On a Day Like This by Peter Stamm

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

A new novel of artful understatement about mortality, estrangement, and the absurdity of life from the acclaimed author of Unformed Landscape and In Strange Gardens

On a day like any other, Andreas changes his life. When a routine doctor’s visit leads to an unexpected prognosis, a great yearning takes hold of him—but who can tell if it is homesickness or wanderlust? Andreas leaves everything behind, sells his Paris apartment; cuts off all social ties; quits his teaching job; and waves goodbye to his days spent idly sitting in cafes—to look for a woman he once loved, half a lifetime ago. The monotony of days has been keeping him in check; now he hopes for a miracle and for a new beginning.

Andreas’ travels lead him back to the province of his youth, back to his hometown in Switzerland where he returns to familiar streets, where his brother still lives in their childhood home, and where Fabienne, a woman he was obsessed with in his youth, visits the same lake they once swam in together. Andreas, still consumed with longing for his lost love and blinded by the uncertainty of his future, is tormented by the question of what might have been if things had happened differently.

Peter Stamm has been praised as a “stylistic ascetic” and his prose as “distinguished by lapidary expression, telegraphic terseness, and finely tuned sensitivity” (Bookforum). In On a Day Like This, Stamm’s unobtrusive observational style allows us to journey with our antihero through his crises of banality, of living in his empty world, and the realization that life is finite—that one must live it, as long as that is possible.

Praise for Unformed Landscape:

“Sensitive and unnerving. . . . An uncommonly intimate work, one that will remind the reader of his or her own lived experience with a greater intensity than many of the books that are published right here at home.” —The New Republic Online

“If Albert Camus had lived in an age when people in remote Norwegian fishing villages had e-mail, he might have written a novel like this.”—The New Yorker

“Unformed Landscape has a refreshing purity, a lack of delusion, a lack of hype.”—Los Angeles Times


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Peter Stamm

See more books from this Author
Peter Stamm was born in 1963, in Weinfelden, Switzerland. He is the author of the novel Agnes, and numerous short stories and radio plays. His novels Unformed Landscape and On A Day Like This, and the collection In Strange Gardens and Other Stories are available from Other Press. He lives outside of Zurich. Michael Hofmann has translated the works of many writers, including Franz Kafka, Joseph Roth, and Peter Stephan Jungk. He is also the author of several books of poetry and a book of essays, Behind the Lines, and is the editor of the anthology Twentieth-Century German Poetry. He lives in Gainesville, Florida and London
 
Published February 20, 2010 by Other Press. 239 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for On a Day Like This

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

He returns to his native village with the much younger Delphine, a trainee teacher, though he doesn’t reciprocate her feelings for him, and has an inconclusive reunion with Fabienne, now a wife and mother, before he hits the road again.

| Read Full Review of On a Day Like This

Deseret News

Thinking about how his life may be shortened causes Andreas to make a quick and dramatic decision — he quits his job, sells his apartment, throws away most of his possessions, rents a car and drives to the little village where he was raised in Switzerland.

Aug 24 2008 | Read Full Review of On a Day Like This

Bookmarks Magazine

An uncommonly intimate work, one that will remind the reader of his or her own lived experience with a greater intensity than many of the books that are published right here at home.” —The New Republic Online

“If Albert Camus had lived in an age when people in remote Norwegian fishing vill...

Aug 03 2008 | Read Full Review of On a Day Like This

Reader Rating for On a Day Like This
60%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 8 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×