How to Torture a True Reader: Chess Story by Stefan Zweig

How does this sound for torture? The Gestapo locks you in a decent hotel room. It’s comfortable. A pretty good bed, a desk, a chair.  Three meals a day, neither too cold nor too hot.  You’re all alone but the Gestapo is leaving you alone. No physical harm comes to you. But there is nothing to read.  Not a single thing in the room with … Continue reading How to Torture a True Reader: Chess Story by Stefan Zweig

Brenner and God by Wolf Haas, translated from the German by Annie Janusch

The most unusual thing about Wolf Haas’s detective thriller Brenner and God, a novel not shy about tackling unusual things, is the narrator. What to make of the narrator?  It’s it a first person narrator or a third person narrator? See what you think: Now, what was it that Peinhaupt was going to casually ask the suspicious chauffeur?  How well he know Knoll, of course.  But there … Continue reading Brenner and God by Wolf Haas, translated from the German by Annie Janusch

Perfume by Patrick Suskind

Perfume by Patrick Suskind is one of the books I found through the BBC’s radio program A Good Read. Everyone on that week’s panel enjoyed the book and it sounded very interesting so I bought it. The novel follows a child born into abject poverty in 18th century France who rises to become the best perfumer in the country. The fly in the ointment, a … Continue reading Perfume by Patrick Suskind