Review: Life With A Star, by Jiří Weil

Life With A Star Cover Synopsis:  In Nazi-occupied Prague, ex-bank clerk Josef Roubick discovers that the prosaic world he has always inhabited is suddenly off-limits to him because he is a Jew. When he begins to observe his new, increasingly skewed, and macabre environment with resigned detachment, his life becomes centred on survival and on the surprisingly small things he clings to in order to persevere.

Title: Life With A Star
Author: Jiří Weil
Publisher: Daunt
Pub Date: 1949
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781907970061

Rating:

“if there were no hope”, I said, “we would probably fight”,
“and people always think there’s hope, even they’re standing over an open grave.”

This is the fourth distressing book I’ve read in a row and I think it’s all starting to get to me.

I’m not quite sure what I felt about Life With A Star, it’s undeniably beautifully written. Weil has a quiet grace to his words that, at moments, sucks in you so completely you forget to breathe.

But these moments were few and far between. I didn’t connect to this book as much as I’ve done the others.

Maybe I read too many emotionally-difficult books in a row and my mind said ‘enough’.

Maybe.

However well written the novel, I just couldn’t connect to the protagonist. I kept pushing and pushing, trying to find a link and… nothing! All I was left with was a reading slump and a conscience that keeps shouting at me because ‘how can I not connect to this book?!’

The answer is I don’t know. Life With A Star has the formula for a great story, I just wasn’t feeling it.

Sometimes these things happen, right?!

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