- Narrated by: Vikram Seth
- Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
- Abridged Audiobook
- Release date: 10-21-05
- Language: English
- Publisher: HarperAudio
Regular price: $28.51
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Helga Gerda Caro, known to everyone as "Henny" was also born in 1908, in Berlin, to a Jewish family, cultured, patriotic, and intensely German. When the family decided to take Shanti as a lodger, Henny's first reaction was, "Don't take the black man!" But a friendship flowered, and when Henny fled Hitler's Germany for England just one month before war broke out, she was met at Victoria Station by the only person in the country she knew: Shanti.
Vikram Seth has woven together their astonishing story, which recounts the arrival into this childless couple's lives of their great-nephew from India, the teenage student Vikram Seth. The result is an extraordinary tapestry of India, the Third Reich and the Second World War, Auschwitz and the Holocaust, Israel and Palestine, postwar Germany and 1970s Britain.
Two Lives is both a history of a violent century seen through the eyes of two survivors and an intimate portrait of their friendship, marriage, and abiding yet complex love. Part biography, part memoir, part meditation on our times, this is the true tale of two remarkable lives, a masterful telling from one of our greatest living writers.
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominee, Autobiography, 2005
"This lovely book...examines great and fearful events seen through extraordinary lives....Clear and elegant....A most unusual, worthwhile book." (Publishers Weekly)
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Vivek on 11-09-05
A slow start but keeps getting better
I bought this book on an impluse. I had read his "Suitable Boy" and jumped at a chance to read his latest book. I think he is a fine author. I must say I did not enjoy this book as much as I had liked "Suitable Boy" but then I think a comparison between those two books is unfair. This book is more personal and therefore more 'real'. The narration by Vikram Seth is very engaging. I think this book would be enjoyed by all those who have read Vikram Seth before. This book gives you an insight into the author himself. Its almost like having a chance to meet the author in person and getting to know him.
If you like fiction, if you have read Vikram Seth before, I am sure you will enjoy this book.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful
By Janis on 01-17-07
I really enjoyed this book - it gives a perspective on the writer, Vikram Seth, and is a compelling story about the lives of 2 very different people, brought together by a war. The format is the letters of Shanti and Henny to each other, and their friends. It gives a very realistic view of what life was like during and after the war as well, which was very unsettling - to see the effects on ordinary people. If you like memoirs, you should like this book. The reading is also done very well, with 3 different readers contributing.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful