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Only when something is dead can we possess it Only when it's dead can we really control it Haberman is a social worker in Harlem It's an appalling job with brutal paperwork a nit picking boss and clients whose lives are relentlessly depressing He is deeply entrenched in his resentment of anyone who aspires to be something who creates and gives and believes in life Then one day he meets his destiny a limbless mentally deficient man named Brodski who appears to have a spark of appreciation for art A relationship begins an emotionally intimate relationship in which Haberman travels out to the borders of his sanity and beyond and Brodski desperately grows and changes and reaches for Beauty all without words in a bleak endgame that Samuel Beckett might've imagined

10 thoughts on “The Nihilesthete

  1. says:

    Sometimes one doesn't have to profit tangibly To be thought of as a God or even as a benevolent despot is enoughThis was a very strange read even for me The plot follows a New York City caseworker named Haberman who inserts himself into the life of a uadriplegic named Brodski who cannot speak and then takes him into his home He discovers that although Brodski is of low intelligence he's a great artist Haberman engages in cruel experiments on him to become his God and degrade him as much as possibleThe narrator is a middle aged man who lives a life of bland misery in his non existent lonely personal life and the soul killing office bureaucracy he works in There's also a sense of the blighted seedy New York of the 80's The story is permeated by a weird unease and a ueasy grossness and ultimately ends in a very dark and yes nihilistic placeI think where this novel shines is with the fevered narration There's a sense of obsession and cruel sadism he sees Brodski as a science experiment almost a clean slate to which he exposes to beauty ugliness and pain to coldly observe the reaction I also enjoyed the descriptions of office life in all its blandness and pettiness Unfortunately I thought the plot dragged a lot especially toward the start

  2. says:

    The narrator is horrid enough that it’s tough to keep reading but it is beautiful and interesting The central uestion of whether there is a point to life is of course interesting and it’s a very novel take on approaching that uestion but I can’t say I was generally compelled to keep reading

  3. says:

    This book is very well written A moral fiction that is disturbing A writing of lost souls There would only be a few of my reading friends that would enjoy this book

  4. says:

    Yes this story involves the dark creepy extreme of human nature and a machinistic sytematic dismantling of a helpless person but it's about the victim and a triumph over the title character so complete that it makes the denoument of a Stephen King novel look tame

  5. says:

    Fun but nothing than a short single idea novel

  6. says:

    This story about a caseworker who becomes obsessed with torturing one of his clients is appalling than horrifying