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THE VISIBLE WORLD Paperback – 2008

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Paperback, 2008
CDN$ 26.35

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: PORTOBELLO BOOKS LTD (2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846271606
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846271601
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 1.9 x 17.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa1238ed0) out of 5 stars 32 reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1255c0c) out of 5 stars Fabulous read! May 17 2007
By Sam Spade - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Wow. I heard this book discussed on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered, and decided it sounded worth the price.

I was not disappointed. As a fan of Milan Kundera, I resist reading books compared to his, but this time it is spot-on. Slouka's protagonist weaves an imagined love story between his mother and a WWII resistance fighter in with the story of his own youth spent with Czech expatriates and his trips to Prague searching for answers to the mystery of his mother's life. The result is a wonderful combination of magical realism and stunning, clear prose that had me hanging on every word. I think Mark Slouka is a marvelous writer, and I hope many more find this lovely novel. Here's the NPR link-

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1255c60) out of 5 stars Believable! Oct. 9 2009
By Najla Alowais - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is not a book that you can just read a few pages of in the car, a few more whilst waiting for your appointment. Not that it's terribly confusing, but rather, the narrator talks to you directly and you feel like you just need to sit down and listen. Some books are like that.

It was hard getting into it at first, but once you get past the first part, you're hooked.

The books is divided into three parts: the first is where the narrator talks about his childhood in the States. The second part is the narrator's journey to Parague to discover anything he can about his parents' past. The third and most moving part is his view on what really happened in his parents' youth, his attempt to fill the gaps of his family history.

WWII as the backdrop for the last chunk of this book, you feel like you are there with them. The style is inviting and when you finish the book you'll almost believe that it did happen.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa12560b4) out of 5 stars possessed by memoir, fiction and the legacy of central europe July 24 2007
By Helen Epstein - Published on
Format: Hardcover
For those of you who, like me, are interested both in memoir and the history of Central Europe, Mark Slouka's The Visible World is provocative reading. The son of Czechs who settled in New York City after the Communist putsch of 1948, Slouka is a writer who is as possessed by his parents' past as some of the most history-obssessed offspring of Holocaust survivors like myself. His book is poised somewhere between memoir and autobiographical fiction. Apart from his parents, Slouka is fascinated by the heroes of the Czech resistance during world war. Although the movie Casablanca has Humphrey Bogart sending Ingrid Bergman off on a plane with a leader of the Czech resistance, many people have forgotten that Czechs were once regarded as a symbol of resistance against the Nazis. Slouka takes us on his personal quest into that territory.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1256474) out of 5 stars exquisite July 19 2007
By Bee - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thought this book might give me some interesting background on Prague, but it far surpassed my expectations. It is a beautifully constructed triptych that interweaves fiction, memoir, and historical fact. The writing is beautiful, the characters memorable, the descriptions evocative.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1256420) out of 5 stars A fine novel from one of America's great contemporary writers May 29 2007
By T. E. Leonard - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I was totally intrigued by Slouka's previous novel, "God's Fool," and awaited with great anticipation the advent of this his latest novel. I was not disappointed. The work centers around the musing of a maturing American male who seeks to reconcile a mystery involving his parents wgich took place during the brutal Nazis occupation of Czechoslovokia. The answers he finds are far less evident than the book's title would suggest.

This is one of the few books I could truly enjoy reading twice!

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