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Playing Watten


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Novella number two from the Three Novellas hardback.


This is very short indeed but it does not lack any punches for that. It's written in Berhard's typical difficult to access style, in mostly one long paragraph with only two breaks in the whole story (even although it's very short, some 49/50 pages, one long paragraph is surprisingly challenging to read). It's about a weekly card game of Watten where one of the players is a doctor who had his practice taken forcibly from him as a result of an addiction to morphine and a papermill worker who killed himself. The doctor refuses to play Watten ever again and he is the narrator of the story, telling another player why he won't play any more. It's pretty much existentialism and not quite but nearly stream of consciousness. It's dark, uncompromising and bleak but not as sick as it sounds and definitely isn't in the horror category. 


And completely wonderful with outstanding prose (*sigh* be still my beating heart).


Recommended if you like to struggle with your fiction and don't mind dark subjects

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