The Giraffe's Neck (Hardback)
  • The Giraffe's Neck (Hardback)
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The Giraffe's Neck (Hardback)

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£14.99
Hardback 224 Pages / Published: 27/03/2014
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Adaptation is everything, something Frau Lomark is well aware of as the biology teacher at the Charles Darwin High School in a country backwater of the former East Germany. It is the beginning of the new school year, but, as people look west in search of work and opportunities, it's future begins to be in doubt. Frau Lohmark has no sympathy for her pupils and scorns indulgent younger teachers who talk to their students as peers, play games with them, or (worse) even go so far as to have `favourites'. A strict devotee of the Darwinian principle of evolution, Frau Lohmark believes that only the best specimens of a species are fit to succeed. But now everything and everyone resists the old way of things and Inge Lohmark is forced to confront her most fundamental lesson: she must adapt or she cannot survive. Written with cool elegance and humane irony, The Giraffe's Neck is an exquisite revelation of a novel, and what the novel can do, that will resonate in the reader's mind long after the last page has been turned.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781408843796
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 334 g
Dimensions: 205 x 135 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This is a brilliant novel: precise, relentless, very funny and unexpectedly powerful ... "Remarkable" is too small a word. It is very funny, desperately sad and real, and ultimately, shocking ... Shaun Whiteside's superlative rendition has penetrated close to the very human heart of this novel of ideas and thoughts, observations and emotional pain. Schalansky's novel is both simple and complex. It is rich in dazzling images drawn from the natural world and the wayward logic of biology; an artistry sustains it all with flair and intent ... There is much to praise and to learn from this singular work * Eileen Battersby, Irish Times *
The Giraffe's Neck is a subtle, understated book, tension, emotion and dark humour bubbling under the surface, with a melancholic air of retrospection about it. In terms of atmosphere it's unlike anything else I've read, and I'd recommend it as a meditation on the need or otherwise for a change in one's life * Big Issue *
Just as the world which Inge Lohmark has painstakingly built up around her crumbles, so too does the utopia of a country founded upon a vision that is both rigid and deterministic * La Repubblica, Italy *
Her book is at once a report on the new Germany, an acid reflection on school and adolescence, the portrait of a woman and a study of concrete cases illustrating the eternal "struggle for life" according to Darwin * Liberation, France *
Schalansky writes her way into current European literature with this little pearl of a novel * Berlingske Tidende, Denmark *
Sublime ... A beautifully quirky novel, genuinely recommended * Trouwe, Holland *
Schalansky's short, choppy sentences, expertly translated from the German by Shaun Whiteside, add to the sense of Lohmark trying to keep control of a changing world around her and her place within it ... The story is also, entertainingly, a biology lesson - Lohmark's thoughts and school classes are packed with information on evolution and nature, and are illustrated too. Schalansky's use of the evolution of the giraffe's neck as an analogy for the human condition is inspired. An unusual, distinctive novel that informs as well as entertains * Independent *
Beyond the agony, Mike Leigh-style, there's deep, dark laughter here * Independent *

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Reviews

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“The most beautiful German Book...”

This may be the most beautiful book you'll ever read, and that's not just my opinion, its official. The book, along with another of Schalansky's works (An Atlas of remote Islands) has won the prize for... More

Hardback edition
27th March 2014
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