Colum McCann Thirteen Ways of Looking

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Inhaltsangabe zu „Thirteen Ways of Looking“ von Colum McCann

As it was, it was like being set down in the best of poems, carried into a cold landscape, blindfolded, turned around, unblindfolded, forced, then, to invent new ways of seeing. It is a cold day in January when J. Mendelssohn wakes in his Upper East Side apartment. Old and frail, he is entirely reliant on the help of his paid carer, and as he waits for the heating to come on, the clacking of the pipes stirs memories of the past; of his childhood in Lithuania and Dublin, of his distinguished career as a judge, and of his late wife, Eileen. Later he leaves the house to meet his son Elliot for lunch, and when Eliot departs mid-meal, Mendelssohn continues eating alone as the snow falls heavily outside. Moments after he leaves the restaurant he is brutally attacked. The detectives working on the case search through the footage of Mendelssohn's movements, captured by cameras in his home and on the street. Their work is like that of a poet: the search for a random word that, included at the right instance, will suddenly make sense of everything. Told from a multitude of perspectives, in lyrical, hypnotic prose, Thirteen Ways of Looking is a ground-breaking novella of true resonance. Accompanied by three equally powerful stories set in Afghanistan, Galway and London, this is a tribute to humanity's search for meaning and grace, from a writer at the height of his form, capable of imagining immensities even in the smallest corners of our lives.
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  • Colum McCann - Thirteen Ways of Looking

    Thirteen Ways of Looking

    miss_mesmerized

    27. October 2015 um 20:26

    A collection of very different short stories all narrating a decisive moment in the protagonist’s life. The longest and for me most impressing is “Thirteen ways of looking” where we are in the middle of a murder investigation which parallels what has happened immediately before the old man was knocked down. From different angle the detectives look at cameras and the case and dig out well-hidden secrets. “Treaty” is the emotionally most difficult one since we have the perspective of a rape victim who finds her molester and decides to confront him. Also the other two stories “What time is it now, where you are?” and “Sh’khol” have very personal, for the characters edgy stories to tell. Measured by the author’s artistic skills and his reputation, I admittedly was a bit disappointed. The shallowness I felt might be caused by the text type, short stories do not tend to go too deep. Yet I had the feeling that he could have made more out of the basic ideas behind the stories. He definitely can make a point in the emotional state the characters are in, this is very convincing, but his strength, outlining the impact of the family heritage and descent on the character’s development, does not stand out here.

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