The Breaking of Eggs

The Breaking of Eggs

Book - 2010
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The Breaking of Eggs is the story of the curmudgeonly Feliks Zhokovski, Polish by birth, Communist at heart, who at age 61 finds that just about everything he has based his life on is crumbling. Separated from him family as a child when the Nazis invaded Poland, Feliks is currently living in Paris and his life's work is a travel guide to the old Eastern bloc. But unfortunately for Feliks, it's 1991: the Berlin Wall has fallen, Communism has collapsed, East Germany isn't the economic miracle he wants it to be, and he's forced to confront the fact that his travel-writing days are numbered. His guide was a flourishing business, but the old pro-Communist descriptions won't do, for Western visitors will now be able to see for themselves. So he makes the (extremely difficult) decision to sell his guide to a big, capitalist American publisher. This sets in motion a chain of events that will reunite him with a brother living in Ohio that he hasn't seen in fifty years, reveal the truth about the mother he thought abandoned him and offer him a second chance with a long-lost love.

Equal parts hilarious and moving, The Breaking of Eggs is the story of a man who closed himself off from everyone and everything years ago and now awakens to discover the world has changed dramatically and he must change with it. The Breaking of Eggs also has the added bonus of being a crash course in 20th century European history, subtly told as a backdrop to Feliks' riveting personal story. Imagine Everything is Illuminated meets The Elegance of the Hedgehog , then forget all the publishing clich#65533;s and discover this incredible new voice.

Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, c2010.
ISBN: 9780143117261
0143117262
Branch Call Number: FIC Powell
Characteristics: 342 p. : 21 cm.

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patienceandfortitude Mar 02, 2012

This novel is about a middle-aged man whose complete world falls apart and is recreated after his 61st birthday. He built his life around the idea and values of communism and has to adjust his life as a result of the changes in the world, but more importantly, his encounters with individuals. The novel discusses the differences between living for an idea and living with and for individual human beings. It also tells the story of what it was like to live in France, Poland, and Germany before and after WWII. This seems a very fair and sympathetic novel, offering much to consider.

m
maven
Jul 09, 2011

I liked the initial part of the book, but around the part with the mother's letter, it started feeling less compelling to me. Perhaps part of it was that it shifted from showing me the story to just telling it to me.

As I got closer to the end, it just felt like things were too neatly tied up, like some sort of bland fairy tale ending. Rather mushy, and not satisfying at all.

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