"The back-and-forth between Western modern and Eastern sage sharpens a narrative full of good moments. Still, glacially paced and marked by long passages in which not much happens, it's not for the impatient."
Why do those strange Germans "live in houses with no holes in the roof? Why did they shut themselves of their own free will between brick walls?" So wonders the narrator of this ambitious but ponderous coming-of-age tale.
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