Hot Best Seller

Siamese

Availability: Ready to download

A brutally comic portrait of marriage, taken to extremes reminiscent of the work of Samuel Beckett and Thomas Bernhard. Edwin Mortens is almost blind, but has good hearing; his wife Erna is hard of hearing, but has excellent eyes. Paralyzed from the waist down, Edwin sits locked in his bathroom all day, every day, trying to liberate his mind from his body. The experiment A brutally comic portrait of marriage, taken to extremes reminiscent of the work of Samuel Beckett and Thomas Bernhard. Edwin Mortens is almost blind, but has good hearing; his wife Erna is hard of hearing, but has excellent eyes. Paralyzed from the waist down, Edwin sits locked in his bathroom all day, every day, trying to liberate his mind from his body. The experiment is going relatively well: nearly all his bodily functions have ceased, his limbs are in a state of decay, and his digestive system is in the process of breaking down. “This body,” he says, “is a sewer.” To pass the time, Edwin dedicates his days to chewing gum and screaming at his wife, on whom he is, nonetheless, entirely dependent; while Erna’s life, despite Edwin’s constant abuse, revolves around her hideous husband. Edwin and Erna live in a state of perfect equilibrium—fueled by habit, cruelty, humiliation, and quite possibly love—until a young maintenance man is called to replace a lightbulb in Edwin’s bathroom, and the “Siamese twins” find themselves embroiled in a new and vicious struggle for power.


Compare

A brutally comic portrait of marriage, taken to extremes reminiscent of the work of Samuel Beckett and Thomas Bernhard. Edwin Mortens is almost blind, but has good hearing; his wife Erna is hard of hearing, but has excellent eyes. Paralyzed from the waist down, Edwin sits locked in his bathroom all day, every day, trying to liberate his mind from his body. The experiment A brutally comic portrait of marriage, taken to extremes reminiscent of the work of Samuel Beckett and Thomas Bernhard. Edwin Mortens is almost blind, but has good hearing; his wife Erna is hard of hearing, but has excellent eyes. Paralyzed from the waist down, Edwin sits locked in his bathroom all day, every day, trying to liberate his mind from his body. The experiment is going relatively well: nearly all his bodily functions have ceased, his limbs are in a state of decay, and his digestive system is in the process of breaking down. “This body,” he says, “is a sewer.” To pass the time, Edwin dedicates his days to chewing gum and screaming at his wife, on whom he is, nonetheless, entirely dependent; while Erna’s life, despite Edwin’s constant abuse, revolves around her hideous husband. Edwin and Erna live in a state of perfect equilibrium—fueled by habit, cruelty, humiliation, and quite possibly love—until a young maintenance man is called to replace a lightbulb in Edwin’s bathroom, and the “Siamese twins” find themselves embroiled in a new and vicious struggle for power.

30 review for Siamese

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This is the ugliest and most hateful book I’ve ever read. It’s a grotesque examination of the darkness inside us and a bizarre example of severe codependency. Siamese was an uncomfortable, yet strangely readable piece of fiction. Sadly, we may not be as far removed from these disgusting creatures as we think we are.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nathanimal

    In love with the idea of this novel. So in love with the idea, in fact, that the novel as it was actually executed often was at war with the novel I was writing in my head as I read. Do you ever do this? This novel hits a sweet spot for me. Edwin's self-denial reminds me somewhat of Kafka's "The Hunger Artist." I started thinking of Edwin as the "solipsism artist" and initially read the novel through a very metaphysical lens. I was reminded of the invalid Malone from Beckett's Malone Dies who is In love with the idea of this novel. So in love with the idea, in fact, that the novel as it was actually executed often was at war with the novel I was writing in my head as I read. Do you ever do this? This novel hits a sweet spot for me. Edwin's self-denial reminds me somewhat of Kafka's "The Hunger Artist." I started thinking of Edwin as the "solipsism artist" and initially read the novel through a very metaphysical lens. I was reminded of the invalid Malone from Beckett's Malone Dies who is so decrepit he's almost nothing but a voice. And Siamese participates in the long and noble tradition of the rant: from Dostoyevsky to Bernhard. Saeterbakken's got it going on, in myriad ways. Bernhard, however, has more control. Bernhard can be hyperbolic without being over the top. Saeterbakken sometimes loses the reins on his characters. Erna says things that don't sound like an old lady, that sound more like an intruding Saeterbakken. Edwin, though most of his monologue is fabulous and compulsive to read, lapses into cliché. But none of this stopped me from really enjoying this novel, and I wonder how much it bugged other readers. I'm intrigued by the strange symbiotic Edwin/Erna organism. The organism has reached a kind of stasis — a feverish, soul-sucking stasis — otherwise known as marriage. There were some deeply affecting moments. I saw far too much of myself in Edwin. Because of the stasis the novel doesn't feel like it's moving at all, and that's good. That's marriage. Time moves slow, but passes quickly, and before you know it it's all over. I'll definitely read this again. (My marriage is great by the way. Just playing along.)

  3. 5 out of 5

    S̶e̶a̶n̶

    Siamese is the first title in the so-called 'S-trilogy', the books of which are connected only tangentially by theme and not by any other commonalities. I'd put it off, having read the other two a few years back, suspecting based on the premise that I wouldn't enjoy it as much. Well, my instincts were correct, as I found it to be a much lesser work. This is the story of an older married couple: the man Edwin has been reduced to a blind inert mass sitting in a rocking chair in the only bathroom Siamese is the first title in the so-called 'S-trilogy', the books of which are connected only tangentially by theme and not by any other commonalities. I'd put it off, having read the other two a few years back, suspecting based on the premise that I wouldn't enjoy it as much. Well, my instincts were correct, as I found it to be a much lesser work. This is the story of an older married couple: the man Edwin has been reduced to a blind inert mass sitting in a rocking chair in the only bathroom in the apartment, while his wife Erna half-heartedly cares for him. The book alternates between their two perspectives. There is a lot of existential dread enrobed in visceral body detail, thus earning the comparisons to Beckett, specifically the Molloy trilogy. The two characters are mostly repugnant, each in different ways, and their interactions generate a bleak portrait of marriage in old age, further compromised by one partner's debilitating illness. While there are a few gems to be found in Edwin's constant cogitative diarrhea, most of it is pretty forgettable. I recommend instead Through the Night and Self-Control as better examples of Sæterbakken's skills.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    Siamese scared the shit out of me. It tells the story of Edwin and Erna, an elderly couple whose lives, as the titles suggests, have become so inextricably intertwined as to be inseparable. Edwin is blind and Erna can't hear: the two are mutually dependent on each other. In alternating chapters, both characters have their say, revealing to a devastating effect the bitterness, recrimination, and misunderstanding such a conjoined life breeds... Saeterbakken is one of Norway's most controversial Siamese scared the shit out of me. It tells the story of Edwin and Erna, an elderly couple whose lives, as the titles suggests, have become so inextricably intertwined as to be inseparable. Edwin is blind and Erna can't hear: the two are mutually dependent on each other. In alternating chapters, both characters have their say, revealing to a devastating effect the bitterness, recrimination, and misunderstanding such a conjoined life breeds... Saeterbakken is one of Norway's most controversial authors. Don't confuse him for Per Petterson: there's nothing pretty about Siamese. It's claustrophobic and death-obsessed. It will make you think twice about the so-called joys of growing old with another person. It is absolutely required reading. EDIT: Jim Krusoe reviewed Siamese for the NYTBR, calling it a "difficult and brilliant book." See here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/boo...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Edwin lives in his bathroom. A rocking chair placed within is his world, and a nearby dresser holds his cups of flat soda and boxes of Orbit gum. The floor is wrinkled with wrappers, and while he’s blind, an overhead fluorescent light illuminates his miserable existence. Once an exacting businessman, overseeing a convalescent home of deteriorating elderly people, he now sits in his own waste, deteriorating slowly as he chews gum and has conversations with Death. Screaming at Elna, his wife, is Edwin lives in his bathroom. A rocking chair placed within is his world, and a nearby dresser holds his cups of flat soda and boxes of Orbit gum. The floor is wrinkled with wrappers, and while he’s blind, an overhead fluorescent light illuminates his miserable existence. Once an exacting businessman, overseeing a convalescent home of deteriorating elderly people, he now sits in his own waste, deteriorating slowly as he chews gum and has conversations with Death. Screaming at Elna, his wife, is his only source of distraction from his roving thoughts. Siamese examines the inner thoughts and outer actions of this strange pair, in the most intimate of ways. Elna is so involved in Edwin’s death (as it is he is more dead than alive) that she lacks the most basic grasp of common sense, unless it comes to deceiving Edwin. Edwin glories in his demise, cataloguing each symptom and detail with relish. It’s almost as if his decay proves that he existed in the first place, because in his constant reminiscing he often tries to analyze if he really did live. His thoughts are random, vulgar, and filled with hate. He asks himself: “Where is this road heading? What will become of everything? Will the future be like what’s already going on in my head? No, the world’s still out there. Nothing ever goes away, it just accumulates. Especially for me, who can’t see worth a damn, yes, I just sit here with a head full of stupid pictures…” It’s clear that even in younger days, Edwin was far from kindly. He treated the patients in the rest home with distant efficiency but secretly thought they should be suffocated in their beds. He loses his job just as his sanity lapses: he attacks a nurse. From then on his busy career fades into the small, smelly room where he ruminates about prior patients and coworkers and pleads for Death to arrive soon to release him from his thoughts: “Take it all, I mean it, don’t leave so much as a bedroom slipper behind, annihilate me, smash me into kindling, into dust, then vacuum me up, leave no evidence, I don’t want to be remembered for anything…I long for you to come and beat my thoughts into submission…they’ve plagued me long enough, do nothing but torment me,…all they can think about, all they remember, is themselves…But I don’t want to think about them anymore…letting them have their way with me is a worse defeat than death.” Elna, for her part, remains distant from Edwin, as his still breathing corpse is no company and company is what she craves. A broken light bulb, necessitating a visit from the building’s young superintendent, finally gives Elna a chance. And the malevolent force that enters their miserable life changes everything. Siamese is not a mystery novel, but at times I had to remind myself to breathe as the suspense built. A character study of two deeply connected but polarized individuals, it is fascinating to read and see how their actions push each other into reactions that are both ugly and frightening. It’s also terribly frightening: the helplessness and lack of contact along with the certainty of impending death gave me chills. The novel was originally written in Norwegian and was translated by Stokes Schwartz.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jim Elkins

    Exactly how black can writing get? At first it seems Saeterbakken is mainly indebted to Beckett: the blind old man's hopeless, self-imposed situation, sitting in a chair in a bathroom for years on end while his circulation shuts down and he slowly decomposes, would not have been possible without scenes in Beckett, especially the man in 'The Unnamable' (1953) who has been sitting so long he cannot be sure he still has legs. And then it seems Saeterbakken is more indebted to Thomas Bernhard, Exactly how black can writing get? At first it seems Saeterbakken is mainly indebted to Beckett: the blind old man's hopeless, self-imposed situation, sitting in a chair in a bathroom for years on end while his circulation shuts down and he slowly decomposes, would not have been possible without scenes in Beckett, especially the man in 'The Unnamable' (1953) who has been sitting so long he cannot be sure he still has legs. And then it seems Saeterbakken is more indebted to Thomas Bernhard, because of the vitriol, the petty paranoia, the hatred and spite, the disgust that pours from the old man's imagination like one of his many pustulent infestations, imagined intestinal worms, scabs, psoriasis, boils, blackheads, pellet-like shit, or powerful farts. But Saeterbakken has an imagination of his own, and it comes out in an amazing continuous invention of his characters' inner lives. The man's wife is an excellent study in emotional paralysis. I can imagine the Joyce of 'The Dubliners' enjoying the way she passively and inaccurately mulls over the many things she hasn't quite said or understood. The man himself is not just desperate or angry, because in the past he was a compulsively accurate record-keeper, and that compulsiveness has an unresolved relation to his current intermittent dementia. The usual way novelists balance irascible senility is with moments of sentiment and lucidity; those do occur here, but they don't do much work. What matters instead is the puzzle of how the middle-aged irritating micromanager chose his muddled but constant wife, and how he then became the old man in the novel. There are a few problems that I would like to assign to Saeterbakken's age: he was only in his thirties when he wrote this. First, it is often possible to tell when he is recording things he learned in hospitals and old age homes. Sudden precise details from the world of hospitals and critical care facilities take me out of the novel and remind me Saeterbakken must have kept real, or mental, notebooks in preparation for this novel. Second, there are set-piece scenes that a better novelist, like Bernhard, would have washed away in a flood of anger, nihilism, or some other driving concern. One is the first meeting between the man's wife and the superintendent of the building, which reads like a sketch by Ibsen about some claustrophobic and embarrassing domestic life. And third, the relentless inventories of the man's body are clearly intended to shock, but as Roland Barthes knew, shock quickly becomes 'shock,' which in turn becomes irritation. A purer version of this book could have done without them. And fourth, there are attempts at black humor and campy funeral-parlor jokes, like the old man's diet (Orbit chewing gum by the case, Coke, and meatballs): they also go from funny to 'funny' to irritating. Better here to follow Beckett, and let things like food be forgotten. 'Black humor' is a rum category, because it pretends it isn't serious about what it actually most serious, its ambition to be as dark as possible. Those are flaws, because they are less than total blackness, and once blackness appears it wants to be total.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Justin Evans

    Is there something wrong with me? I thought that, far from being a grotesque descent into the depths of human hideousness, this was a fairly touching novel about how two people, even in the absolute depths, can get along okay. The invalid doesn't do anything too bad to his wife. The wife doesn't do anything too bad to his husband. Perhaps the obviously Beckettian set-up made me expect something a bit colder; perhaps the translation doesn't really do justice to Saeterbakken's prose, which seems, Is there something wrong with me? I thought that, far from being a grotesque descent into the depths of human hideousness, this was a fairly touching novel about how two people, even in the absolute depths, can get along okay. The invalid doesn't do anything too bad to his wife. The wife doesn't do anything too bad to his husband. Perhaps the obviously Beckettian set-up made me expect something a bit colder; perhaps the translation doesn't really do justice to Saeterbakken's prose, which seems, on the evidence here, to be quite jaunty. Perhaps I'm just not interested in physical disgust unmediated by intelligent reflection. If I want to be disgusted, I'll read Swift's poetry. That way, I get way more disgusted, but amused, as well.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Beautiful Bernhardian/Beckettian brutality. Brusque, blunt, blemished, broken, body-bilious…Brilliant. Good review at NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/boo... and 3:AM - http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/misera...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Pål

    Ubehagelig lesning.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tuck

    absolutely hilarious story of a long married couple, totally decrepit in body, totally scathing in mind, arguing, pissing, moaning, nitpicking, finding fault, and utterly dependent on each other. shoot, they may even love each other. maybe geared for baby boomers children, rather than 20 somethings in the teens, but nevertheless a tourdeforce of inner dialog and the horrid ending most all of us face.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Juan Carlos Portero

    Los protagonistas y narradores de Siamés son una pareja de ancianos: Edwin Mortens que es casi ciego, pero tiene buen oído, y su esposa Erna, que tiene problemas de audición, pero tiene unos ojos preciosos. Paralizado de la cintura para abajo, Edwin permanece sentado y encerrado en su baño todo el día, todos los días, tratando de liberar la mente de su cuerpo. El experimento va relativamente bien, casi todas sus funciones corporales han cesado, sus extremidades están en un estado de Los protagonistas y narradores de Siamés son una pareja de ancianos: Edwin Mortens que es casi ciego, pero tiene buen oído, y su esposa Erna, que tiene problemas de audición, pero tiene unos ojos preciosos. Paralizado de la cintura para abajo, Edwin permanece sentado y encerrado en su baño todo el día, todos los días, tratando de liberar la mente de su cuerpo. El experimento va relativamente bien, casi todas sus funciones corporales han cesado, sus extremidades están en un estado de descomposición y el sistema digestivo está en proceso de descomposición. Para pasar el tiempo Edwin dedica sus días a masticar chicle y gritarle a su esposa, de quien es, sin embargo, completamente dependiente. La vida de Erna, a pesar del abuso constante de Edwin, gira en torno a su marido horrible. Edwin y Erna viven en un estado de perfecto equilibrio, alimentado por el hábito, la crueldad, la humillación y, posiblemente, el amor, hasta que un joven de mantenimiento es llamado a reemplazar una bombilla en el baño de Edwin, y los “gemelos siameses” se ven envueltos en un Nueva y viciosa lucha por el poder. Una pieza de ficción incómoda, que nos hace pensar si estamos tan alejados de esas criaturas repugnantes como creemos que estamos. El tiempo se mueve lento, pero pasa rápido, y antes de que te des cuenta, todo ha terminado. No es una novela de misterio, pero a veces tienes que respirar hondo ante el suspense. Un estudio de dos individuos profundamente conectados pero polarizados, fascinante de leer y ver cómo con sus acciones feas y aterradoras saltan al precipicio. La impotencia, la falta de contacto y la certeza de la muerte inminente te produce escalofríos. Uno de mis libros favoritos de 2018, otra vez Mármara. Muy recomendable.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Zac Smith

    Short, sad, ruminative. Not much happens, which is fine, imo, but there are *hints* at plot, but nothing resolves. It's a rollercoaster of a ride, the alternative viewpoints per chapter revolving around the same 'events' is good, it's not overwrought, it doesn't hammer you over the head. I like the bleakness of it, the structural irony, the imagery. It's dark, brutal, but not overwhelming. It's not Bernhardian in its repetition or heavy language. The characters feel real, their emotions and Short, sad, ruminative. Not much happens, which is fine, imo, but there are *hints* at plot, but nothing resolves. It's a rollercoaster of a ride, the alternative viewpoints per chapter revolving around the same 'events' is good, it's not overwrought, it doesn't hammer you over the head. I like the bleakness of it, the structural irony, the imagery. It's dark, brutal, but not overwhelming. It's not Bernhardian in its repetition or heavy language. The characters feel real, their emotions and actions feel real. I think Stig does characters really well. Nothing really crazy happens. The super is an inscrutable character. I'm fascinated by all the things left out of the text about him, and I wonder if I 'missed' anything. The ending is vague, but good. I had some thoughts about what might 'happen' which hooked me into reading on. I thought that was done well. Just enough Checkov guns to get you intrigued. Some were left unresolved, some fired in a sad way. The end definitely embraces the 'point' of the novel, the conflict between 'action' and 'character/setting'. I liked it, I think.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Elías Ortigosa

    Un relato paralelo angustioso. Una novela esencial.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marco Kaye

    A very dark and, at times, very funny (in a painful way) portrait of a marriage. The entire length of the book Edwin Mortens sits in a rocking chair, on self-imposed lock down inside his bathroom, willing himself to die. "This body," he says, "is a sewer." He is nearly blind, but has perfect hearing. Or so he says. Edwin is an unreliable narrator of the highest order. Well, we are fairly sure he is incontinent, paralyzed, and self-centered. His twin pleasures are chewing huge quantities of Orbit A very dark and, at times, very funny (in a painful way) portrait of a marriage. The entire length of the book Edwin Mortens sits in a rocking chair, on self-imposed lock down inside his bathroom, willing himself to die. "This body," he says, "is a sewer." He is nearly blind, but has perfect hearing. Or so he says. Edwin is an unreliable narrator of the highest order. Well, we are fairly sure he is incontinent, paralyzed, and self-centered. His twin pleasures are chewing huge quantities of Orbit gum, and yelling at "Sweetie," his pet name for his wife, Erna. Edwin is a monster, but he still charms. "I prefer my soda lukewarm…" he muses. "Then, it becomes like the remnant of something rare, something holy…" Those ellipsis aren't mine. This is Seterbakken's way of getting us inside Edwin's head, and that device, paired with the jumps in logic and memories, works well. Besides fragments of their marriage, Edwin remembers his job at an assisted living facility. It's a past that is loaded with irony, but Stig Saeterbakken treats it with a light touch. Edwin remembers a patient whose "lungs would seize right up if he didn't get a few good wake-up smacks on his back and chest, and when the worst of his coughing had passed, he always took his assailants by the hand and thanked them..." Alternate chapters are narrated by Erna, who one can't help worrying about as she worries about Edwin and deals with his abuse. It's troubling, but I don't entirely agree with Jim Krusoe's assessment in the Times. "What are we to do with such people, those who have no charming present, no virtuous past and absolutely no future — in other words, people so unlike our imagined selves?" (http://nyti.ms/hRjyFe) Yet Edwin and Sweetie forced me to contemplate fights I've had with those I've loved the most. The book is also a memento mori, which Krusoe acknowledges. Realistically, none of us will ever become exactly like Edwin and Erna, but all of us will be sitting somewhere, hopefully with someone we've spent most of our lives with, contemplating the end. I, for one, hate Orbit gum, so there won't be any of that for me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Mcquiston

    Siamese is the story of a married couple, the blind husband that sits in the bathroom all day and night and tries to delve himself into existentialist thought and the wife that can barely hear and does not know exactly what to do. Both of them know that they are getting old, and having no real family or friends to call on, they feel as if they only have one another. The problem of course is that the codependency is not presented in a healthy, viable way but instead is coaxed out of the situation Siamese is the story of a married couple, the blind husband that sits in the bathroom all day and night and tries to delve himself into existentialist thought and the wife that can barely hear and does not know exactly what to do. Both of them know that they are getting old, and having no real family or friends to call on, they feel as if they only have one another. The problem of course is that the codependency is not presented in a healthy, viable way but instead is coaxed out of the situation by the husband's tyrants, anger, jealousy, and sheer meanness. The thing is that even when he does mean what he says, when he tells his wife to get the hell away from him, as soon as she leaves, he wonders where she went. She feels sad about his situation, but then she decides that she is not going to feed him for a few days, and maybe rent his room out. They both have no real ways to express their true feelings so they are mean and passive aggressive to each other, thus leave a story that is blind and deaf to the true nature of what is suppose to be happening in a marriage where there is not as much activity but the need for more physical and emotional support. That is what Saeterbakken projects flawlessly. There is not one moment when you he tells the story of the situation instead of showing the story. He knows that you have to figure out that this relationship is not healthy on your own, and maybe use this to reflect the relationships that you have, whether or not it is anything like the one in "Siamese" or something better. This is the sign of a true artist: one who tells a story, but is really making you reflect on your own life.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    Grotesque, absolutely. The scenes narrated by the terminally ill Edwin Mortens occur on or near a toilet, always in the bathroom of his apartment where his wife faithfully attends to him despite his rage over everything she does. There might be a way for Saeterbakken to illustrate Edwin's illness without giving away the mystery of what ails him. We learn Edwin is blind and lost his job as a director at a medical facility prior to his sentence to dependent withdrawal. He lives a minimal life of Grotesque, absolutely. The scenes narrated by the terminally ill Edwin Mortens occur on or near a toilet, always in the bathroom of his apartment where his wife faithfully attends to him despite his rage over everything she does. There might be a way for Saeterbakken to illustrate Edwin's illness without giving away the mystery of what ails him. We learn Edwin is blind and lost his job as a director at a medical facility prior to his sentence to dependent withdrawal. He lives a minimal life of chewing gum and eating meatballs, but his memory knows no quiet. He recalls moments of happiness with Erna his wife, and he recalls in detail how he was released from Koestenbaum by Dr. De Sarg. He also is perhaps too cognizant of his present state of sewage misery. The back cover wrongly calls this experiment one that is going relatively well. I suspect the title of the book has two meanings, although neither one is obvious from the story. Edwin and Erna are inseperable, Edwin being entirely and helpless dependent. But with Edwin we also meet another person who has more to offer than his redundant farting and humiliations. His last chapter is a humane wish to tell Erna he's sorry and that he worries about her letting the super move into their apartment.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    A caustically morose, scatologically vivid story of the remainder of a love(?). Codependency at its basest, drawn part Beckett, part Palahniuk. There is some light at the end of this tunnel but I'm not so sure that it wasn't just too long and repetitive a path to get there. Book one of a sort-of-trilogy that i think deserves a completion although it doesn't look like the third book is translated yet.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    The constant struggle between Edwin and Sweetie was painful to watch, and yet it seemed plausible that this couple could end up that way. Self-absorbed and absorbed with each other, existing without living. This is a depressing, bleak story, but there is love there, and it stood out brightly to me like a whisper of light, maybe because I was desperately looking for it, refusing to believe their life could only hold despair.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alexa "Naps" Snow

    The dark side of our living, both psychologically and physically. Very disturbing. While Edwin is rotting away, bitter with his thoughts. Erna almost revenges on him for his illness and rotting away. Through the book I was waiting for something horrible to happen. I mean, even more horrible than their lives. My father has Parkinson's and its reminds me of him and his bitter thoughts and hurtful sayings. The dark side.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Peacegal

    What does "'til death do us part" really mean? Will you really want your spouse "in sickness and in health?" When we decide to spend our lives with that special someone, we never ponder what that someone will become toward the end of their lifespan. This rather grim little novel makes it abundantly clear how our hopes and dreams may turn into nightmares.

  21. 4 out of 5

    L.D.

    My goodness!! I couldn't finish!!! This is one of these books that the cover and title intrigued me, but once I "entered" within the pages I became totally lost in what I didn't understand. Mind you, just because this was "foreign" to me does not mean you will feel the same way. Maybe I will pick it up again and have a different opinion, but for now there are many more to read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    Painfully bleak but still I couldn't stop, impossible not to read Beckett and Bernhard (esp. The World-Fixer) and even Kafka in there...O fuck, we are gonna die...but not soon enough...but still...and like chancres, we are, chancres and dribbling pus...O what joy! in books, though, seriously...because i forgot about my own for a bit, a wee bit...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    A vicious diatribe between two married adversaries that while stressing their conflict, highlights their co-dependence. Thank God it was short, that was about all I could take. (Well written though)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Salvatore Leone

    Exceptionally well written and alternatively very funny, sad and disturbing book about a couple whose entire relationship is built on their dependence on each other, he in his wheelchair, in the bathroom, which he never leaves, and she, who needs him so she has someone to take care of.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Larissa

    Review here: http://www.rochester.edu/College/tran...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    Oh wow, this is dark dark dark.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Beth Shields-Szostak

    translation copyright 2010

  28. 4 out of 5

    anon

    engaged w/ it here: http://www.5cense.com/16/466.htm

  29. 5 out of 5

    Terry

    God, so bleak I think I want to kill myself after reading this. Laugh out loud funny at times, most of the time just dismal and depressing.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Clark

    People are mostly gross and even if they can hide it for a while they totally lose their shit once they get old.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.