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The Voice Imitator


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Difficult to characterise Thomas Bernhard so I'll just use Amazon's summary :

 

The Austrian playwright, novelist, and poet Thomas Bernhard (1931-89) is acknowledged as among the major writers of our times. At once pessimistic and exhilarating, Bernhard's work depicts the corruption of the modern world, the dynamics of totalitarianism, and the interplay of reality and appearance.

In this stunning translation of The Voice Imitator, Bernhard gives us one of his most darkly comic works. A series of parable-like anecdotes some drawn from newspaper reports, some from conversation, some from hearsay; this satire is both subtle and acerbic. What initially appear to be quaint little stories inevitably indict the sterility and callousness of modern life, not just in urban centres but everywhere. Bernhard presents an ordinary world careening into absurdity and disaster.

 

This book is 104 pages long and has 1 short story per page. As Amazon said they are subtle and acerbic and incredibly well written.  Worth reading just for the prose.

 

Another of my favourite authors I'd recommend him to anyone but this one may be slightly easier as it's a) short and b) has a new story on each page. Bernhard is famous for his stream of consciousness and writing a whole book in a series of paragraphs without chapters, and sometimes without page numbers - try that for an interesting experience! He is indeed at once pessimistic and exhilarating which is a curious feeling when reading but delicious and should be explored.

 

Highly recommended.

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