The Weekend, By Bernhard Schlink

Idealism exposed in a getaway for former terrorists

Jorg is a terrorist with links to the Baader-Meinhof gang, now released after 24 years in prison.

His sister, Christiane, has organised a weekend in the country for him, surrounded by old comrades, but of course they have changed: Ulrich is now the perfect bourgeois, happy with his dental practice; Henner is an international expert on terrorism who lectures all over the world and can't cope with intimacy; Christiane has a terrible secret to hide from her brother. Is Jorg remorseful for acts he committed that resulted in innocent people dying? Schlink exposes hypocrisies and punctures idealism – not just the idealism of a certain age, but also our ongoing idealism about the family and about our friends. Discomforting and brilliant.

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