A Change of Pace

Sasha: My Winter Adventurer

Monday, November 11, 2013

Austrian Crime Novel! Brenner and God by Wolf Haas

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?

8 comments:

  1. I plan on reading this one if my TBR piles and lists ever shrink -- as if that ever happens. They only go one way -- larger.

    Seriously, it sounds like a good book, and humor is always appreciated.

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    1. Hi, Kathy,
      I'm hoping that more of his books will be translated into English, as I hope for many German novelists I'm dying to read but can't. I suppose I should be grateful that more and more are finding their way into English print.
      I know what you mean about TBR piles. I think I'm in total denial because I believe I will read them all one day.

      Judith

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  2. Sounds very interesting and I would like to read some German crime fiction.

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    1. Tracy,
      I think you'd enjoy this Austrian crime writer, but I must say, his writing is cut "out of the mold." In other words, it's a very different experience, but one that I found refreshingly different.
      Judith

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    2. I had gotten that impression when I read a couple of reviews of the other book you mentioned. I think it will be worth a try.

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  3. Tracy,
    Absolutely worth a try! If you feel like it, do let me know sometime what you thought.

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  4. I liked The Bone Man, myself. It's very gruesome, funny in parts in a very dark way. i have this one on my TBR shelf, so I'm bound to get to it soon.

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    1. James,
      I'm so glad you liked The Bone Man. Gruesome and funny can be an excellent combination! I'll be looking it up!
      Judith

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