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4.8 out of 5 stars

on 22 November 2016
Great Book
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on 21 January 2015
As described
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on 3 July 2016
There's only one other proper review here and that from almost twenty years ago - why? TB should be better known in this country because he's every bit as good as Kafka, and this "novel" (though it's equally a poem) shows his sublime artistry in full flow, a mesmerising torrent of words that will carry you headlong through the pages like an animal swept away in a flood. Be warned, there are no chapters and paragraphs, so it's a temptation to keep on reading right through the night, the prose as addictive as a narcotic. But there is a strong story line, even if it is 'narrated' from different points of view, unreliable, interlinked sources vying with each other to purvey the most sensational version of events and emotions at the lime works. There's also the author's trademark acidic wisdom: "It is deadly to return in the end to one's parent's house in one's home town, one's home land, one's so-called final refuge." Genius (not used lightly here) again from TB, sheer bloody nerve-shredding genius.
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on 28 August 1997
The book itself is like the lime works in which the reader finds him/herself lost, the walls constructed of bits of hearsay and rumor collected and disseminated by various neighbors and acquaintances of the strange old man currently living in the lime works with his invalid wife of whom he takes cursory care and on whom he conducts strange experiments (of the auditory type) because he is gathering information for the book he is writing, the book he has been writing for quite some time, well, actually the book that he has been preparing to write for years but which he has not actually started because he is afraid that he might get it wrong and he knows that it must be a brilliant work -- for his research is of the most brilliant nature -- and he is simply driving himself mad with it, though he seems not to notice anything unusual except for his exceptionally keen sense of hearing and the most amazing thing about the book, not the book in the book, but the actual book by Thomas Bernhard, is that it is about writing the book that the reader is reading and it is difficult to put the book down even for a moment, not just because the book is intriguing and complex and disturbing, but also because the book is composed (to resemble the workings of a madman's mind) of several hundred pages of run-on sentences.
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