To back of Beyond by Peter Stamm









To back of beyond by Peter Stamm

Swiss fiction

Original title – Weit über das Land

Translator – Michael Hofmann

Source – library book

I usually try over the new year to catch some books that may be on the man Booker longlist. A good place to start is writers that have been on the list before so this is the first of two books I have got from the library from previous longlisted writers. Peter Stamm has won a number of prizes in Germany for his writing which is described as being sparse.I have reviewed his books twice before on the blog, he is a writer I feel could be on the longlist this year.

When astrid realized that Thomas wasn’t lying beside her, she would suppose he was already up, even though she almost invaribly got up first. She would go upstairs half asleep and wake the children and go downstairs again. Ten minutes later, freshly showered and in her robe she would emerge from the bathroom and call the children, who were bound to be still in bed. Konrad!Ella! Get a move on! If you don’t get up now, you’ll be late,Always the same sentence.

Astrid goes into auto mode when Thomas goes.

Like his other books, this has a moment at the start of the tale. The moment this book starts is when a perfect or so it seems couple Thomas and Astrid with their 2.4 children return from a perfect holiday in Spain. Next Day Thomas walks out of there house and starts to do a Forest Gump and walk around Switzerland. Meanwhile, his with Astrid is like a rabbit caught in headlights and just stays as she is covering for her missing husband.Thomas initially stays in a caravan then heads to the mountain trying to live off the land as best he can stumble into a brothel. Well, Astrid tries to help the children then she decides to let the world know what has happened. Why did Thomas escape, why hasn’t Astrid acted sooner? This is about keeping face in a way for Astrid there perfect life had tiny cracks in but they failed to see them.

It was daybreak when Thomas awoke.The moon was high, but it didn’t shed much light in the brightening sky. The group if trees that Thomas had seen as an outline the previous nightwere just a few sick specimens with leafless crowns, their trunks a tangle of ivy. A sweetish smell hung in the air.

Thomas clothes were sodden, but he didn’t feel cold. He rubbed his hands on the damp grass and wiped the sleep from his eyes .

Thomas is in a dream state at times .

This is a novella and touches on what modern life is about in a way. Those who like Thomas just drift off this isn’t quite Christopher Mccandless into the wild Thomas isn’t making a point in a way he seems  more hunting for what is seldom seen these days in our towns and cities and that is as Kierkegaard said “I found I had less to say, until finally, I became silent, and began to listen.I discovered in silence, the voice of God. Maybe not quite God, but Thomas is seeking that clarity it brings to people sometimes. Their life isn’t all it seems this is classic Stamm in a way he has a way of going under the veneer of modern life. He has a way of placing his characters into situations using a starting point.Like in seven years he uses a classic storyline a man leaving his family in a mid-life crisis a Reg Perrin or Frank Bascombe life falling apart. What is your favourite Peter Stamm book?


15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. 1streading
    Jan 02, 2018 @ 19:46:04

    I’m really looking forward to reading this. I read a few of his novels – most recently Agnes during German Lit Month (but didn’t have time to review it). I hope it does make it onto the long list!


  2. Lisa Hill
    Jan 02, 2018 @ 20:41:31

    I know I said this last time you reviewed a Peter Stamm: but I have Seven Years on the TBR and it is definitely going to be read soon!


  3. Shigekuni - Book Blog
    Jan 02, 2018 @ 21:15:14

    I really don’t like Stamm, except for the very early books like Agnes or Ungefähre Landschaft.


  4. Shigekuni - Book Blog
    Jan 02, 2018 @ 21:27:23

    He’s also weirdly developing into the most visible and most decorated Swiss writer despite that country’s extremely vibrant literary culture driven by immigrants. instead this white man, former business consultant, who does these clean stories… sometimes strangely racist? I think Seven Years is the one that crawls with it particularly, if I remember correctly. I mean you can argue that it’s illustrative of the narrator, but traces of it are elsewhere in Stamm’s work too.


  5. Shigekuni - Book Blog
    Jan 02, 2018 @ 21:28:12

    I like your review though. 🙂


  6. Somali Bookaholic
    Jan 03, 2018 @ 03:28:07

    I have never heard of this Author but thanks to your blog am discovering more and more Authors


  7. Trackback: Jan 2018 Winston’s month | Winstonsdad's Blog

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