Dog Days

Walter Kempowski, Author Camden House (NY) $0 (337p) ISBN 978-0-938100-78-2
While Alexander Sovtschick's wife is away from their home in Germany on her summer vacation, the aging ``serious writer,'' who's supposed to be working on yet another ``masterpiece,'' spends his time watching a lot of TV, flipping thorugh porno magazines and deflecting requests that he join a local writers' group. Desperate for company, he hires a young university student and her sister to help with the cooking and housework, and, to the horror of his neighbors, Sovtschick's opulent country estate turns into a sort of harem. Midstream, the novel abruptly changes course and what started out as an amusing send-up of literary pretensions turns into a detective novel, with Sovtschick the chief suspect in the murder of a retarded local girl. The nasty investigations into Sovtschick's background by police and press have a salutary effect on his book sales, however, and turn the writer into an overnight sensation. Kempowski makes a perfunctory stab at solving the murder, but the novel never recovers from this inexplicable turn in events. Sovtschick's interminable musings make this lengthy novel, a bestseller in Germany, a slow read. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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