Author(s): Thomas Bernhard
'Probably nothing exists that would prepare one for Bernhard's machined vehemence, though once you've read one, you perhaps start to crave the bitter taste and the savage not-quite-humour ... Genius.' - Michael Hofmann
Instead of the book he is meant to write, Rudolph, a Viennese musicologist, produces this dark and grotesquely funny account of small woes writ large, of profound horrors detailed and rehearsed to the point of distraction. We learn of Rudolph's sister, whose help he invites then reviles; his 'really marvellous' house which he hates; the suspicious illness he carefully nurses; his ten-year-long attempt to write the perfect opening sentence; and his escape to the island of Majorca, which turns out to be the site of someone else's very real horror story, and ultimately brings him no release from himself.
Concrete is Thomas Bernhard at his very finest: a bleakly hilarious insight into procrastination and failure that scratches the murky depths of our souls.