Part political thriller, part meditation on the nature of desire and betrayal, Seven Lies tells the story of Stefan Vogel, a young East German, whose yearnings for love, glory, and freedom express themselves in a lifelong fantasy of going to America By a series of increasingly dangerous maneuvers, he makes this fantasy come true, his past seemingly locked behind the BerliPart political thriller, part meditation on the nature of desire and betrayal, Seven Lies tells the story of Stefan Vogel, a young East German, whose yearnings for love, glory, and freedom express themselves in a lifelong fantasy of going to America By a series of increasingly dangerous maneuvers, he makes this fantasy come true, his past seemingly locked behind the Berlin Wall and a new life of unbounded bliss ahead of him But then his world begins to fall apart.
Seven Lies Part political thriller part meditation on the nature of desire and betrayal Seven Lies tells the story of Stefan Vogel a young East German whose yearnings for love glory and freedom express the
I found this to be a disappointing read, all in all Lasdun writes beautifully, but on occasion he has too fine a temperament to sustain the reader s interest for anything longer than a long short story But in my opinion, a novel requires than just endless psychological reflection it needs at some point the drama of an intensely active life The novel opens with the narrator having a glass of wine thrown in his face at a cocktail party in New York in 2003 or so The novel is about why this happene [...]
A short, uncomfortable novel that relates the story of Stefan Vogel, who left East Germany with his wife in 1986 to go live in the United States The story starts in 2003 or so, then goes back to his childhood up to the time leading up to his departure, describing the circumstances that led up to it The characters aren t very likeable, not even in a love to hate way throughout I just felt a kind of contemptuous pity They are all, unfortunately, the products of living under an oppressive regime St [...]
Another unreliable narrator but this time one who admits his lies but then how do we know these aren t lies as well Dissident poet in East Germany who never wrote or read anything.
Gosh, James Lasdun is such a good writer.
Stefan Vogel, the main character in Lasdun s novel, is a vaguely likeable character who drifts through life, getting himself into alarming difficulty through no apparent effort of his own In fact, when something bad befalls him, he dismisses it even as he watches it happen, as something unavoidable because, in a sense, it has already occurred.In this fashion he manages to become a poet, or at least a sham poet, to drift into the Bohemian scene in the old East Berlin, fall in love with someone wh [...]
Seven Lies is not the easiest book to read While many I m sure, myself occasionally included, will trip from time to time over the vocabulary used to write this book I find what makes the book hardest to read it the attitude of the main character whose perspective the story is told from In parts of this book he seems to be just alive not diminishing not improving not happy nor sad just there and in his period of just existing I find myself easily distracted still reading but off in my head somew [...]
Though the cover blurb about knuckle whitening tension of a thriller is overblown, Lasdun does confirm a chilling insight repressive regimes often succeed by recruiting their own citizens to do their dirty work for them This was especially true in the former East Germany Instead of crafting startling plot twists the narrator s lie is fairly predictable , Lasdun focuses on portraying the pervasive corruption of a society in which even those on the lowest levels have the power to withhold or grant [...]
I was living in Munich when the old Stasi East German secret police files were opened It was a wrenching experience for many, and fought against for many years People went and looked at their files and discovered which of their friends and even family members had informed on them Many others didn t want to know, still others watched their lives collapse as it was revealed that they d been Stasi informers The numbers were staggering and it seemed as if half of the DDR had been carefully watching [...]
Not in a horror flick gone wild kind of way, rather in a chilling, squicky fashion The story is like a particularly horrible, yet riveting car crash Something verging on obscene, yet radiating a twisted human essence.There s East Germany post Stalin With all it s recursive layers of surveillance.There s the protagonist, Stefan Vogel So explanatory So lacking intent So very quick to do the unthinkable for reasons warped ly almost understandable.There s Stefan s brother and father and mother Each [...]
Seven Lies is a short novel about how weakness of character can result in immorality perhaps has a result of repression and lack of aspiration, but perhaps also simply as a convenience It is this ethical quagmire that is the foundation for the novel.The subject is Stefan Vogel, an East German growing up in the GDR, then later moving to the USA Stefan s story begins in childhood with his family s compromised situation and extends many years after he moves to the USA, and his past eventually catch [...]
I enjoyed this one Second book I ve read on my kindle The primary character is a compromised individual who carries himself along based on an early bit of mischief and deception It catches up to him, or does it, and what are the consequences, if any.Some very good writing, a few digressions, recommended By the author of the recent book about being stalked, Give Me Everything You Have a real event in the life of the author, which is also worth reading, plenty of diversions as well, but mostly lit [...]
The milk of human kindness may not have flowed in our household, but the milk of judicious approval for prowess in sanctioned fields could occasionally be made to trickle 55 56 The rows of people before me resembled nothing so much as the teeth of a gaping shark, ready to tear me apart I wanted to flee from it, but it seems I also wanted to put my head in its mouth 56 57 The strange compulsion to note these things down About as useful as a corpse growing fingernails 171 she said, grinning at a p [...]
I thought this book was very well written and enjoyed the story as well Although I can see how some would characterize the story as depressing, I really didn t find it that From the beginning I understood and accepted the fact that, no matter what the action, it had already happened and so, like the protagonist, my reaction was not emotional but I was allowed to enjoy the prose I also thought it painted a realistic not that I know portrait of life and paranoia in East Germany.
Lasdun is king of really tense, tight potboilers, this one involving the East German secret police, beatnik writers, and decisions you might want to take back It begins with a glass of wine thrown in the protagonist s face at some fancy gallery opening and works its way backward It s not a spy thriller it s a character study That seems to have disappointed some reviewers, but Lasdun s writing is always exquisite.
A really boring book It was okay at the beginning, but I did not understand the ending at all Its as though a part of the book was missing and it wasn t The premise of the story was great because it sounded A LOT like my own personal life However it turned to God knows a historical aspect and such and I got lost half way through the book already I regretted getting this book.
I could not like this book at all even though I finished it The main character has got to be the most apathetic character I ve ever read in a book I didn t see the point why anybody would write story about somebody who never really makes his own decisions but simply roll with whatever s easiest I gave it away as soon as I finished it.
An interesting story about life in East Germany, and the fact that everyone was informing on everyone else I liked it because the story was just the story The book did not try to be anything or less than it was.
Fantastic Beautifully written as befits a genuine poet unlike the protagonist I think this has great depth and power A thought provoking read about deception, whether physical, political, psychological, philosophical
A fascinating novel about an East German poet who builds his reputation on plagiarism and other lies I m struggling to remember the details now, but the overall strength and vast interior landscape of the book impressed me.
Great story with an unlikeable protagonist James Lasdun manages to get into the psyche of his main character, writing in first person and somehow getting readers to relate to a character that is, by most any account, pathetic and despicable.
This is an excellent well written smart story.
An excellent East Germany story, everyone falling under the Stasi s control.
odd yet intersting
Stefan grows up in East Germany Is a socialist He comes to America with Igne I didn t understand a lot of it.
Don t really like it But his another book The Horned Man is kind of good one.
ARC BookExpo 2005
I am only reading this because hasn t shipped my book yet I didn t want to start something I couldn t put down far a real downer Ann gave this book to me at the book swap.