Review: We’re Flying – Peter Stamm

Short stories come in so many different types you never know what you’re getting until you open the book and plough into the first two or three. Sometimes the main purpose of them is entertainment as with collections of crime or humorous stories. Other times they have a message, perhaps being little vignettes illustrating [...]

Review: Some German-language short stories

I recently read two books of short stories by early 20th century German writers – Selected Stories of Robert Walser (actually a Swiss national, but writing in German), and Boys and Murderers by Hermann Ungar. These writers are almost equally strange. Hermann Ungar was a Czech Zionist who died at the age of 38 in [...]

Review: Institute Benjamenta – Robert Walser

Institute Benjamenta is the third Robert Walser novel I have reviewed on A Common Reader, the other two, The Tanners and The Assistant, sharing with this one, a common theme of “servanthood”.

W G Sebald wrote of Robert Walser (1878-1956), “The traces Robert Walser left on his path through life were so faint as to [...]

Review: The Tanners, Robert Walser

I have had a very busy week and have been suffering mild literary withdrawal symptoms due to the demands of visitors preventing me from updating A Common Reader for the last few days, or even responding properly to those who have commented on my reviews – apologies to those.

However, I’ve managed to snatch some [...]