Monday, May 4, 2009

Random Acts of Heroic love by Danny Scheinmann

The mind after a sharp blow to the head is like a house after a hurricane unrecognizable shards, shreds and splinters.

Title: Random Acts of Heroic love
Author: Danny Scheinmann
ISBN: 9780552774222
Publisher: Black Swan/2007
Pages: 428

Plot summary:

Leo Deakin and his girl friend, Eleni are travelling in South America, when the bus they are in, has an accident. Eleni dies and Leo blames himself for her death. In his despair, he has no one to turn to. His dad takes it upon himself to get Leo on the way of recovery. He gives him a bunch of letters to read.

That is how Leo gets to learn about Moritz Daniecki, who survived the great war in 1917. Moritz escapes from the wilderness of Siberia, and makes a journey over the Russian Steppes to be with Lotte, the girl who had kissed him only once. Leo is totally fascinated by the story but does not know how it is connected to him.

What did you like most about the book?

It is about two men, one in 1917, other in 1992. Yet their life;s path seem similar and there is something which connects them. Leo is unaware, what. The author too wonders. I did kind of guess their connection but Schienmann has succeeded in keeping our interest totally alive.

I also liked the way Leo scribbled or doodled into his notebook.

What did you like least?

There is nothing to dislike about this book, other than it ended too fast!

What did you think of the writing style?

It is a beautiful piece of prose. Emotions comes through. One can easily get into the novel and does not want to get out of it.

Which of your readers are most likely to enjoy this book? Why?

Most of my readers would love this book. And those who are reading about the World Wars would especially love it. It would also interest those who are into Jewish literature. Only people it would not interest, are those who read only romances and chick lit.

Have you read any other books by this author? What did you think of those books?

It is a debut novel. A remarkable debut at that. I would keep an eye on his upcoming novels, if any.

What did you think of the main character?

Leo is totally in love with Eleni. When she dies, he does not how to cope. He falls into a depth of despair.

What is the central character’s biggest problem?

Leo can't even think beyond Eleni. He does not understand Hannah when she tries to get him out of his despair. He misunderstands her feeling for love for him, which is not true.

What effect do the people in the book have on one another?

I liked Leo's dad, a man who is strong although he is a non-descriptive kind of person. He knows he has to let Leo learn about Moritz Daneicki, no matter what. That is the only way Leo can get over his despair and understand his legacy.

Any other particularly interesting characters?

Moritz Daniecki, is fallible like any other person. In his own words, he is not heroic at all. But his love for Lotte keeps him going. He keeps writing letters to her which he never posts.

What did you think of the ending?

I liked the ending. It ends with a positive note. It also tells us that love can develop between friends and it can sustain and culminate into passion. .

Do you recommend this book? If you use a rating system, what’s your rating?

Yes, I recommend to all those readers who like serious reading, who can question themselves about their beliefs. And those who want to learn about the hardships of war, how it affects ones lives and how one learns to cope with it. I rate it: 5/5.

Also reviewed by:

Alyce

5 comments:

bermudaonion said...

Great review. The book sound wonderful!

farmlanebooks said...

I am so pleased that you loved this book as much as I did!

It was one of my top reads of 2008. I gave it 5/5 too!

I really hope that lots of other people will give it a try, as I'm sure they will love it as much as we did.

Wanda said...

This sounds like a book to get lost in, a wonderful but heart wrenching read. Good to hear you enjoyed it so much.

Alyce said...

Thanks for linking to my review! I liked this one as well.

Angie said...

That looks like an interesting book. Thanks for the review.