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When the Time Comes Paperback – 3 Oct 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Contra Mundum Press (3 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1940625017
  • ISBN-13: 978-1940625010
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 525,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BG on 31 Dec. 2013
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Gosh. Where to start with this one? Unusually, the blurb on the back is a reasonable guide to the contents. The "Time" in the title is the time of a person's death, and the book is indeed a kind of necrology: an enumeration and study of the ever-increasing dead in a rural village in alpine Austria. There is no real plot, little elaboration of characters, but a remorseless succession of deaths by suicide, accident or illness. Few features persist: the village built in the shape of a cross, the calvary with its terrible figure of Satan next to Christ, the overarching grip of Catholicism. The recurring human character is the Bone Collector - a now ninety year old man who looks after the pot wherein bones of slaughtered animals are boiled to produce a putrid-smelling stock "to be brushed on the horses with a crow's feather around the eyes, on the ears...to protect them from the flies..." Each dead person is described as lying (metaphorically?) in the bone collectors pot, as a new layer on top of the earlier dead. The prose is direct, vivid, becoming incantatory, surreal and poetic. It begins to work as one of those cumulative songs, where a new item (dead person, in this case) is added in the chorus to those already itemised earlier in the song (starting here with the arm bones of a blasphemer who threw a statue of Christ over a forest waterfall).

There are only two other books by Josef Winkler in English translation, neither easy to find. The translation here seems very good; I don't read German - what I mean is that one is almost never aware of reading a translation. Given that an American publisher has had the commitment to produce this book, the American spelling must be forgiven. I noticed just a couple of laughably inappropriate contemporary Americanisms ("...
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This is a very poetic and bitter portrayal of the history ofadark corner of deep rural Austria. The narrative structure is woven through characters whose lives or rather deaths form a pattern ofbrutality, violence and ignorance over decades.
Not an easy read but once you get into the rhythms of the prose and the stunning, often shocking imagery with its episodes of surreal mortality you feel the atmosphere of moral decay very closely.
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Amazon.com: 1 review
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Translation 7 Jun. 2014
By ladyrawhide - Published on Amazon.com
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This translation is excellent. The translator perfectly captured the subtleties and nuances of Winkler's writing. Not an easy task considering the difficulties involved in capturing and describing the emotional reactions of the village characters during that period in history.
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