Skip to content
Paperback The Game of Opposites Book

ISBN: 0307389170

ISBN13: 9780307389176

The Game of Opposites

Select Format

Select Condition ThriftBooks Help Icon


Format: Paperback

Condition: Like New

Save $7.86!
List Price $15.95
Almost Gone, Only 1 Left!

Book Overview

In an unnamed country at the end of a world war, Paul Miller escapes from a labor camp, collapsing after a few hundred feet. Taken in by a young woman he learns to love, Paul decides to stay where he... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

2 ratings

THE GAME OF OPPOSITES: Black, white and the gray of the immaterial

In a game of opposites, what is the opposite of black? While one might naturally say white, in Norman Lebrecht's finely wrought THE GAME OF OPPOSITES, the answer is gray. Black and white are the absolute absorbsion and reflection of light respectively while gray is the in between. Lebrecht explores the thesis that there are no absolutes in the human experience by following the story of Paul Miller in the aftermath of what is assumed to be World War II. Paul is a survivor of a concentration camp who is saved by a girl in the village through which he and his fellow inmates were whipped each day on their way to labor in a quarry. Despite the proximity to the horrors he has experienced, Paul ends up staying in the village and marrying his savior, Alice Hofmann. Paul becomes a successful and influential part of the village, he has a loving and devoted wife, a son, and friends, yet he cannot forget the fact that these people turned their backs on the starving and dying prisoners in their midst. Lebrecht's THE GAME OF OPPOSITES sets up a story in which there should be absolutes but leaves the reader contemplating shades of gray. As a mistreated prisoner of a fascist regime, Paul and his fellow inmates should be good. As the sadistic camp commander, Hans should be evil. By not helping the prisoners, the villagers should be condemned. As the story unfolds, however, the reader sees that nothing is cut and dry. The village doctor is no more guilty for staying quiet and protecting his family than Paul is for keeping quiet when Hans abuses and kills other prisoners. Paul finds that "the difference between him and the doctor was one of degree." As time progresses, though, victims can become victimizers. Each of the characters' actions, whether relatively good or relatively bad, reverberates through the lives of the others. Lebrecht's genius is to set an exploration of the ambiguity of human behavior in the context of a war that is generally thought to have good and bad sides. Not only does it show that no side is absolutely good, it also shows how bad war itself is. All sides are harmed by the war. Alice's brother comes home broken and missing an arm, while Paul's family was brutally killed by the losing regime and his hometown was completely bombed by the winners. War forces people into no win situations, and decisions made in wartime affect the rest of lives. As Alice wants to be remembered by her son, "he should think of us as good people who did their best in circumstances beyond their comprehension." While THE GAME OF OPPOSITES deals with such topics as war and human brutality, the book remains an entertaining story. Lebrecht is honest but not heavy handed with descriptions of the camp and war. He never actually names the war and the countries involved, though the connection to War World II is strongly implied. As such, the war becomes a generic war with specific politics removed. At its heart, the story is one of human connection, and the characters a

The Game of Opposites - an extraordinary novel

I found this to be a wonderful, mesmerizing novel. It is gripping on so many levels. The writing is beautiful and evocative: the reader is drawn in to a world where the themes are universal, yet the moral dilemmas are highly individual. You keep thinking: in Paul's situation, what would I have done? This is a disturbing book for all the right reasons, and thus deeply satisfying and emotionally moving. Norman Lebrecht explores how human resilience, love and compassion function in a land destroyed by war. This a book about beginnings, about how we find ourselves once more after the greatest of disasters - whether that's war, acts of terror, personal loss or all three together. I could not put The Game of Opposites down until I had finished reading. And then I read it again. It has had a profound impact on my thinking.
Copyright © 2023 Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell/Share My Personal Information | Cookie Policy | Cookie Preferences | Accessibility Statement
ThriftBooks® and the ThriftBooks® logo are registered trademarks of Thrift Books Global, LLC
GoDaddy Verified and Secured