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Review: Maybe This Time by Alois Hotschnig

October 8, 2012

Maybe This Time coverTitle: Maybe This Time
Author: Hotschnig, Alois
Translator: Lewis, Tess
Length: 110 pages
Genre: Fiction
Publisher / Year: Peirene Press / 2011 (originally published in Austrian German as Die Kinder beruhigte das nicht in 2006)
Source: Peirene Press subscription
Rating: 4/5
Why I Read It: I have enjoyed all Peirene Press books I’ve read to date.
Date Read: 02/08/12

This is a collection of short stories that has been called by some as comparable to Kafka. Having not read any Kafka, I can’t confirm if this is true or not… but I will say that the stories are all indeed rather strange and creepy, in ways that you know can’t be true but yet are so believable.

The book contains nine short stories, all of which deal with different characters and different situations. The second story, for example, tells the story of a man who is following a young woman, and we slowly learn why. All I can say is that the end is creepy! The next story is about a woman who seems to have a doll that exactly matches everyone, including a stranger who just showed up at her house. Another is about a man who becomes obsessed with watching his neighbours.

Each of the stories is just a bit off right from the start, and only gets creepier as it continues. Coming out at the end of it, it’s hard to be sure if such an event could happen, and there’s a bit of adjustment back to the real world. Highly recommended for those who enjoy short stories, and who enjoy creepy and odd situations.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. Brian Joseph permalink
    October 8, 2012 8:51 am

    This sounds really good. I read another positive review of these stories somewhere else. I remember that the reviewer described some of the tales as a little disturbing.

    I love off beat and even slightly troubling and creepy stories.

  2. zibilee permalink
    October 8, 2012 10:58 am

    Oh, I like the sound of the story with the dolls, and the others sound kind of creepy as well. I always try to look for short story collections that are strange and not in the mainstream. It looks like I may have found one here!

  3. therelentlessreader permalink
    October 8, 2012 11:06 am

    It’s the perfect time of year for a book like this, no? :)

  4. October 8, 2012 7:53 pm

    I’m definitely up for strange and creepy short stories.

  5. October 9, 2012 8:47 am

    Loved this book, even if it was incredibly strange. Even now I’m not totally sure I understand a few of the stories, but I actually kind of like that, keeps it in mind.

    • October 18, 2012 8:46 pm

      Yes, I have the same thoughts Charlie. I’m sure I am missing a lot in some of them. The one where he is following his ex around… the ending of that one was crazy!

  6. October 12, 2012 9:46 am

    I read this earlier in the year and loved its creepiness. I thought Hotschnig’s sparse yet beautiful style worked brilliantly with the stories he told.

    • October 18, 2012 8:47 pm

      It really did Sakura, I hope there is more by him translated!

  7. October 16, 2012 12:23 pm

    I must admit out all the peirene this one is the one I just get on with not reviewed it yet wonder if a rereading would help it so be doing that for german lit month ,all the best stu

  8. October 23, 2012 1:07 pm

    Sounds intriguing and one I would love to read.

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