Kramer's Goats

Rudolf Nassauer, Author Peter Owen Publishers $25.95 (188p) ISBN 978-0-7206-0659-1
This new work by the author of the highly respected The Hooligan is a brilliant tour de force. Much of the text is the working journal-cum-memoir of Fabrice Korn, which Fabrice's brother Julien (his twin, whose name, like Fabrice's, is drawn from Stendahl) is transcribing. Fabrice is a poet who has serious bouts of insanity, a fact that constantly calls into question what is true and what imaginary in his fevered account. We read that he grew up a Jew in 1930s Vienna, escaped to South Africa with his family and later, in middle age, wandered around Europe. Julien's comments, which more or less frame the narrative, add ambiguities to the brother's often anguished, often funny recollections. This intense and fascinating story will reward readers who delve into its many layers. What could easily deteriorate into parlor tricks in a lesser writer's hands is elevated in Nassauer's to create a novel of remarkable depth, power and insight, with passages of lyric beauty. (September 18)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1987
Release date: 12/01/1987
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