Book review: ‘Violations of Causality’ by Herb Guggenheim


51y1-3pkLiL._SX345_BO1,204,203,200_Usually I don’t do book reviews and I promise you that it will remain an exception on this blog, but the author is an old  friend of mine and I like what he has written.

I read the book in one afternoon, and I will read it again. And most likely a third time, still.  While reading I was smiling, laughing, grinning and now and then frowning. A murder occurs, but there is more to the story than just one mystery to be solved. There is Skip, a  a rather self-centered and awkward person, yearning to be recocgnised as an artist. He is also insecure, creative and gifted and not prepared to make a choice. There is his girlfriend Gudrun, whom he hangs on to even though he is not very attracted to her. She  personifies logic and reason, and while Skip enjoys her company he is drawn to to another woman, fun loving, dominant and erotic.

The novel will give you some insight into academic life and contraception methods in the 80ies and just when you think there will be no more surprises you will be drawn into science (fiction) and phantasy.

The end is touching and conciliatory and somehow very down to earth.

So, you will neither find a typical crime story, nor a thriller, but you will find a story with depth and humor. Herb’s language is precise and to the point, each word carefully chosen and delightful to read. If you have some spare time I recommend giving it a try, and if you like what you read, then you might also enjoy Herb’s poems, but that is a different matter.

North German Impressions: Winter

Winters in North Germany are mild and tend to be a bit glum. Snow is rare and if it does come, it is usually just a few flakes and not more than 2 cm.

This winter has been particularly mild. In December I found new blossoms on my rose bush and a small daffodil was blooming over Christmas. Rose im Dezember12366457_1064847266880393_7209227666087789598_n

In January we had a short spell of cold weather and everyone was speculating whether it would get cold enough for the lakes to freeze. Ice-skating and ice-hockey are the only wintersports in this part of the world . Well, the ice never got thick enough, but I am glad  I had the opportunity to take some  walks with the dog, catching a bit of winter spirit.

After 5 days of frost the temperature climbed back to 11° C and since then we have had a mixture of fog, wind and rain. Lot’s of rain. The ground is full of water and can’t take any more and as often at this time of the year the fields around the river Stör are flooded.

So, how do North Germans get through winter?

Basically, only by  looking forward to spring, watching winter sports on TV, meeting friends and wearing watertight clothes. And searching the sky over Hamburg for some signs of weather change.

View from the office
View from the office