Saturday, March 08, 2008

House of Meetings - post I

Having read Road to Calvary it seemed like a small leap to The House of Meetings by Martin Amis. This is a memoir of a survivor of the gulag system and written as a testament from a father to a daughter.

The man telling the story seems determined to inspire some sort of disgust in his daughter as he talks about raping his way across German in the second world war and the jealously he harboured for his brother’s wife. In an ironical way it is this later emotion that causes more problems.

The narrator’s brother turns up at the camp and although they have each other the closeness of a family member seems to provoke odd feelings in the narrator. The description of the life of the camp is seen through his brother’s eyes and his brother’s experience. The reasons for the narrator’s own imprisonment is sketched in between showing life in the gulag from a new entrants point of view.

There are flash forwards to when the narrator is taking a gulag tour in post communist times but this is about the dark places that a human being can be forced to go to and so there is probably worse to come.

More soon…

No comments: