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A Man: Klaus Klumpby Gonocalo M. Tavares
Synopses & Reviews
The final installment in Goncalo M. Tavares "Kingdom" cycle to be translated into English, A Man: Klaus Klump is a harrowing portrait of a man without values, making his way through a world almost as immoral.
Klaus takes care of the family business; he doesn't feel fear, hunger, or love. He plays a game, and this game and its object consist of one thing: making money. No matter who you are, Klaus thinks, there is only one thing of importance: to win rather than lost.
"This absurdist Portuguese novella is full of non-sequiturs, narrative curlicues, offbeat observations, as well as vivid characters. Klaus Klump is a publisher who loves Johana but one night sleeps with Herthe. When war breaks out, there are atmospheric symbols including tanks and a dead horse. The plot starts to kick in when Klaus is arrested. Meanwhile, Herthe gets married to Ortho, an army officer, but her estranged brother Clako — who performs as a musician at her wedding — threatens to kill the groom. Tavares offers provocative statements such as, 'Shoes are very important, because they're the things that keep the intestines intact.' He also offers an extended riff on hands and fingertips and Klaus's black lips, to define his protagonist's reason, emotions, rage, physicality, and precision. Tavares's portrait of this man comes together as a mosaic, like the fragments of a news report, not a proper character study. There are also insights and commentaries about destiny, language, peacetime and wartime that culminate in an ironic ending that will prompt readers to question the characters' values and transformations. This is an interesting, albeit challenging work. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"With Klump, Tavares examines the sad turmoil of an increasingly militarized, mechanized society. In his descriptions of this society, Tavares blurs the lines between humans, the organic world, and the mechanical-military world for a reading experience that's deeply disturbing (in all the right ways)." Asymptote
"Goncalo M. Tavares burst onto the Portuguese literary scene armed with an utterly original imagination that broke through all the traditional imaginative boundaries....I've predicted that in thirty years' time, if not before, he will win the Nobel Prize." Jose Saramago, Nobel Prize-winning author
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