wheeling through crosstown traffic, he confides in Uglymug comically dreary stories of his time in military service, "where Major Bushy-Tache educated us about the disastrous effects of long hair on national security, Lieutenant Gewgaw responded to a nuclear attack, and Colonel Pitchfork cast light on the imponderabilia of Lenin's and Brezhnev's doctrines." Colorful setting and trenchant social commentary, but a cul-de-sac plot. (Kirkus Reviews)