Monday, March 26, 2012

book review: Next World Novella by Matthias Politycki





Hinrich wakes up one day to discover his wife has died of a stroke. He initially starts to think of all the things that you should do in that situation to register the death. But as he lingers, something he does quite a lot, he starts to read the papers she was working on before she died.

Her papers show notes and revisions on one of his old stories. The story was biographical but in a way that tha author never expected anyone to realise. The way that his wife changes names and adds revisions makes it quite clear that she knew about his secrets and his desires.

As he starts to come to terms with that he begins to unpick their life together finding that the version of history he liked to believe was true was in fact also a work of fiction.

As he talks and moves around the room in the apartment that now contains the corpse of his wife the man begins to find out that punishment for infidelity, even an attempt that failed, is something can take time to come to the surface.

Hinrich is left alone, unforgiven and exposed as a man of weakness. He might regret the past and start arguing his side of the story but with his wife no more it is an argument he will never win and a one-sided conversation you will sense will haunt him until the end of his life. An ending that they had promised to spend together, catching the boat across the water to the afterlife. His wife has left him alone in every dimension .

The novellas from Peirene Press are books that can be consumed in a couple of hours. But my experience so far with the couple of titles I have read is that although short to read they take a long time to digest leaving a deep impression. This is no different.

4 comments:

stujallen said...

I agree this made a big impression on me ,all the best stu

Mark said...

I look forward to polishing this one off the next time I need a break from Parallel Stories!

Tony said...

I read this a couple of times last year (in German), and I loved it. It's a very well-constructed little book and one which improves on rereading. I'd love it to make the shortlist, but I suspect it won't (unfortunately...).

John Hahae said...


Juan Mata

This is good main si si!