Book Cover:  All That I Am

Welcome to Discussion Week 2 of All That I Am by Anna Funder.  Hopefully we have all read our required pages and are ready to thrash through it.  Do not forget thaht beyond this point there may be:

* * * SPOILERS * * *


So, let’s catch up on what’s happened to our cast.

  • Ruth has a fall, landing her in hospital.  The medication only helps her remember her past.
  • Toller is still in his room, trying to get Dora into paper.
  • Dora is sleeping with every male, seeking something that has remained undisclosed to us.
  • Hitler has declared out interpid three (and many others) criminals in their home land of Germany.
  • The war marches ever closer to becoming a reality for Dora and in Toller’s recollections.

When I started this second part, there was some hooks there that sucked me in for a little while but, sadly I must say, they drifted.  There is a real dragging quality in this book that does not seem to improve with more reading.  Please tell me that I am wrong!

Given this received the Miles Franklin Award, I would like to discuss the ‘Australianism’ of this novel.  The criteria for the Award is ‘[the] prize shall be awarded for the Novel for the year which is of the highest literary merit and which must present Australian Life in any of its phases …’.  Does this book meet that for you?  Is Ruth’s little adventures enough qualification?

Hans, never a big character in the story, disappears more in this part.  He has purposefully sidelined himself as he no longer believes or agrees with their shared ideals any more.  Is this a ruse to create more male tension between Ruth and Dora?

Dora is more lost than ever, seeking information and comfort – maybe not even that – respite with any high powered official that does not believe in Hitler’s cause.  Even with this, there is little movement in the Party to gain a foothold through Europe to reject Hitler’s case.  Is there cause lost before it started?

Toller, ah what can we say about him?  A man that cannot believe in his own image in either 1939 or in his own past.  I’m sorry but his lack of personal investment is starting to grate on me.  Give me your opinion of the great playwright.

There are a bunch of newish characters that float in and out without making much of a dent on the story so far.  Have there been any that have stuck out for you?

That’s it for me for the week.  I will wrap up by saying the book has still failed to really take my by the heart, tugging me along to the inevitable ending.  Why is that, do you think?  Have you enjoyed it?  Are you enjoying it?