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The Magic Mountain
Thomas Mann, John E. Woods
The Hooligan's Return: A Memoir
Norman Manea, Angela Jianu
The Story of My Baldness: A Novel - Marek van der Jagt, Todd Armstrong From the first page, I said to myself: I'll love this novel! Which was almost true. This is the kind of book that you browse in a bookstore and immediately decide to buy (if you are not averse to coming-of-age novels, that is).

The writing is juicy, witty and funny. I especially loved Marek's recollections of his mother, which created in my mind a vivid, excentric, powerful character. Neither his father nor his brothers are what might be called "normal" people, not even Mark is an ordinary teenager. I loved the details which sketched the portrait of one bizarre and dysfunctional family.

In the coming-of-age novels, the teenager usually undergoes challenges which help him pass the threshold towards maturity, but in The Story of My Baldness the situation seems to be the opposite: instead of being liberated through love and sex, Marek is gradually overcome by two obsessions: the search of the elusive amour fou and the increasing contempt he fells towards a certain part of his body.

At this point I got a little bored, plus there was some part when Marek started rambling about the crazy love and his cock and seemed to had forgotten about the previous narrative, started dozens of pages ago.

The Romanian translation was really good, it seemed to maintain the playful and comical tone of the original.