5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Wittgenstein's Nephew: A Friendship (Phoenix Fiction) (Paperback)
This is one of my favourite Bernhard novels. It is both funny and pessimistic at once, slamming the borgeois and literary worlds of Vienna, while examining the themes of mental and physical illness and the artistic temperament. And although this is a portrait of Paul Wittgenstein, nephew to Ludwig, it is also a largely revealing portrait of the artist. Bernhard's view of book awards is worthy of an award in itself! But, like The Loser, this novel seems to take real-life characters and twist them into fictional constructs (eg. Paul has both his arms); however, if you know a little of Paul Wittgenstein, then you will be able to spot the differences and realise that this truth-bending only goes to serve the narrative and the narrator beneficently. It is short, like most of his works, but naturally presented in the one-paragraph format that hypnotizes you and simply does not let you put the book down. This I would almost recommend as the perfect introduction to Bernhard ... either way, a cracking good read.