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The Loser


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This book is considered to be Bernhard's best work. It's is a very short book, 189 pages or so. It is written in one long monologue and one long paragraph from beginning to end, which takes a wee bit of getting used to. There is one narrator who comes across as unreliable and rambling but who does actually get the story, albeit mostly depressing, told.  The novel is about the intense relationship between three men, Glenn Gould (who actually existed but this novel is fiction) and two other men, all meeting at a real place as students of music (the Mozarteum in Salzburg).  Glenn is portrayed as a genius and the other two are head and shoulders above the rest in abililty but not as good as Gould (I can't believe I just typed that!) and the effect this had on all three men.  Gould dies of natural causes and Wertheimer (one of the other men but not the narrator) commits suicide, eventually.  The narrator is unnamed and analyses the whole relationship between all three men from the beginning of said relationship - and the book - to the end - of both.

 

I found the book captivating and complicated at the same time.  I took my time to read it and thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading it again sometime in the future.

 

Highly recommended, the prose is very good indeed but the subject matter is definitely dark and there are some difficult issues to deal with.

 

ETA My thanks to Dan for introducing me to this author

 

ETA Just found out that this is part of a trilogy of the arts

Edited by lunababymoonchild
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Glad to hear you liked this, Luna. I'll definitely be looking to read it. What are the other books in the trilogy? Interesting to note the brevity of this work. Bernhard's first novel, Frost, my only previous experience with this writer, was at least a 1/3, maybe 50%, longer than it needed to be. And it told no discernible story. My next read will be Wittgenstein's nephew by this author. Thanks for the review!

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The other books in the trilogy are : Cutting Timber: an Irritation, also known as Woodcutters, the art in this book being the theatre and Old Masters: a Comedy (can't wait to read that!) the art here being painting.  They don't need to be read in order though.

 

I hope you do a review of Wittgenstein's Nephew, I'm interested to see what you make of it.

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4 hours ago, lunababymoonchild said:

The other books in the trilogy are : Cutting Timber: an Irritation, also known as Woodcutters, the art in this book being the theatre and Old Masters: a Comedy (can't wait to read that!) the art here being painting.  They don't need to be read in order though.

 

I hope you do a review of Wittgenstein's Nephew, I'm interested to see what you make of it.

Thanks Luna. I'll be sure to post on Wittgenstein's Nephew 

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