Wednesday, June 18, 2008

On a Day like This

Here's a peek at a review that appeared in Library Journal this month.

On a Day Like This by Peter Stamm

Swiss author Peter Stamm's latest novel describes a few months in the life of Andreas, a secondary school teacher and confirmed bachelor. This glimpse at one man's midlife crisis is a mediation on what it means to be lonely. Sitting in a doctor's office awaiting the results of a biopsy, Andreas has an epiphany. Dissatisfied with the banality of his life, he decides to quit his job, sell his apartment, end his romantic affairs, and leave Paris for good. He heads to his childhood home in Switzerland and an ill-fated reunion with his first love. Andreas's completely unrealistic self-perception (illustrated with subtle irony by his language-teaching materials) makes up for his being far from sympathetic as a protagonist. Stamm's narrative is both insightful and dreamy, his fluid prose rendered adeptly by award-winning translator Michael Hofmann. And while the novel's ending is unexpected (and, some might argue, inappropriate), it is not unwelcome.

See the full review at Library Journal (temporarily) or Barnes and Noble under "editorial reviews" (it should be there shortly).

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