Thursday, February 07, 2008

An early look at Friedrich Glauser’s “The Spoke”

The last of the superlatively great Glauser’s Sgt. Studer novels to be translated into English looks as if it may be even more slyly humorous than its predecessor, The Chinaman. And that book, in its turn, was just a bit more touched with absurd humor than the three Glausers previously translated by Bitter Lemon Press.

A body is discovered during a wedding banquet. The first words out of Studer’s mouth – after his deadpan consideration of the odd murder weapon – are these: “Just look at this, Bärtu. Why the hell did we listen to our womenfolk?” Who is Bärtu? A fellow police officer. Studer’s new son-in-law. The wedding banquet was that of Studer’s daughter, and Glauser relates these essential facts in the same order that I have here.

Sometimes humor lies not in what one says but in how one says it.

© Peter Rozovsky 2008

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