Summer Lies: Stories (Vintage International)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
From Bernhard Schlink, the internationally best-selling author of The Reader, come seven provocative and masterfully calibrated stories. A keen dissection of the ways in which we play with truth and less-than-truth in our lives. Summer Lies brims with the delusions, the passions, the outbursts, and the sometimes irrational justifications people make within a mélange of beautifully rendered relationships. In ”After the Season,” a man falls quickly in love with a woman he meets on the beach but wrestles with his incongruous feelings of betrayal after he learns she’s rich. In “Johann Sebastian Bach on Ruegen,” a son tries to put his resentment toward his emotionally distant father behind him by proposing a trip to a Back festival but soon realizes, during his efforts to reconnect, that it wasn’t his father who was the distant one. A philandering playwright is accused to infidelity by his wife in “The Night in Baden-Baden,” but he sees her accusations as nothing more than a means to exculpate himself of his guilt as he carries on with his ways. And in “Stranger in the Night,” an obliging professor becomes an accomplice—not entirely unwittingly—to the temporary escape of a charismatic fugitive on a delayed flight from New York to Frankfurt.
The truth, as once character puts it, is “passionate, beautiful sometimes, and sometimes hideous, it can make you happy and it can torture you, and it always sets you free.” Tantalizingly, so is the act of telling a lie—to others and to ourselves.
because he’d decided to. He would do it. Just not yet. When he stood up, his arms and legs hurt. He stretched and looked around. The kids were at home, watching TV or playing with their computers or asleep. The street was empty. Richard took his suitcase, unlocked the front door, collected the mail from the mailbox, climbed the stairs, and unlocked the door to his apartment. The bucket that collected the drips from the broken pipe was almost empty, and there was a bunch of asters on the table.
you. It makes me anxious that things escalated so fast. But that’s something else.” She laid her hand on his, but instead of looking at him, she looked out across the countryside. “Why are we this way? … I don’t know what to call it. You know what I mean? We’ve changed.” “Changed for the better or for the worse?” She took her hand out of his, leaned back, and looked at him sharply. “I don’t know that either. We’ve lost something and we’ve won something, haven’t we?” “Lost our innocence? Won
glass of champagne, you say goodbye to life, and boom—it’s over.” He had been whispering again, but when he said “boom” his voice rose and he clapped his hands. The stewardess came and he ordered champagne. “You too?” I shook my head. After the stewardess had poured him a glass, he started talking again. “You know, I begin to feel at home in a new house or a new neighborhood only when I get to know people. When I know all about the life of the woman in the newspaper shop and I don’t have to
in pale linen trousers, a sweater around his hips, and sandals in his hand. When the sand came to an end, they put on their shoes. They made good progress and after several hours they reached the Cape. They didn’t talk. When he asked his father if he’d really like to keep going or would rather turn back, his father only shook his head. At the Cape they rested, again without talking, called a taxi to take them home, sat silently in it, and looked out at the landscape. In the hotel they relaxed
parents were friends.” “Doesn’t sound very exciting. I like exciting. I broke up with Felix because I didn’t want to drag any school stuff on to university. The next thing should be the next thing. Felix was okay, but now I want more than okay. I’ve read that it can work when parents arrange their children’s marriages. Not for me. I …” “That’s not how it was. Our parents didn’t arrange our marriage, they were just friends. We saw each other a couple of times as children, that’s all.” “I don’t