Thursday, June 3, 2010

Book Review and Three Day Giveaway: IN FREE FALL by Juli Zeh. Two Winners for this one.

Those of you that have taken note of my reviews in the past will notice that I possess a particular fondness for literary prose; prose in which the words display themselves in a wondrous and imaginative manner. I do believe I have met my match in IN FREE FALL. Initially, I felt that I would be overcome by the poetic and lyrical discourse as evidenced in this book. An example from the first page, second paragraph:

If Schauinsland were to ripple its slopes in a shrug of indifference, hundreds of people cycling, riding in cable cars, or looking for butterflies would die; if Feldberg were to turn away in boredom, that would be the end of the entire district. But the mountains don't do that. Instead, they turn their somber faces to the goings-on in the streets of Freiburg, seeking entertainment. Every day, mountains and forests send a swarm of birds into the city to gather the latest news and report back.

As I began to read this book, it was like loving chocolate, but eating a lot of it and wondering if you would be able to contain it all. It just seemed like too much. But when it comes to books, I am nothing but a trooper and determined to see it through. I'm glad I did. As I continued on, rather than the play of the language being a burden, it became a challenge and not in a negative way. I began to find it very intriguing how the author utilized language, how she communicated complex thought and made it interesting.

Let me give you the concise blurb from the back of the book:

A child is kidnapped but does not know it. One man dies, two physicists fight, and a senior constable falls in love. In the end, everything is different...yet exactly the same.

In the midst of this beautiful language, a real mystery is playing out. The story takes place in Germany and is filled with suspense and intrigue. There is a kidnapping to solve and a murder to unravel. Two of the central protagonists are physicists who are friends of long standing and inseparable through out their college years as they try to best each other in climbing to the top of the academic ladder in their quest for scholastic and scientific fame. The marriage of one appears to irreparably damage their friendship. They had a rather bizarre relationship and I wish the author had explored it more. I questioned whether these two men felt a romantic connection. I finished the book and I still can't answer that question. I'd appreciate the winner of this giveaway letting me know what they think about that after reading it. I'm still not sure. Somehow, this story left me with lingering questions on a number of levels: the two men, the nature of the kidnapping, what I think ultimately happened to the constable...and yet I did find it an interesting read.

The author, Juli Zeh is quite the literary star in Germany and has worked at the United Nations in New York. This book is definitely a page turner though I admit, initially I didn't think it would be. I was pleasantly surprised. It's a great book for writers to keep as a reference book to refer to, to examine literary prose in it's highest form. Many may not choose to write in this style, but a sprinkling of it in the right places is sure to kick up your writing a few notches. Bravo to Juli Zeh.

If you're interested in checking it out for yourself and exploring this book, become a follower if you're not already and leave a comment about how you would define literary prose. Leave your email, so you can be contacted if you win. That is all.

The two winners will be chosen randomly by Random.Org

Open only to residents of the US. Sorry guys. This is the decision of the publisher. Giveaway is a short one. It ends in three days, Sunday June 6, 2010

Thanks to Judy Jacoby of Doubleday for making the books available.



  1. Please enter me.

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    krae991 at yahoo dot com

  2. Already following Writing is a Blessing with Google Friend Connect [Cheryl F. {The Lucky Ladybug}] -- Literary prose is written in ordinary unstructured language :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!

  3. I am a gfc follower. To me literary prose is an author's style of writing.


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