Shakespeare, Nicholas

  7 Reviews

When Peter Hithersay discovers that his father is not the Englishman his mother married, but an East German political dissident with whom she had a brief affair in the sixties, he abandons Winchester for Leipzig in search of his past. There, he meets a young woman and falls in love. Their romance ends when his scheme to smuggle her out of the country goes awry and he returns to England. Nineteen years later, when the two Germanys are reunited, Peter goes back to look for the woman he has never stopped loving. [Small font]

Comments from Groups

'Snowleg' provoked a variety of opinions. Some members became frustrated with Peter's selfishness and others defended him, so it made for an interesting discussion. All members did agree however about the frustrations of living in that time in an Eastern bloc state, and felt that Nicholas Shakespeare captured that very well. Nelson 009

The book was very good; the combination of politics and variations of love worked well. Some found the book dragged in the middle, and found the prologue offputting, and the ending a little contrived. The questions were good and provoked a lot of discussion. Tairua 001

A very good book for provoking worthwhile discussion - the Wall, the war, members' personal accounts of time living in Germany, and visits there. Also the cultural differences etc in relationships. All members enjoyed the book. Auckland 060

We liked this book, although we didn't like some of the characters, especially Peter. We felt that the realities of living in East Germany were brought home very forcefully, and were shocked at the extent of spying and informing that occurred in the story... Hamilton 003

Most enjoyed this book. All found the Stasi section interesting, especially those who know Leipzig. A story full of twists and turns (perhaps even too many), and some felt Peter's character too "self-indulgent'. Wellington 041

Everyone enjoyed this book, with several members loving it. The main character (Peter) was discussed extensively, as he was rather a complex man. Napier 011



Good discussion, but not that easy to read.
Complicated, but all read it. We thought the questions were a little ambiguous, and didn't really bring out the differences between East and West Germany - we felt we could have discussed these further.
The group enjoyed this book, although felt it was quite a 'heavy' read. General consensus was that Peter was a rather weak character.
AUCK 039
The book had a mixed reception - between those of us who did not enjoy it, and those who found it acceptable. The printed notes were excellent, and the discussion was vigorous, mainly about the complexities of the book.
GORE 001
All the readers found the ending most unsatisfactory, but we had much fun creating alternatives!
A thought provoking book! Peter had always thought of himself as a misfit, and on discovering the truth about his parentage, became even more so. It was an interesting discussion - we felt he was so self absorbed that it took him a lifetime to come to terms with his guilt. A good 1.5 hours of discussion.
Very readable - we all enjoyed the book although felt the theme was a bit contrived. We found the description of life in East Germany really intriguing.