The Delighted States ) qui"/>

The Escape

Adam Thirlwell, Author . Farrar, Straus & Giroux $25 (321p) ISBN 978-0-374-14878-2

Following the travails of aging libertine Raphael Haffner in a spa town somewhere in Bohemia, this unfortunate picaresque by Thirlwell (The Delighted States ) quickly becomes a case study in which history (“that arrogant personification”), mythical references, and Haffner's own life don't inform one another so much as farcically cohabitate. Narrated by a younger, faceless acquaintance, the story of our “epic hero” drifts between Haffner's efforts to secure his dead wife's estate and his “Sophoclean” love for sexy young yoga instructor Zinka, or, more generally, “the familiar, peristaltic illness of the women,” as Haffner's “ageing body is still a pincushion for the multicoloured plastic arrows of the victorious kid-god: Cupid.” Within this landscape of “tremulous picturesque mountains” where anti-Semitic bureaucrats conspire to deprive Haffner of his inheritance, the arthritic Casanova offers many self-aggrandizing reflections punctuated by exclamation points. Unfortunately, Haffner's considerable shortcomings, while promising, never consolidate into a solid character, much less a mythical letch. His insights and motivations are stale and cartoonish, his vulnerabilities bland, and his slapstick strivings are those of a stick figure on Viagra. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 11/30/2009
Release date: 03/01/2010
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 321 pages - 978-0-312-68113-5
Hardcover - 272 pages - 978-0-224-08912-8
Hardcover - 321 pages - 978-0-224-08911-1
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4481-0450-5
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.