Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Books around the world: Austria

Hello, I just got through a short novel called Night Duty, by Melitta Breznik, an author from Austria. The good thing about reading books by foreign authors is that I never know what to expect. It's so unpredictable.

Well, this book was okay. It's from the point of view of a female physician and opens in an operating room. The story was not what I expected. I thought this would be totally about life as a doctor. It was not. Sure, there were scenes set in a hospital, but the majority of the story covered the doctor's childhood in Austria, growing up in difficult circumstances.

The style was very stream-of-consciousness, floating from one scene to another without transitions. It gave a very immediate effect. Reading about Austria after WWII afforded new and interesting insights. Also, reading about the doctor's shifts, as they unfolded, up close, gave a sense of how tiring it must be to be a doctor. The overall mood was sad. I learned some things reading it, saw points of view that I was unfamiliar with, and that was my goal, along with being entertained.

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