Alle sieben Wellen [All Seven Waves] (Daniel Glattauer)

Alle sieben Wellen is the sequel to Gut gegen Nordwind [which has been translated to Love Virtually] by Daniel Glattauer.

Plot (with spoilers for Gut gegen Nordwind):
Gut gegen Nordwind ends with Leo ending the online relationship with Emmi by basically fleeing the country to the USA, after Emmi’s husband finds out about them. Nevertheless Emmi can’t stop thinking about him and continues to send mails to his now defunct address. But one day instead of a mail delivery failure message, she gets a reply from Leo, who is back in the country. And despite Emmi’s husband and Leo’s new girlfriend, Emmi asks that they finally meet in person.

I have to admit that this book is more inhaled than actually read – it takes only a couple of hours to finish (and I’m not a particularly fast reader). Which is actually a good thing because I don’t think I would have liked it as much had it gone on much longer. But it’s short and nice and altogether fine.

I’m still not convinced that a sequel was actually necessary. I liked the drama of the first book’s ending and that things weren’t as happy or fulfilled as they could have been. But even without me liking the ending of the first book, All Seven Waves has to deal with all the problems that an (unplanned) sequel usually has to deal with. Glattauer handles this rather well, but the problems are still there.

There are again some very strong moments, language-wise. Sometimes it felt a bit like Glattauer was trying just a tad too hard but it never got to the point of being annoying.

In the end I just wasn’t as invested into this book as into the first one. A part of this might be that they kept calling each other “my dear” – and I just can’t hear this term of endearment without a sarcastic, bitter undertone. But that might just be me.

Summarising: it’s a fine and enjoyable read, even if not as good as the first book.

Here’s my favorite part (translation is mine):

I have to tell you something, Emmi, you are the only woman who I write, who I write this way, the way I am, what I feel like. You are actually my diary but you’re not still as a diary. You are not as patient. You get involved, you counter, you contradict me, you confuse me. You are a diary with a face and a body and a figure. You think that I don’t see you, you think that I don’t feel you. Error. Error. Such an error. When I write to you, I pull you totally close to me. It has always been that way.

And here’s the original:

Du, Emmi, ich muss dir etwas verraten, du bist die einzige Frau, der ich schreibe, der ich so schreibe, wie ich schreibe, wie ich bin, wonach mir ist. Du bist eigentlich mein Tagebuch, aber du hältst nicht still wie ein Tagebuch. Du bist nicht so geduldig. Du mischst dich immer ein, du konterst, du widersprichst mir, du verwirrst mich. Du bist ein Tagebuch mit Gesicht und Körper und Figur. Du glaubst, ich sehe dich nicht, du glaubst, ich spüre dich nicht. Irrtum. Irrtum. So ein Irrtum. Schreibe ich dir, dann hole ich dich ganz nah an mich heran. Das war schon immer so.

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