By Peter Handke
Translated from German
Good Reads Rating: 3.5 out of 5
GL rating: 2 out of 11
I bought Across on a whim at a groovy little bookstore in the East Village, in part because the cover design is excellent, and it’s a first edition (UK) novel for the reasonalbe price of $25. I guess you could say that I felt, at that moment, like living on the edge.
I also hoped it would be a good novel, of course, but hit the brakes after 25 pages. It’s tedious writing, much of it an artless agglomeration of details about a few villages and landscapes outside of Salzburg, Austria. It is bereft of visual flare, with a leaden, dour tone. There was not a single “aha!” or "wow!" moment, in terms of the language.
Although it’s not explicit, you get the sense that the narrator feels sorry for himself, and he wants you to feel sorry for him too.
Handke is an intelligent personage, and it comes through in the writing, and it’s possible that I’m putting the novel down prematurely, but, basically, I could not hang with this novel.