Bury the Dead

Bury the Dead

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A novel set in Berlin, about a girl high-jumper and her family, whose great-uncle, long believed to be dead, suddenly turns up at the family home.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 360 pages
  • 140 x 220mm | 550g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • forms transparencies
  • 0192714937
  • 9780192714930

Review Text

Setting itself up as a thriller, this begins with a tantalizing prologue a la Boys of Brazil, then proceeds at a very different pace in its description of a month in the life of the Nordern family, who live in today's East Berlin. Erika Nordern spends a great deal of time readying for an important girls' junior high-jump competition. A thoughtful child, she is still young enough to swallow the party line that is hammered into her at home and school, but slowly gaining the maturity to question the rights and wrongs of any political system, of any accepted wisdom. Her loving family (grandmother Omi, parents, brother Paul) is portrayed with satisfying depth. Into their lives comes Great-uncle Karl, who had been believed dead; slowly, the ominous presence of a watchful police state becomes apparent. With deceptive languor, the life of the family is relayed; only after an excruciatingly taut account of Erika's efforts at the competition does the novel deliver the goods promised in the prologue. One hopes that teen-age readers will not abandon the story midway while waiting for the tension to heighten. Showing ordinary people caught in a web of deceit and betrayal, Carter raises important questions about the effects of the defeat of Germany on its political life to this day, and he reminds us of the evanescence of the liberty which the West takes so easily for granted. His book is, finally, gripping. (Kirkus Reviews)
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