Summary and book reviews of Flights of Love by Bernhard Schlink

Flights of Love

Stories

by Bernhard Schlink

Flights of Love
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2001, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2002, 320 pages

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Book Summary

A collection of stories that weave themselves around the idea of love---love to seek and love to flee; love as desire, as guilt, as confusion or self-betrayal; love as habit, as affair, and as life-changing rebellion.

From the internationally best-selling author of The Reader, here is a collection of stories that weave themselves around the idea of love---love to seek and love to flee; love as desire, as guilt, as confusion or self-betrayal; love as habit, as affair, and as life-changing rebellion.

As his myriad fans know from The Reader, Bernhard Schlink's power as a storyteller resides in his cool compassion and in the intelligence that he wields like a laser to penetrate human motives and human behavior. Here his subject is not history but the heart itself, and with the forensic delicacy of a master he lays bare the essence of our feelings.

Already an enormous success in the author's native Germany, Flights of Love is certain to be celebrated, discussed, read and re-read.


(Translated by John E. Woods).

Girl With Lizard

1

It was a painting of a girl with a lizard. They were looking at each other and not looking at each other, the girl gazing dreamily toward the lizard, the lizard directing its vacant, glistening eyes toward the girl. Because the girl's thoughts were somewhere else, she was holding so still that even the lizard sat motionless on the moss-grown rock, on which the girl lay half leaning, half stretched out on her stomach. The lizard lifted its head and probed with its tongue.

"That Jewish girl," the boy's mother said whenever she spoke of the girl in the painting. When his parents argued and his father got up to retreat to his study where the painting was hung, she would call after him, "Go pay your Jewish girl a visit!" Or she would ask, "Does the painting of that Jewish girl have to hang there? Does the boy have to sleep under the painting of that Jewish girl?" The painting hung above a couch where the boy napped at noontime, while his father read ...

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About This Book

These tales weave around the idea of love—love to seek and love to flee; love as desire, as guilt, as confusion or self-betrayal; love as habit, as affair, and as life-changing rebellion. With remarkable deftness, intelligence and sensitivity, Schlink exposes the dark places of his characters' hearts and minds as he follows them from the Berlin Wall to the foggy Oregon coast, from Park Avenue to Central America. As his many fans know from The Reader, Schlink's power as a storyteller resides in his cool compassion and in the moral intelligence that he wields like a laser to penetrate human motives and behavior. Here his subject is not history but the heart itself, and in Flights of Love we find an ...
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Reviews

Media Reviews

Washington Post Book World

Masterfully composed and truly unforgettable. He has a rare gift for giving his writing a casual, unpretentious atmosphere.

Kirkus Reviews

Touching, involving short fiction from a writer who eschews bold imagery and stylistic fireworks-and slowly, doggedly gets into your head and under your skin.

Booklist - Donna Seaman

Each (of the 7 stories) is about love under pressure, and each is constructed as cleverly as a maze. A practicing judge, Schlink is as fascinated by questions of justice as he is by the convolutions of love, and consequently his stories are laced with secrets, lies, betrayals, attempts at revenge, and bittersweet reconciliation.

School Library Journal - -Sheila Shoup

Schlink has produced an exquisite book that will ground the starry-eyed and lift the sullen.

Library Journal

Schlink's stories are indeed flights of love, portraying twists and turns to the normal course of events that then lift people out of their lives. And like the author's celebrated The Reader, several of these works ache with the sorrows of Germany's tumultuous 20th Century.

Publishers Weekly

The clarity of Schlink's vision and the calm eloquence with which it's expressed make these tales classics of their genre.

Der Spiegel

If there is a renaissance in the art of storytelling, this is it.

Saarbruecker Zeitung

Seven well-crafted stories filled with existential suspense and as timeless as they are completely of-the-moment . . . pieces of prose that carry the power of a force of nature.

Focus (Germany)

Schlink is a brilliant storyteller who steers events to their end with a jurist's clarity and measured mind. These pieces are as perfect as small plays.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

In Flights of Love Bernhard Schlink as a storyteller proves himself to be our archaeologist of emotions. He digs until he locates the sore point of our present-day world. It is a gripping, bold performance.

Reader Reviews

sally

i think its good

Andres Carlos Denes

Fascinating stories on complex issues and emotions. The author grasps them well and in depth, and sheds light on characters and events in a simple but nevertheless most impacting and sometimes devastating way. It is a book I would have loved to write...   Read More

Sam

A great collection of stories; they are quite engaging.

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