Effi Briest (Penguin Classics)Effi Briest by Theodor Fontane

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Well… I admit it, I thought reading it was a bit boring since not much happens. Even when huge events take place in the protagonists’ lives, the author only shares the before and after, but not the actual event. Thinking of books like Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary that deal with similar subjects in a much more exciting, immediate and heartbreaking manner, Effi Briest got rather frustrating at times.

BUT there is a reason why this book is considered such a staple of German literature. Exactly through these methods it does a great job capturing how distant the characters are from real passion, how they put society and morals above happiness and experience – and how they all seem to be drawn towards their negative fate without any power or control to change anything. That is heartbreaking and can certainly be read as a warning even in our days.

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