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Snapshots of life in a Swiss village thirty years ago.

Behind the Station: A Novel (Swiss Literature Series) - Arno Camenisch, Donal McLaughlin

This is the second book in Arno Camenisch's Swiss Literature series, but I did not feel that I had missed out by reading this first. The author was born in 1978 so this would have been set at the time that he was a young boy, like the two brothers in this novella. The brothers seemed quite young, too young to be wandering around the village, but their ages are not given. I think this wandering free was what appealed to me most about the book; I lived in a small village in UK and was also able to wander around in a way that children today are unable to do.


Reading the novella was more like looking through a photograph album; it is made up of snapshots of events, as would be remembered by children. These anecdotes are fascinating insights into life in an isolated Swiss village in the eighties, but I did regret not having kept a record of who's who from the beginning, as this is a cast of thousands.


Reading this as a novella of a hundred or so pages, was perfect. If it had been book length I think I might have lost interest. Now I need to read the two others in the trilogy.