Six Degrees of Separation: From Stasiland to Nobody’s Fool

Six Degrees of Separation is the brain child of Kate over at Books Are My Favourite and Best where we all start with the same book and see where our links take us!

This month we begin with Anna Funder’s examination of the East German Stasi – Stasiland.

Deborah Levy’s most recent novel The Man Who Saw Everything, sees lead character Saul Adler travel to East Germany in 1988 for what will prove to be a fateful trip.

Before he makes that trip, Adler is knocked down by a car at the crossing on Abbey Road made famous by  The Beatles iconic album cover.

In Beatlebone by Kevin Barry,  it is 1978 and John Lennon has travelled to the island he owns off the West Coast of Ireland (he really did own an island off the West Coast of Ireland!) to try and get some control over his life and indulge in some scream therapy (he really did this too!).

Only two years after Beatlebone is set, John Lennon was shot dead in New York City by Mark David Chapman who identified so strongly with the narrator of JD Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye that he wanted to change his name to Holden Caulfield. Later, he read a passage from the novel to address the court during his sentencing.

The Catcher in the Rye is narrated by a disaffected teenage boy, as is The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. The opening line of the novel, narrated by Ponyboy Curtis is

“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.”

Paul Newman was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar in 1994 for his role as Donald “Sully” Sullivan in Nobody’s Fool, a novel by Richard Russo.

So there we have it! From Stasiland to Nobody’s Fool in six easy steps. Where would your six take you?

Next month (May 2) the starting point is the apt but terrifying The Road by Cormac McCarthy!


The 746

Cathy746books View All →

I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!

27 Comments Leave a comment

  1. The genius in my picking Stasiland as the starter is that ‘m collecting a list of books about East Germany – I have enjoyed Levy’s previous books but haven’t read Man yet.


  2. Nicely done! I didn’t know that about Mark Chapman but it makes sense – by the time I’d ploughed my way through Holden Caulfield’s whining I felt a bit murderous myself… 😉


  3. Enjoyed your chain! Last time I was in NYC I was cutting through Central Park and realized I was at the John Lennon Memorial, near where he was shot. I stopped to look around and it was interesting to see how many were there from near and far as a tribute (multiple languages, etc.). I had forgotten that Mark Chapman was obsessed with Holden Caulfield but maybe that was what creeped me out when a friend named her son Holden!


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