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Love Notes From A German Building Site

Love Notes From A German Building Site

Adrian Duncan

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Adrian Duncan’s quietly reflective novel brings to life an engineer’s work in Berlin

A novel about life on a building site doesn’t shout “read me!”, at least for this reviewer, but a good writer can make any topic interesting and so it is with Adrian Duncan’s captivating debut.

Written in a reflective tone that invites us to be as curious about the world as the book’s narrator Paul, a mid-30s Irish engineer who has relocated to Berlin, Duncan’s spare and meticulous prose provides a vivid reconstruction of a profession not commonly documented in fiction. “Over the course of a project,” Paul tells us, “a building site changes greatly in mood. It goes from being a very serious place to being a playground and back.

Then, just before the job is finished the site becomes utterly serious again, up until it is ‘brought across the line’ and the building is handed over to the client and opened. When the building site is gone, then the memory of it, its archival version, is reconstructed elsewhere and another game is played, an entirely serious game involving the principals of companies arguing for payments, power and reputation.”

The volatile nature of life on a commercial building site in Alexanderplatz makes for interesting reading: its effect on Paul’s temperament; the relationships he forges on site; the tricks the builders play on each other, sometimes funny, sometimes life-threatening; the bridging of professional and manual work that is expected of engineers who must get their hands dirty while also sending copious amounts of bureaucratic emails to cover those hands.

Additional Information

Author Adrian Duncan
Publisher Lilliput Press
Publication date 1 Feb 2019
Format Paperback
ISBN/EAN 9781843517542

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