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Stones from the River School & Library Binding – Mar 1 1997


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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • School & Library Binding: 525 pages
  • Publisher: Turtleback Books: A Division of Sanval; New title edition (March 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0613034090
  • ISBN-13: 978-0613034098
  • Product Dimensions: 20.7 x 13.9 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 644 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (278 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,847,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Absolutely remarkable, can't recommend it highly enough. Particularly of interest for those who observe and monitor the insidious nature of gradual and passive compliance with evil.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
book was very interesting - detailed a lot of unknow history and unknown facts to me - a book I would recommend to friends
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By M. Alther on June 26 2004
Format: Paperback
This book made me a fan of Ursula Heggi. What a great writer with a gift for human interest. Beginning in pre-Nazi Germany, this story ends after the war and focuses on the conception, chidlhood, adolescence, and adulthood of a female dwarf and the keeper of the pay library. She knows just about everyone in her small town, and all the drama, triumphs and tragedies in their lives are detailed along with her own. Wonderful book!
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Format: Paperback
This is a stunning book...not an easy book, or a simple book, but stunning. Hegi's portrait of Trudi Montag is beautifully drawn. She is a fully realized character, with traits that we admire but with a hard edge of her own. Her perspective is that of an outsider, and as such any of us who ever felt on the outside of things can easily relate to her.
The real main character of her book is the town that she lives in. Peopled with quirky characters, the edge in this book sneaks up on you. People who seem odd but harmless as the book begins become terrifying supporters of the Nazi regime. And those who seem odd but vaguely menacing, end up showing true heroism. Nothing is ever quite what it seems.
Hegi's prose is rich and evocative. She goes for poetry over accuracy, hence her translation of kindreich as "child-rich" rather than as fertile. The equation of fertility with riches further heightens our sense of Trudi as an outsider.
I must admit that the idea that Trudi, a dwarf, could actually survive the Third Reich bothered me just a bit. I ended up accepting it as a fictional image. Truth in fiction does not always have to mirror actual truth. Sometimes poetic truth can be stronger.
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By "siammuse" on July 12 2002
Format: Paperback
The first time I read "Stones From the River" was with my book club. I believe it was the only book we all categorized equally with "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "The Grapes of Wrath"
Yes, it was that good.
The second time I read it was for the pure pleasure of Hegi's words. Her powerful voice is translated through Trudi Montog, the main character. A German girl whom happens to be a dwarf (Zwerg) A misfit. Who hangs from doorframes until her fingers are numb. "Grow, grow!" she prays to an ineffective God...why else would he create her short, stubby, ugly, and utterly despicable.
But she was given a gift. The wonderful gift of story-telling. This will save her as humour saves the character in "A Beautiful Life" or at least made life tolerable.
In the midst of Trudie's battles, Hitler is rising. Slowly, like a cancer spreading. Jews are being taken from their homes, disappearing, losing their German passports, given a yellow star to wear on their chests.
Nobody believes it is really happening.
"They are only working at those camps." they say.

INDIFFERENCE is worse than anything. Indifference makes monsters grow.
"Stones From the River" is about the human condition during war. How it can sometimes turn us into animals, Intolerant of our differences. Hating one another because of them.
Who understands better than Trudie about the ugliness of being different...."They will find anything. Anything to separate one from another. Widows. Jews. Swergs. Madness. Hitler will find something."
"Stones" is not an easy read. I wanted to scream at times...WHY did you all let this happen? WHY?" And at the same time...the story was so beautiful, I carry some of the sentences around like jewels to savor later.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
A friend insisted I buy this book, telling me what a masterpiece it was. I was at first sceptical, and I must confess it did not grab me within the first few chapters as I had hoped that it would. The main character is a dwarf, the child of a mentally ill mother and a father disabled in World War 1, and whereas her life looked as if it would be interesting, if filled with angst, I was confident that this itself would not hold my attention for the whole of the book.
How wrong I was, becuase it is not Trudi's life that grabs you, it is the world she is living in - the horror of Germany between the wars. It is difficult to find words to describe how that world changes, with the rise of Adolf Hitler, and the slow and deliberate persecution of the Jews, and the terror of ordinary citizens who barely dared to question what was hapening to their lives. The story becomes shocking, unimaginable and utterly compelling. I also think that it is something that everyone should read, and I like my friend, will recommend it to everyone.
It is not an easy story to read, and Trudi, the main character is spiky and independent - not always easy to identify with. But is an important book because it also chronicles the life of everyday Germans who were caught up in unspeakable times, and it is with these characters that our sympathies lie.
I am pleased that I took my friend's recommendation. Again, not an easy read, but a picture of history that cannot be ignored. It is a truly compelling and magnificent novel.
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