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All Souls’ Day

All Souls’ Day

Author(s): Cees Nooteboom

Location(s): Berlin, Madrid

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): 1990s



Arthur Daane, a documentary film-maker and inveterate globetrotter, has lost his wife and child in a plane crash. In ALL SOULS’ DAY we follow Arthur as he wanders the streets of Berlin, a city uniquely shaped by history. Berlin provides the backdrop for Daane’s reflections on life as he plans his latest project – a self-funded film that will show the world through Daane’s eyes. With a new circle of friends – a philosopher, a sculptor and a physicist – Arthur discusses everything from history to metaphysics, and the cumulative power of remembered images and philosophical musings on the meaning of our contemporary existence comes to permeate the atmosphere of the book. Then one cold, wintry day, Daane meets the young history student Elik Orange and his world is turned upside down. Whenever this mysterious woman beckons, Daane is compelled to follow. ALL SOULS’ DAY is, finally, an elegiac love story in which the personal histories of the characters are skilfully interwoven with the history of the countries in which they find themselves. It is also the poignant and affecting tale of a man coming to terms with his place in the world. ‘Nooteboom is one of the great modern novelists’ A.S. Byatt

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Thoughtful ponderings on life, after death, and where fate will take you – John Silverman

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