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This quiet story of the Holocaust chronicles the lives of several Danes through the summer of 1943. It is the discontinuity of small things--the scattered inconveniences, chance meetings, glimpses of injustice, and indulgences of hope,--that haphazardly directs each individual to his fate. An hypnotic story of ordinary people caught in a silent maelstrom, ultimately driven to extraordinary feats.
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The Discontinuity of Small Things based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
The Discontinuity of Small Things is a deeply moving and beautifully written novel, one of the best I've read in a long time. A striking difference between Kevin Haworth¿s book and other Holocaust literature is the degree of realism his work brings to readers whose lives were never directly touched by the Holocaust. When I read some of the other novels, I felt so numbed and shocked that I couldn¿t believe what I ¿saw.¿ It was horrifying, but didn't seem believable. I couldn't relate to it¿not only because I'm not Jewish, but also because I've never experienced war firsthand. THE DISCONTINUITY OF SMALL THINGS, which focuses not on the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust, but on the hardships of daily life¿a preview of what was to come¿is different. What Haworth wrote seems real. This I can see happening. I can see it happening here in the U. S., too, and if it does, our experience may be much like that of the Danes during the 1940 German invasion and continuing occupation of their country. Awareness dawns slowly for Bakman. Nazi propaganda pamphlets rain down from the sky. And ¿Bakman has heard¿where he has heard he can¿t quite remember...it comes like a change of weather¿that there are places in Europe where Jews clean the streets. Dragged from their shops, scrubbing the pavement on their hands and knees. Not in Denmark, of course. These things would never happen in Denmark.¿ Carl Jensen, a fisherman in the village of Gilleleje, facing economic ruin during the occupation, feels desperate: The sea smelled rich and hungry. If that plank sprung a leak now, if the tar holding it melted or if he caught his sweater in the net and got pulled over the sea would swallow him and his body would not return to the shore. He would disappear.... The salt water lapped against the side of the boat. It called to him. It would be easy. When Jette, Carl¿s wife, can endure hardship no longer, she tells him she will leave on the eleven a.m. train [to] Copenhagen: [Carl] put down his bread and its stingy trace of butter and said simply, No. No? No. Jette looked at him and said, No, there is no eleven a.m. [to Copenhagen] or No I will not be found on that train? No, he repeated. . . . She looked around her at their tiny house, at the small bedroom where she had slept alone six nights a week for more than twenty years while Carl was fishing in the Sound. She had tried to explain to Carl that leaving for Copenhagen to visit her sister was not the same as leaving him, but this was a distinction he had trouble grasping even before trains began to explode all across Denmark. . . . I am going, she said. It is time for you either to hit me until I am unconscious or get out of the way. They stood looking at each other, each of them searching for a safe route down from the precipice of that last statement. The ¿small things¿ began to pile up: [Bakman] had never felt the war so presently as today. Each moment of the war until this day had been only a small adjustment: cold water instead of lukewarm in his shower, ersatz coffee instead of real, and milk only on occasion. A small stockpiling of incident... .