Dark Company: A Novel in Ten Rainy Nights

Gert Loschutz, trans. from the German by Samuel P. Willcocks. . Seagull Books (Univ. of Chicago, dist.), $21 (224p) ISBN 978-0857420855
In Loschutz's strange, shadowy novel, a former bargeman, Thomas, wanders the rainy streets of a landlocked German village encountering ethereal characters who weave between past and present, reality and imagination. As a young man, Thomas's grandfather warned him to "beware of the dark company, the ones who never move," and these mysterious characters plague Thomas throughout this life. He believes he sees an old friend from his time at London's Royal Naval College, which triggers a memory of the boy's disappearance and replacement by an odd classmate who introduces Thomas's friends to an eerie black magic. At another point Thomas is mistaken for the leader of a religious cult that launches violent attacks in the name of his assumed identity. Later, he follows a woman he believes is a girl he loved as a young boy only to discover that she is following another man. The truth remains obscured throughout these fragmented episodes but there remains a constant for Thomas: water: From the rivers he once navigated to the pounding rain that sets the haunting tempo of his nightly walks, the water, like time, meanders, obfuscates and reveals. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/14/2013
Release date: 05/01/2013
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