[TLC Blog Tour&Review] Heidegger’s Glasses by Thaisa Frank

Posted 15 November, 2010 by Molly(Cover To Cover Cafe) in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

About the Book:
A mysterious compound deep underground.
A love affair larger than a World War.
A fairy tale with atrocities.
And it all begins with one single letter….

Heidegger’s Glasses opens during the end of World War II in a failing Germany coming apart at the seams. The Third Reich’s strong reliance on the occult and its obsession with the astral plane has led to the formation of an underground compound of scribes–translators responsible for answering letters written to those eventually killed in the concentration camps.

Into this covert compound comes a letter written by eminent philosopher Martin Heidegger to his optometrist, who is now lost in the dying thralls of Auschwitz. How will the scribes answer this letter? The presence of Heidegger’s words–one simple letter in a place filled with letters–sparks a series of events that will ultimately threaten the safety and well-being of the entire compound.

Part love story, part thriller, part meditation on how the dead are remembered and history presented, with threads of Heidegger’s philosophy woven throughout, the novel evocatively illustrates the Holocaust from an entirely original vantage point.

About the Author:

Thaisa Frank has written three books of fiction, including A Brief History of Camouflageand Sleeping in Velvet (both with Black Sparrow Press, now acquired by David Godine). She has co-authored a work of nonfiction, Finding Your Writers Voice: A Guide to Creative Fiction,which is used in MFA programs. Her forthcoming novel, Heidegger’s Glasses, is coming out this fall with Counterpoint Press. Foreign rights have already been sold to ten countries.

Thaisa has taught in the graduate programs at San Francisco State, the University of San Francisco, been on the staff of various summer writing workshops, and written essays, including a recent Afterward in Viking/Penguin’s new edition of Voltaire. You can find out more about Heidegger’s Glasses and Thaisa by visiting her website at www.thaisafrank.com.

My Review:
How does one go about writing a review of a book that both intrigued them, and confused them? This is going to be awkward, I’m sure. The writing style of Thaisa Frank is fantastic,that is for sure. She really did a great job on her research and created a novel that is well worth the time to read. However, that being said, I was often confused by the happenings in the story. Does that mean it’s not a good book? Absolutely not. I was one in high school, to always get confused on the history aspect of wars, and the concentration camps (perhaps that was why I always had D’s in that class?), so I was interested in seeing if I could read about them in a fiction novel, maybe being written in a form I so love, I would understand them better. Boy, was I wrong! But, I still enjoyed reading the story. It is really philosophical and is truly full of deeper meaning.

Frank creates this novel with deep emotion. She really gives a history lesson on life during the Holocaust and the camps that were set up, along with the letters written to loved ones or people of closeness to the author of the letters. It was very interesting to learn the things that Elie did during that awful era. There were times that I thought, wow. What would it have been like to have been Elie? I honestly don’t think I could have survived that era in one piece or with my sanity still intact.

The love story of the book was also interesting to me. Why? Well, during a time like that I just don’t think that I would have found the time to have a love in my life. I would have been to busy worrying about what was happening all around me. And for it to be with some like Elie chose??? Hmmm…I really think that she could have chose someone else as her love interest but I suppose that the story would not have been at all the same.

Again, I must say that Frank used wonderful research to create this fictional story of the actual Mr. Heidegger in Heidegger’s Glasses,along with the letter to his optometrist. She made me feel both confused and intrigued, as I said above, because she really gripped me with her words and thoughts that she penned into this story, leaving me with a haunting vision of life in Nazi Germany during the Holocaust. Wow! I was confused, because I just can’t come to terms with something as horrific as the Holocaust and the camps and the way people were treated. I mean, how can some one, even during a war, treat these people like that?! WOW!

Do I recommend this book to everyone? No, I do not, if you solely read Christian novels. There is use of language, however, knowing that before going into the story made it easier for me to read, so if you have a problem with language in books, please, this book would not be for you. I recommend this book ONLY if you want to learn more about a difficult place in history. I recommend it ONLY if you are interested in reading things about the Holocaust and the concentration camps.I recommend it ONLY if you have an open heart to understand more about this subject.  Do I recommend it with high praises? Oh yea. Frank did a fantastic job at creating an intriguing, gripping, mysterious 4 star novel. Well done, Thaisa!

You can see what others are saying about the book here
You can purchase your copy here
*This book was provided for review by TLC Book Tours*

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