I confess I didn’t really get into this book for the first half of it. It only really gets going when the characters begin to reflect on their experiences and it becomes clear that they are making the choices so important to an existential view of life and its meaning. The allegorical relationship with the Second World War also becomes vivid in the latter third of the book.

I should probably re-read it at some point (promises, promises….). My room mate at one of the universities I work at says it is his favourite book.

So I feel I did not do it justice. Too many interruptions, perhaps. That sometimes happens with a book: if you are only getting through a chapter a night, when you are half cut, it is difficult to appreciate it and you are not really giving the author the respect he or she deserves. How did I end up being so self-critical? I made my choices, as an existentialist would have it.

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