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the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction

Das ewige Leben

Wolf Haas

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To purchase Das ewige Leben

Title: Das ewige Leben
Author: Wolf Haas
Genre: Mystery
Written: 2003
Length: 205 pages
Original in: German
Availability: Das ewige Leben - Deutschland
  • Das ewige Leben is the sixth in the P.I.-Brenner series
  • Das ewige Leben has not yet been translated into English

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Our Assessment:

B+ : enjoyable end-of-the-road tale

See our review for fuller assessment.

Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
Falter . 12/2/2003 Klaus Nüchtern
FAZ . 18/3/2003 Moritz Baßler
Neue Zürcher Zeitung . 18/2/2003 Franz Haas
Die Zeit . 5/6/2003 Tobias Gohlis

  From the Reviews:
  • "Die Physis des Protagonisten und die Physis der Sprache stehen im Mittelpunkt des Romans, der auftragsgemäß in der derzeitigen Kulturhauptstadt Europas spielt, die ihrerseits als Körperteil und Wortkörper präsent ist" - Klaus Nüchtern, Falter

  • "Über der musterhaften Kriminalhandlung mit Hard-boiled-Qualitäten entfalten die Erzählerkommentare auch diesmal wieder jenes dichte Gespinst von Sprachspielen und (pop)kulturellen Verweisen, das der Haas-Leser so liebt. Neben der Erstlektüre als spannender Whodunnit belohnt eine solche Prosa auch eine zweite, akribische Lektüre." - Moritz Baßler, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

  • "Wir bleiben traurig zurück und winken dem letzten Brenner-Krimi nach." - Tobias Gohlis, Die Zeit

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge (and remind and warn you) that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

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The complete review's Review:

       Wolf Haas begins Das ewige Leben ('Eternal Life') promising that -- finally -- something good has happened (unlike in the previous volumes, where the opening ussually jumps quickly from bad to worse ahead) -- but, of course, in the Simon Brenner novels one has to reach quite a low for there to be an upside. And so the book opens with private investigator Simon Brenner in a coma the past three weeks from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. The good news is that he wakes up -- but that only gets him so far.
       Everyone is convinced he attempted suicide, but Brenner claims he was shot -- and that it is the Graz police that wants him out of the way. With a colleague from his own days on the force now head of the local police in Austria's second biggest city, their shared history from way back then is something the chief would rather no one knew about. There were four of them that pulled a ... prank back then, and three lived (not) to tell about it, and first Brenner and then the other man involved get shot .....
       Brenner has had it rough in some of the previous volumes of the series -- a finger got chopped off in one, for example (though they were able to sew it back on) -- but now the going is really tough. Even the gypsy palm reader doesn't see a bright future for him: "Brena abgraz ibermorgen" (a heavily accented: 'Brenner's gonna croak the day after tomorrow') is about as good as his fortune gets.
       On the lam for a while, not quite sure whom to trust -- and with the police chief debilitated by a stroke --, Brenner faces quite a few complications. It is the final volume in the series, and after what has come before one can't expect Haas to send Brenner riding off too comfortably into the sunset -- and he certainly doesn't.
       Once again, the telling of the story -- the roundabout approach, the tone that can best be described as mockingly serious -- makes for much of the fun to be had here, though Das ewige Leben also resembles the traditional P.I. novel. All in all, a nice closing turn.

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Das ewige Leben: Reviews: Wolf Haas: Other books by Wolf Haas under review: Other books of interest under review:

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About the Author:

       Austrian author Wolf Haas was born in 1960, and is best known for his series of Brenner-mysteries.

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