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The Resource The center of the world, Andreas Steinhöfel ; translated from the German by Alisa Jaffa

The center of the world, Andreas Steinhöfel ; translated from the German by Alisa Jaffa

Label
The center of the world
Title
The center of the world
Statement of responsibility
Andreas Steinhöfel ; translated from the German by Alisa Jaffa
Creator
Contributor
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Member of
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Award
  • Booklist Editors’ Choice: Books for Youth, 2005
  • USBBY Outstanding International Book, 2006.
Review
  • /*Starred Review*/ Gr. 10-12. Growing up on the edge of a small provincial German town, Phil, 17, knows he is gay, and that his free-spirited mother totally accepts him. All his life he has dreamed of finding the American father who walked out on Mom. Phil loves the gorgeous athlete Nicholas, and they have great sex, but Nicholas is afraid to come out in their conservative community, which regards Phil’s mother as a whore and Phil and his twin sister as the “witch’s children.” Then Phil makes a shocking discovery that helps him grow up and confront truth and lies about family, friends, and lovers. Weaving together Phil’s past and present, this long novel, a prizewinner in Germany, is not a quick read. But Jaffa’s translation is clear and immediate, and the funny, aching first-person narrative will keep many teens enthralled with the story about secrets and betrayal. As in the best writing, the surprises that seem shocking are revealed as natural parts of character and story, and they raise questions about passion, sex, and intimacy. What does Phil deny about his best friend? Why can’t his twin sister speak to Mom? Always leaving space for what is not said, tension builds to the very last page. -- Hazel Rochman (BookList, 04-01-2005, p1359)
  • Gr 9 Up –Phil, 17, and his twin, Dianne, live at Visible, a decrepit Gothic mansion in a tiny, provincial German town. Their mother, Glass, 34, is unwed, promiscuous, and self-involved, and she doesn't give a damn about what anyone thinks of her or her children. Dianne is withdrawn and secretive, and communicates better with animals than with people. Unapologetically gay, Phil worries about everyone else's dramas and drives. He daydreams about his American father, of whom Glass refuses to speak. He's too passive to approach gorgeous Nicholas, so he's thrilled when the other boy takes the lead. They meet often for wordless sex, but Phil craves intimacy. When he includes his feisty friend, Katja, in their shenanigans, jealousy and betrayal ensue. Phil's narrative shifts from even, detached present-tense action to minute recollections of, seemingly, every day since his birth. Steinhöfel's female characters are vivid and fascinating, as is Phil when featured in the endless stories he tells about them. Nicholas, however, is so shallow and flatly drawn that it calls Phil's own depth into question. The author has an expert feel for setting, and Visible and its jungle gardens are lushly rendered. While the mysterious mood holds interest, the lulling pace, repetitive detail, and intrusive time shifts derail the plot. Phil's arc from self-pitying bystander to active participant in his own drama is anticlimactic, considering the length of his confessional. Enthusiastic, sophisticated readers, if patient, will be kidnapped by the lyrical, literate prose.–Johanna Lewis, New York Public Library --Johanna Lewis (Reviewed September 1, 2005) (School Library Journal, vol 51, issue 9, p214)
  • In this hazy, fairytale-like, tome-sized import from Germany, 17-year-old Phil shares a secluded, run-down castle with his outcast mom and estranged twin sister. Longing for male companionship, fatherless Phil stumbles upon dark-eyed, distant star-runner Nicholas, with whom he immediately falls head over heels in love. To his surprise, Nicholas makes the first blunt move in their seduction, and what begins with this meeting leads to further sexual encounters, trysts that are purely physical, leaving Phil emotionally empty and wary of Nicholas's true intentions. Beautifully written and circularly lyrical, SteinhÖfel's first US release balances Phil's pained past and burgeoning present with insightfully parallel images that are full of well-drawn, interconnected, non-didactic metaphors that also manage to carry the story. Unfortunately, the overwhelmingly huge page count will no doubt kill most teen appeal. And, given the meandering quality of storytelling—especially when the more titillating parts are cut short and replaced with flashbacks from Phil's troubled history—only the most determined teen reader will make it to the end, but not necessarily without reward. (Fiction. YA) (Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2005)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
135593
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Steinhöfel, Andreas
Index
no index present
LC call number
PZ7.S82635
LC item number
Mi 2005
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 9
  • 12
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Jaffa, Alisa
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Coming of age
  • Homosexuality
  • Family life
  • Interpersonal relations
  • Germany
Label
The center of the world, Andreas Steinhöfel ; translated from the German by Alisa Jaffa
Instantiates
Publication
Dimensions
22 cm.
Extent
467 p.
Isbn
9780385729437
Lccn
2001052987
System control number
  • (Sirsi) 2001052987
  • (OCoLC)48661369
Label
The center of the world, Andreas Steinhöfel ; translated from the German by Alisa Jaffa
Publication
Dimensions
22 cm.
Extent
467 p.
Isbn
9780385729437
Lccn
2001052987
System control number
  • (Sirsi) 2001052987
  • (OCoLC)48661369

Library Locations

    • East Point BranchBorrow it
      2757 Main Street, East Point, GA, 30344, US
      33.680351 -84.440695
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