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Maybe This Time [Paperback]

Alois Hotschnig , Tess Lewis
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

17 Aug 2011
"First published under the original German title: Die Kinder beruhigte das nicht by Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2006"--T. p. verso.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 110 pages
  • Publisher: Peirene Press Ltd (17 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956284051
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956284051
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 405,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


‎"Not since Julio Cortazar's game of Hopscotch ... has an author so daringly undertaken to challenge the reader." Amanda Hopkinson, The Independent "Hotschnig's stories have the weird, creepy and ambiguous quality of disturbing dreams." Nick Lezard, The Guardian "This award-winning collection by the Austrian writer Alois Hotschnig drew comparisons with Kafka. But Hotschnig's quietly terrifying voice is all his own." Daily Mail

About the Author

Alois Hotschnig, born in 1959, is one of Austria's most critically acclaimed authors, eliciting comparison with Franz Kafka and Thomas Bernhard. He has written novels, short stories and plays. His books have won major Austrian and International honours, such as the Italo-Svevo award and the Erich-Fried nomination. Maybe This Time was first published in German in 2006.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliance in unease 11 Sep 2011
By Ann Fairweather TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
I am not normally a great fan of short stories either, but this stricking collections by austrian author Hotschnig totally got me hooked. While I was reading, I could not help thinking what film directors such as Polanski ot fellow austrian Haneke could do with such a brilliant material...All stories revolve around questions of identity, obsessions or paranoia. Within a perfectly ordinary daily life setting, things suddenly slip, become distorted or fantasmagoric and the stuff of nightmare knits itself into 'normality'. A man becomes the next door family's stalker. A man visits a friend but is diverted to an old woman's flat with a terrifying array of dolls, one of the doll being himself...(this was perhaps the best and most disturbing story of all, giving a taste of deep unease) a family constantly awaits for the arrival of a son that never ever turns up, leaving one doubting the mythical son's very existence. A man finds his flat not quite his, and fits himself every day into a different life where everyone yet seems to know him very well...
A few words here will not describe well enough the deep unsettling and fluid quality that each story possesses and I could not recommend enough to dip into this beautiful volume if you have 2 hours to spare!
I also want to add what tactile pleasure it is to hold a Peirene Press book, as they truly all are beautiful inside out. A small publisher reaching instantly great heights!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual, intriguing, readable 18 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm increasingly interested in European writers whom we generally ignore in the UK, and was drawn to this book by an Austrian author on reading some rather backhanded praise in the Guardian. It turns out to be an excellent collection of short stories with a *slightly* Kafka-esque, *slightly* postmodern feel. I wouldn't say there was anything avante-garde about the writing, its just different and interesting. Thoroughly enjoyable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Opaque and unsettling short stories 16 Sep 2011
By Eleanor TOP 500 REVIEWER
In this collection of short stories Austrian author Alois Hotschnig depicts a number of episodes written in an affectless style, with little dialogue, and very occasional flashes of Kafkaesque humour. His anonymous and alienated characters wait and watch trying to interpret events around them. The reader too is a watcher following Hotschnig's prose whilst not understanding its import, only feeling a sense of sadness, unease, or dread.

This is a difficult book but I'm very glad I read it and I wholly recommend it. Often on finishing one of the stories (most of which are very short) I went straight back to the beginning reading it for a second or even third time. This re-reading pays off and seemingly inconsequential details accrue significance and generate new emotions; both 'The Light in the Room' and 'Morning, Noon, and Night' are particularly fine in this regard. Only two of the stories ('Two Ways of Leaving' and 'The Beginning of Something') left me feeling unsatisfied, and even then their oblique hints and creepy imagery insinuated their way into my thoughts (as well as giving me strange uneasy dreams).

Certain images will linger long in the mind: a man raking the weeds growing on the bed of a lake; a couple spending their days lying, in all weathers, on sun loungers; an old woman surrounded by dolls; an episode in the life of an almost recognisable invertebrate; a family's never-ending wait for Uncle Walter (who ironically is one of the few named characters in the collection).

(The German title of this book is "Die Kinder Beruhigte Das Nicht", which literally translates as "That Didn't Reassure the Children", a phrase which appears in the story 'Then a Door Opens and Swings Shut' (p. 43).)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerising 30 Aug 2011
By Freckles VINE VOICE
This little book is a triumph. I have to confess to not being a lover of short stories, but this is in a different league altogether.
Written by one of Austria's leading authors, Alois Hotschnig, it is veritable potpourri of unique observations of everyday life in frequently unsettling detail. Each story packs an emotional punch and, in many cases, presents a conundrum for the reader to decipher. In "The Same Silence, The Same Noise" a neighbour ponders the motive of the couple next door's continual presence on their jetty. Day after day they sit on their deckchairs by the lake side, regardless of the weather. Aside from raking the reeds, they do and say nothing at all. Why does a woman, living close to man's friend's house, entice him in to see her doll collection? Moreover, why does she caress a doll that resembles the man himself? That is question posed in "Then a Door Opens and Swings Shut". For me, the most accomplished story is "Morning, Noon and Night" which portrays a seemingly very ordinary day in any town, anywhere in the world. Yet ,periodically, the author injects a line which is unsettling and out of keeping with the plot line. What has happened in that bustling street? What is the cause of the newly built wall and railings, not to mention the skid marks on the road? What has taken the character to the GP and why?
Oh, and this little book is addictive. You will find yourself reading and rereading each story.......just in case you missed something the first time round! All nine stories are completely different and I defy anyone not to be hooked from the first page.
Another triumph for Peirene Press who have an uncanny knack of selecting the cream of European literature's crop. This acclaimed Austrian author's work has been lovingly translated and this mesmerising collection of stories demands to be read and enjoyed.
This book was sent to me by the publisher for an honest review.
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