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Hardcover Frost Book

ISBN: 1400040663

ISBN13: 9781400040667

Frost

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good*

*Best Available: (ex-library, missing dust jacket)

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Book Overview

Thomas Bernhard combined a searing wit and an unwavering gaze into the human condition. His debut novel, Frost, marked the beginning of one of the century's most provocative literary careers.... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

Thoughts of winter

To the literary community, the name "Frost" conjures up thoughts of the beloved poet, Robert Frost. Gentle, intuitive poetry flowed forth from Frost, poetry that speaks to the essence of the human soul. However, the mere mention of the word "frost" can also bring thoughts of winter chill and cold ponderings. The latter frost is the frost we are confronted with in the novel Frost by Thomas Bernhard. Seething in its depths of visual acuity and disturbing reality, Frost explores the friendship between a young man just starting his medical career and a painter who is in his ending days. The young man has accepted an odd assignment: travel to a mining town in order to examine and report upon his mentor's brother, the painter known as Strauch. Strauch, a hermit in his own right, is meticulously observed by the student, posing here as a law student in order to gain the trust of this eccentric painter. The first line of the story says it best: "A medical internship consists of more than spectating at complicated bowel operations, cutting open stomach linings, bracketing off lungs, and sawing off feet...." These words are a fitting introduction to the rest of the young man's adventure in a difficult reality experienced by those on the brink of madness. The poet Frost once wrote: "It's when I'm weary of considerations/And life is too much like the pathless wood/When your face burns with the tickle of cobwebs/Broken across it, and one eye is weeping...." This simple excerpt from Frost's Birches succinctly expresses the emotion one is left with in this literary exploration of human nature. Armchair Interviews says: Thought-provoking read.

FROST by Thomas Bernhard

Although not pretty, this is an important book, one very well worth the effort to read. Strauch, the painter, the primary character, is undeniably insane. Nonetheless, he is a font of philosophical observations - truths if you will - often exposing the dark side of the human condition. The relationship developed between Strauch and the anonymous young medical student who leaves his work to observe Strauch is engaging and psychologically astute. While extremely "raw", FROST is unforgettable.

interesting look at a person falling apart

Following WW II in Vienna distinguished Dr. Strauch sends his underling to a remote village Weng that the renowned surgeon assumes is a dump filled with peasants. He tells his employee to look into the mental state of his brother, a famous painter who abruptly left civilization in Vienna to rusticate. Pretending to be a law student, the young man befriends the painter and begins sending to his employer correspondence involving the mental health of the artist. However, the newcomer becomes somewhat frightened by the painter's paranoid temper fits and schizoid discussions as if he is talking to himself. He also reports the village is filled with scandal as he realizes his landlady sleeps with the village knacker while her spouse resides in jail on a murder conviction in which his wife testified against him. As the writings of the "spy" turn unreasonable bordering on the insane, a traveling troupe arrives with a show of deformity that he sends in graphic detail to the surgeon. After spending four weeks in Weng, the outsider seems on the verge of a breakdown; that is if he has not already gone over the edge. Mindful of Camus' The Stranger, this translation by Michael Hofmann of a 1963 classic is a terrific look at a person falling apart over the course of four weeks. Readers will observe the mental collapse of the unnamed outsider from his increasingly irrational writings that he dutifully sends to his employer. Fans who want something different will want to read the late Thomas Bernhard's compelling and profound existential look at a man seemingly falling apart as he fails to adapt to this alien environs. Harriet Klausner
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