Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Assault

I'm on vacation this month, but still reading as much as I can.  I do want to stay connected, and will be posting, but posts will probably be shortish, like this one.

The Assault, by Dutch author Harry Mulisch, impressed me more than I thought it would.  Early in 1945, a Dutch collaborator is shot to death and his body left where it fell in front of a house.  The house's residents, fearing German reprisals, move the body to a neighboring family's doorstep.  That family, all except the youngest son, Anton, is executed.  The effect of this trauma on Anton's life, and the gradual revelations of everything that happened that night, and why, make up the story.  I appreciated the symbolism (Anton becomes an anesthesiologist as an adult, and forms the belief that patients experience all the trauma of their surgery but are unable to respond and unable to remember afterward, for instance).  I also enjoyed the intertwinement of good and evil motives, on the part of both the Dutch and the Germans, and how the combination of these motives led to what happened on the fatal night.

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  1. Now you know I am a fan of The could I not be?
    Great book, great story by a very complex writer, Harry Mulisch.

  2. Was very impressed by the depth of this book and this author.