Arnon Grunberg


A hating kind of love

On the plane from Dublin to New York I read “The things they carried” by Tim O’Brien, to take a break from the extermination of the Jews.
The book has been on my reading-list for a long time but for some reason I kept postponing reading it.
I lent “Tomcat in Love” (by O’Brien as well) to a waiter who wanted to read books on the subway and who shortly after that disappeared from my favorite restaurant and the rest of my life.
Enough praise has been heaped upon “The things they carried” and I agree wholeheartedly, even though the ending is a bit sentimental.
Let me just quote from the first chapter: “In those burned letters Martha had never mentioned the war, except to say, Jimmy, take care of yourself. She wasn’t involved. She signed the letters Love, but it wasn’t love, and all the fine lines and technicalities did not matter. Virginity was no longer an issue. He hated her. Yes, he did. He hated her. Love, too, but it was a hard, hating kind of love.”