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The Magic Mountain
Thomas Mann, John E. Woods
The Hooligan's Return: A Memoir
Norman Manea, Angela Jianu
Laughable Loves - Milan Kundera Laughable Loves is a new short-stories book for me, as it seems that I keep bumping into those lately (Salinger, Carver, Vian and, recently, I've bought Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreters of Maladies - surprise, it contained short stories too!).

Although I've read a lot of good, even memorable ones, I can't honestly say that I am a fan of the genre. I would rather read a novel, because the characters are developed at length, and I have enough time to immerse myself in the story and swim through it for a few days. When it comes to short prose, I've barely had time to take a stroke or two that I'm being kicked out, and then I have to dive into another sea, and another, until the book is finished. It becomes a little bit tiring. Or I haven't discovered how to read short prose yet.

This book was a different experience, though - one of the reasons I liked it so much. The stories were long enough to be sufficient, the plot was round and I didn't have the feeling that the author was kicking me out against my will, without explanations and farewells. One of the characters even appeared in another story, some years later.

As the title reveals, the seven stories are related to love, in one way or another, even if love is just a background for unfolding the series of events. The power of these stories lies not in a sophisticated plot, but in a different approach to mundane situations, which makes them feel unique. There are a lot of philosophy and psychology lessons in this book, I felt like quoting it all the time!