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Der Plan

In this mystery novel by Austrian writer Roth, asthmatic librarian and obsessive reader Feldt travels to Japan in an attempt to complete the sale of a stolen Mozart signature which has been initiated by his supervisor at the National Library in Vienna, who later committed suicide after being accused of the theft. Similarities exist between this book and Roth’s earlier novelThe Lake . The main character Feldt in The Plan is even friends with Paul Eck, who is the main character in The Lake and receives passing mention in this book. In both novels, a single male character is ensnared in a vague mystery which he passively attempts to unravel. As with The Lake’s Paul Eck, Feldt is a detached loner prone to indulging in daydreams and fantasy. Both of these characters float along in their respective narratives, reluctant to take decisive action, presuming that all will eventually be revealed to them. In Feldt's case, his passivity is further exacerbated by being in a foreign country where everything is unfamiliar. This premise has the potential to make for good reading, and in The Lake, Roth manages it with aplomb. There are problems with The Plan, though. First, Feldt is not a particularly compelling character. Second, the text reads a little flat, with an excess of distracting figurative language. It’s possible that some of this could be attributed to the translation, which was done by a different translator than the one who did The Lake. Both books feature descriptions of drug or alcohol-induced hallucinatory states imbued with cryptic meaning, but their effect is weaker here. Still, the book improves as the narrative progresses, despite it not ever achieving the level of The Lake.

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eBook formatHardcover, (torrent)En
PublisherS. Fischer Verlag GmbH
File size2 Mb
Pages count296
Book rating4.01 (13 votes)
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