All That Counts by Georg M. Oswald

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The winner of this year's prestigious Wylie International Prize -- established to provide an international platform for books of unusual distinction -- is a searing contemporary satire whose relevance and appeal extend far beyond the unnamed German city in which it is set. In the tradition of Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club and Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, All That Counts is a sardonic and often hilarious, fast-paced urban thriller about loss of control, opportunism, and the dangerous attractions of the seedy side of life. From the bland boardrooms of the bourgeoisie to the dark alleys of the criminal underworld, Oswald presents a ruthless dissection of modern working life and invites us to follow the misadventures of a young banker in a world that is forever downsizing. Thirty-something and married to a public relations executive named Marianne, Thomas Schwarz is out of his depth and sinking fast. After he misses a note in a particularly byzantine property case, his life begins to unravel: his female boss gleefully fires him, and his wife walks out. He falls in with a cocaine-fueled crowd of money launderers who set out to exploit him, but when the gang is busted, Thomas seizes his chance to escape with the profits. The recipient of countless accolades in its native Germany, All That Counts permanently unsettles our common conceptions of success and failure and catapults us into territory that is simultaneously unfamiliar and eerily resonant.

About Georg M. Oswald

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Patrick Faas writes a food column in the national Dutch newspaper "De Volkskrant." Shaun Whiteside has translated many books from French, German, Italian, and Dutch, including works by Freud and Nietzsche.
Published January 1, 2001 by ATLANTIC BOOKS. 320 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for All That Counts

The New York Times

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This is a book full of small, cumulative pleasures: Schwarz starting an argument in the fish department of a supermarket, making a fool of himself at a party where he tells a lot of highly respectable rich people that he can help them set up anonymous Swiss bank accounts, accompanying a bailiff t...

Oct 07 2001 | Read Full Review of All That Counts

Publishers Weekly

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German novelist Oswald proves that it's a small world, after all, by writing a bitter sendup of consumerism and corporate culture that's every bit as shallow, ham-fisted and self-congratulatory as anything penned by his wannabe-hip American or British counterparts over the past decade.

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