Kaltenburg

Kaltenburg

3.43 (90 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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Description

"Challenging, beautifully written "--"Library Journal"
Hailed by "The New Yorker" as one of the best young novelists and recipient of Germany's most prestigious literary awards, Marcel Beyer returns with a brilliantly wrought novel that brings to life both an individual and a whole world: the zoologist Ludwig Kaltenburg, loosely based on Nobel Prize-winner Konrad Lorenz, and his institute for research into animal behavior.
Hermann Funk first meets Kaltenburg when still a child in Posen in the 1930s. Hermann's father, a botanist, and Kaltenburg are close friends, but a rift occurs. In 1945, fleeing the war, the Funks perish in the Dresden bombing, and Hermann finds his way to Kaltenburg's newly established institute. He becomes Kaltenburg's protege, embracing the Institute's unconventional methods. Yet parts of Kaltenburg's past life remain unclear. Was he a member of the Nazi Party? Does he believe his discoveries about aggression in animals also apply to humans? Why has he erased the years in Posen from his official biography?
Through layers of memory and experience Hermann struggles to reconcile affection and doubt, to make sense of his childhood, even as he meets a woman with family secrets of her own.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 30.48mm | 566.99g
  • HOUGHTON MIFFLIN
  • Boston, MA, United States
  • English
  • 0151013977
  • 9780151013975
  • 2,093,350

Review quote

"This mesmerizing foray into postwar Germany by celebrated author Beyer is both a singularly researched work of historical fiction (with an ornithological bent), and a postmodern examination of the nature of memory.... Beyer paints an engrossing and terrifying picture of Dresden during the warand later under the Communist yoke. Yet it is Beyer's complex interpolation of daily memories--sometimes fused or distorted in a Proustian vein--complete with highly detailed ornithological observations that give this work its exquisite flavor."
--"Publishers Weekly, " starred "Challenging, beautifully written metafiction--to some extent based on the life of Nobel Prize winner Konrad Lorenz--examines the workings of science and the nature of academic competition...Beyer ranges over the decades from Nazism to communism to a reunited Germany to reveal our ability both to remember and to recast unpleasant memories in a more favorable light, and to show what people must hide in order to survive."
--"Library Journal"
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Flap copy

"Challenging, beautifully written "--"Library Journal"
Hailed by "The New Yorker" as one of the best young novelists and recipient of Germany's most prestigious literary awards, Marcel Beyer returns with a brilliantly wrought novel that brings to life both an individual and a whole world: the zoologist Ludwig Kaltenburg, loosely based on Nobel Prize-winner Konrad Lorenz, and his institute for research into animal behavior.
Hermann Funk first meets Kaltenburg when still a child in Posen in the 1930s. Hermann's father, a botanist, and Kaltenburg are close friends, but a rift occurs. In 1945, fleeing the war, the Funks perish in the Dresden bombing, and Hermann finds his way to Kaltenburg's newly established institute. He becomes Kaltenburg's protege, embracing the Institute's unconventional methods. Yet parts of Kaltenburg's past life remain unclear. Was he a member of the Nazi Party? Does he believe his discoveries about aggression in animals also apply to humans? Why has he erased the years in Posen from his official biography?
Through layers of memory and experience Hermann struggles to reconcile affection and doubt, to make sense of his childhood, even as he meets a woman with family secrets of her own.
show more

Back cover copy

Praise for "Kaltenburg"
""Kaltenburg," a book as fine-boned as the birds that flock its pages, is a meditation not only on the observation of nature but also on the nature of observation, and the varieties and limits of memory." --"Times Literary Supplement" (UK)
"A masterly recollection of modern history." --"Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung " Praise for "Spies"
"This psychological thriller develops like a collection of dark clouds, merging and overlapping . . . Haunting." --Ron Charles, "Washington Post Book World"
"Rich in mysteries, including that of the narrator's own reliability." --"New York Times Book Review" Praise for "The Karnau Tapes"
"The multiple levels and sustained intensity of "The Karnau Tapes" make for an extraordinarily resonant achievement." --"Boston Globe"
"Chilling . . . Remarkable . . . A deeply perturbing novel about blind spots and the evil that fills them. A talented and ambitious young writer." --"New York Times"
"Beyer explores Nazi evil in terms not merely of its monsters' banality but of their amiability . . . He sifts the ground and shapes it to startling effect." --Richard Eder, "Los Angeles Times"
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Rating details

90 ratings
3.43 out of 5 stars
5 16% (14)
4 32% (29)
3 34% (31)
2 16% (14)
1 2% (2)
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