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The Time of Light

by Gunnar Kopperud

'I woke this morning to the song of war and the smell of tears.' The opening line aptly descibes the experience of reading this book. It is lyrical and intensely moving, taking you straight to the heart of human conflict. Be prepared to see humankind stripped to the bone - there is no hiding from man's inhumanity.

Extract

Manfred hunkered down, the shots struck the wall plaster right above his head, the Russian was good. He laughed as he waited for the rest bars, now they had a cantus firmus, now they could add the counterpoint. Manfred aimed toward the sound and repeated the same basic rhythm, and the Russian replied with the same. Manfred no longer noticed the cold, he didn't notice the hunger, he was inside the melody now, inside a rhythm that filled the darkness and the ruins and made the light from the moon coalesce into rays. He took a step outside the ruins and added a counterpoint, repeated the basic rhythm and added a new counterpoint. The Russian let the echoes of the shots die out before he replied, a certain lightness had come over his shots, like playing a piano; he too repeated the basic rhythm before he added his counterpoint, playfully, tentatively.
Translated by Tiina Nunally

Parallels

The Three Comrades by Erich Maria Remarque
Lost in Translation by Eva Hoffman
 

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