Woodcutters by Thomas Bernhard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A puzzling novel to review. This book lulled me to sleep every night but didn’t bore me. It was possible to skim pages, meet variations of the same line on several pages, then go back and find no new information. And yet the book is exceptionally well written, catching a voice and a point of view, in part through the sheer volume of music that waltzes around an internal monologue.
That viewpoint is hardly a pleasant place to be. This is a man who is jaded, cynical, grieving, hurt and hurtful. Yet the expression of these traits is familiar to anyone who is honest with themselves in the moments they are not proud of. He also undergoes believable inconsistencies, reversals and revelations, some temporary, some profound.
The quality of references, at least those I caught, and the authentic note to the milieu add enormously to the sense of a writer in control of their work at levels I can only respond to unconsciously. How else could I end up liking a book about a man who sits in a chair complaining to himself about everyone, including himself?
View all my reviews