Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Breaking of Eggs

On Monday I went searching in Sydney for a book to read on the plane home.  I flew home on Tuesday.  I wanted something cheap, easily thrown away and not too thick and heavy.  Looking through the bargain box, I chose a book which seemed to fit the need, 350 pages and only $4.  I was attracted by the back cover which said it was set in the 19th arrondissement in Paris.  Anyone who knows me, knows my love of Paris, although I stay in the 13th arrondissement.  
It was 'the Breaking of Eggs" by Jim Powell.

I found it to be an amazing read and will certainly not throw it away although references to Paris were incidental.  It also visits Basle, Warsaw, Berlin and Columbus, Ohio
It is about an older man who hasn't changed in 40 years until suddenly he begins examining his life and revealing secrets that challenge his intellectual and emotional foundations. I enjoyed the writing style so much that I kept thinking that it was a non-fiction memoir that I was reading. 
Feliks' life had been shaped by his perceptions, which it turns out were largely built on the mistaken beliefs of his childhood. In re-evaluating his life, Feliks find his ideas on politics were not as rational as he had once thought. I found the story compelling. I read more than half on the flight (I had nearly 4 hours wait at Christchurch airport) and found one part very emotional, others humorous but also it provided much food for thought. While set in Paris in 1991 at the time of the dissolving of Communism in eastern Europe, it deals with WW2, Fascism and Communism as well as some insights into modern American Capitalism. 

Wonderful how such a random purchase gave me so much to think about.

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