A heartfelt thank you to Melville House for publishing Annie Janusch's English translation of Brenner and God by the Austrian crime novelist Wolf Haas.
I found Haas's hero, the ex-detective and mildly dysfunctional Simon Brenner to be a touchingly droll and endearing hero, as inept a chauffeur and baby-watcher as he is. My only disappointment was that there were not more scenes of Brenner conversing with the baby as he drove her for hours on end on the Autobahn. Brenner's relationship with the tyke was such a great hook!
Fortunately all the criminals and evil-doers were absurdly and enchantingly stupid, or Brenner would not have had a chance to come out on top. But... If you like rooting for the underdog and for charmingly not-too-bright detectives, AND if you have an absurdist sense of humor, Wolf Haas is without a doubt an author you should read.
The only other book that's available in English translation is The Bone Man, also through Melville House. I'm very tempted to read it!
I should add that Haas is very highly regarded in Austria and has won crime fiction prizes for his novels. Also! Three of his Brenner novels have been made into films. Wouldn't it be nice if they became available in these parts?
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