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Instead of the book he’s 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 as malevolent meddling his ‘really marvelous’ house which he hates the suspicious illness he carefully nurses his ten year long attempt to write the perfect opening sentence and finally his escape to the island of Majorca which turns out to be the site of someone else’s very real horror story A brilliant and haunting tale of procrastination failure and despair Concrete is a perfect example of why Thomas Bernhard is remembered as “one of the masters of contemporary European fiction” George Steiner

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