I started this book yesterday. A friend came to visit and I wondered how rude it would seem if I kept reading. I came home today and put the kettle on. Started to read. Read on and on - the tea unmade, the cats unfed, the light in the room dimming. And now, having finished, I'm not sure how to speak of it. Brodeck's Report is a beautiful, sad and horrifying read.
For now I'll give you the publisher's synopsis while I think about how to tell you about it.
From his village in post-war France, Brodeck makes his solitary journeys into the mountains to collect data on the natural environment. Day by day he also reconstructs his own life, all but lost in the years he spent in a camp during the war. No-one had expected to see him again. One day, a flamboyant stranger rides into the village, upsetting the fragile balance of everyday life. Soon he is named the Anderer, "the other", and tensions rise until, one night, the newcomer is murdered. Brodeck is instructed to write an account of the events leading to his death, but his report delivers much more than the bare facts: it becomes the story of a community coming to terms with the legacy of enemy occupation. In a powerful narrative of exceptional fascination, Brodeck's Report explores the very limits of humanity.
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