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The Glass Room by Simon Mawer
  

The Glass Room

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Shortlisted for the inaugural Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction 2010.

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2009.

A young couple in Czechoslovakia build their dream home, an art deco house with a beautiful glass room.

To Viktor this room represents reason…..everything is clean and clear, the room runs with straight lines and yet in this room some of the most irrational arguments take place and some of the most damaging of people are brought together. Nazi Germany is rapidly gaining more power and influence and affecting the lives of all of the characters. A touching and bittersweet story that will grip you from first to last page.

If you like Simon Mawer you might also like to read books by John Banville, Paula McLain and Peter Carey.

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Synopsis

The Glass Room by Simon Mawer

Cool. Balanced. Modern. The precisions of science, the wild variance of lust, the catharsis of confession and the fear of failure – these are things that happen in the Glass Room.

High on a Czechoslovak hill, the Landauer House shines as a wonder of steel and glass and onyx built specially for newlyweds Viktor and Liesel Landauer, a Jew married to a gentile. But the radiant honesty of 1930 that the house, with its unique Glass Room, seems to engender quickly tarnishes as the storm clouds of WW2 gather, and eventually the family must flee, accompanied by Viktor’s lover and her child.

But the house’s story is far from over, and as it passes from hand to hand, from Czech to Russian, both the best and the worst of the history of Eastern Europe becomes somehow embodied and perhaps emboldened within the beautiful and austere surfaces and planes so carefully designed, until events become full-circle.

Reviews

** 'Love triangles litter Mawer's story. They bear witness to his great talent for grasping the non-linear nature of desire. * Philip Oltermann, THE TIMES * ** 'Mawer creates a passionately detailed portrait of individuals struggling to snatch order and happiness from frightening, irrational times . . . THE GLASS ROOM achieves a rare feat of being truly enjoyable to read. * Rachel Aspden, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH * ** '[THE GLASS ROOM'S] poetic success is to remind us of two great gilt-edged ironies: that whatever is held to be the height of modernity is already en route to the museum, and that even cold art is the embodiment of its maker's passion - one that can * Richard T Kelly, FINANCIAL TIMES * ** 'THE GLASS ROOM is a fiction of many remarkable qualities . . . Mawer's control of his themes of language, desire, memory and the power of place is extraordinary - as haunting and mysterious as the effect of sunlight on the wall of golden onyx that survives all the convulsions by which his characters are engulfed * Jane Shilling, THE DAILY TELEGRAPH *


About the Author

Simon Mawer

Simon Mawer was born in 1948 in England, and spent his childhood there, in Cyprus and in Malta. He is married with two children and has lived in Italy for over thirty years.

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Book Info

Publication date

22nd April 2010

Author

Simon Mawer

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Author's Website

www.simonmawer.com/

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Publisher

Little, Brown Book Group

Format

Paperback
416 pages

Categories

Family Drama
All Shortlists and Winners
Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780349121321

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