Roads to Berlin

Roads to Berlin

4.6 3
by Cees Nooteboom

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The winner of numerous literary awards including the Anne Frank Prize and Goethe Prize, Cees Nooteboom, novelist, poet and journalist, "is a careful prose stylist of a notably philosophical bent." (J.M. Coetzee, The New York Review of Books)

In Roads to Berlin, Nooteboom's reportage, "from a 1963 Khrushchev rally in East Berlin to the tearing…  See more details below


The winner of numerous literary awards including the Anne Frank Prize and Goethe Prize, Cees Nooteboom, novelist, poet and journalist, "is a careful prose stylist of a notably philosophical bent." (J.M. Coetzee, The New York Review of Books)

In Roads to Berlin, Nooteboom's reportage, "from a 1963 Khrushchev rally in East Berlin to the tearing down of the Palast der Republik, brilliantly captures the intensity of the capital and its â??associated layers of memory,'" The Economist said. The book maps the changing landscape of post-World-War-II Germany, from the period before the fall of the Berlin Wall to the present. Written and updated over the course of several decades, an eyewitness account of the pivotal events of 1989 gives way to a perceptive appreciation of its difficult passage to reunification. Nooteboom's writings on politics, people, architecture, and culture are as digressive as they are eloquent; his innate curiosity takes him through the landscapes of Heine and Goethe, steeped in Romanticism and mythology, and to Germany's baroque cities. With an outsider's objectivity he has crafted an intimate portrait of the country to its present day.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"More than a reporter, more even than a traveler, Nooteboom is a poet. His writing is lyrical and densely textured. He is a poet of time and memory."—Colin Thubron, The New York Review of Books"

The book is cleverly written as a history and travel guide which reads like a novel, a unique, one-of-a-kind armchair travel experience you will find fascinating.... A most interesting, informative read that will delight any history or travel buff."—"

Nooteboom understands well the German national character."—Die Zeit"

Nooteboom is one of the greatest modern novelists."—A.S. Byatt"

To read Nooteboom is to be introduced to a delicious European sensibility: cultured, erudite, lyrical, searching for answers."—The Guardian"

It is a wonderful voyage of self-discovery, and a psychological exploration of a nation in turmoil."—Quentin Peel, The Financial Times"

An exciting account... Nooteboom wears his erudition lightly, and weaves personal anecdote into memorable reportage."—Ian Thomson, The Sunday Telegraph"

A uniquely meditative and poetic study of Germany."—Colin Thubron, The Guardian. ("The Observer's books of the year")"

A fascinating personal chronicle."—Der Tagesspiegel


[Nooteboom] brilliantly captures the intensity of the capital and its associated layers of memory.... He writes in a voice that blends the acuity of Martha Gellhorn with the meditative grace of W.G. Sebald."—The Economist"

[A] deeply philosophical blend of reportage, history, and memoir, capturing the psyche of a people living in the shadow of a wall and of their own past."—The New Yorker"

[Roads to Berlin is] "written with the accuracy of a historian and the imagination of a poet. Beautifully translated, too."—Brandon Ronshaw, The Independent

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Meet the Author

Cees Nooteboom was born in The Hague in 1933, and now lives in Amsterdam and on the island of Minorca. He is a poet, a novelist, and a travel writer whose books include Rituals (1983), The Following Story (1994), Roads to Santiago (1997) and All Souls' Day (2001) and The Foxes Come at Night (2011).

Laura Watkinson translates from Dutch, Italian and German. She lives in Amsterdam and in 2008 founded the Dutch chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

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Roads to Berlin 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
O.O Luna!!!! Poor Neon Boom! Will she die?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OMG! you should write morw. I will rank it in stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Princess Astrinima was ready to have a baby. It would be a healthy little mare. She was prepared, and it was happening. <br> When it did happen, she was a little white alicorn with big purple eyes and a multicolored mane. She was fascinated by the day and took after it like a little sunbeam. <br> Four years later, the next filly came. She was a tiny navy blue alicorn with big blue eyes and a pale blue mane. This filly took after the night with great perserverance, bravery, not-so-bravery, and strength. <br> Astrinima thought the third filly was as much of a wreck as two trains on the same track. With a stampede of buffalo ramming at the sides. She was a completely black alicorn with deep red eyes and a red mane. She too took after the night, but what she seemed to focus on were the stars. She loved the supernovas and would curl into a ball in the daylight. <p> As Celestia was nearing 20 years old, things started happening to Neon Boom. Her eyes began to hurt. She started skipping breakfast. She would have terrible stomach cramps. Her horn began to feel as if it were burning. She would shoot random spells that not even Star Swirl the Bearded would have known. Her head ached terribly. She would snap at ponies, despite how hard she tried to be nice. Worst of all, she would always have a feeling she would die too early. She would have visions of herself dying of the Feather Flu. She would have visions of herself being eaten by Timberwolves. She would mutter strange words about her own death. <br> Astrinima thought she was having a magic surge. Planet Swirl thought she was going through a phase. Celestia thought it was just the flu. And Luna totally freaked out. What if it was that she was possessed? What if she was dying? What if she had an unknown disease? But that had only begun. <br> Neon Boom's condition soon became worse. She would have stabbing pains when she moved. Her vision was blurred. She couldn't breathe. She became a bully. She would throw up every thing she swallowed. Every bit of saliva that trickled down her throat came back up as a pool of stomach acid. It hurt to have even the lightest puff of cloud barely even touch her. She couldn't control herself anymore. <br> One day came the paralysis. She would throw up and be unable to even clutch her stomach gingerly. Each bit of vomit on the floor would trickle into the salty stream pouring from her sister's room. Luna was in just as bad a condition. Neon Boom was unbearably sick, Luna was unbearably depressed. <p> Hope you liked it! Rate and review! ~Vynx