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Review of Diary of a short sighted adolescent by Mircea Eliade, translated from the Romanian by Christopher Moncrieff with reference to original translation by Christopher Bartolomew The unnamed narrator is a student in school. The novel focuses on his life as one, reading balzac or whatever instead of doing homework, failing maths etc, not telling parents you are suspended from school so read a classic in the park, you know normal school boy stuff. The first half of it I found more interesting and more compulsive reading than the second half . It's an ok book though I do find one particularly writing trope throughout the novel to be an annoyance, this the narrating stating that "I'll Never write the book" when referring to the very book that the reader is reading. However there are some very good passages in the book . I don't really have much else to say so can't feel that it deserves more than 3. * * *
From the back cover... Set in Romania at the height of Ceauşescu’s reign of terror, The Land of Green Plums tells the story of a group of young students, each of whom has left the impoverished provinces in search of better prospects in the city. It is a profound illustration of a totalitarian state which comes to inhabit every aspect of life; to the extent that everyone, even the strongest, must either bend to the oppressors, or resist them and perish. I wasn't sure what to expect from this novel. I did wonder how much was fiction as how much was based on the author's own experiences before she left Romania. It is powerful, emotive, involving and subtle. Both the narrator and the author are Romanian ethnic Germans. The book was originally published in German as Hertzier which translates as Heart-beast; a theme that runs through the narrative. The language and structure is unusual but works. The English version must capture the original style perfectly because it is so unique.