In this escape nightmare, a hunted being flees assassins at breakneck speed—blending into crowds, adjusting to terrains, hopping on and off ferries, always desperately trying to stay a step ahead of his would-be killers. The volume includes full-color paintings by Max Neumann and a musical score by Szilveszter Miklós, accessible by the reader via QR codes.
The novella reads much like a parable of Kafka’s, but it invokes the wanderings of Homer’s Odysseus ... The mood of paranoia is conveyed by the author’s signature long, pulsing, run-on sentences, although the translation by John Batki is much more casual than the virtuosic work of Mr. Krasznahorkai’s usual collaborator, Ottilie Mulzet. Slang phrases like 'in a hot second' tend to disrupt the writing’s hypnotic effect. More successful is the novella’s packaging as a multimedia art object. Accompanying the text are eerie illustrations by Max Neumann and percussive, arrhythmic music by Szilveszter Miklós, which is accessed by QR codes at the start of each chapter.
There is no rest, no comfort in thoughts of the good, for this man in flight from unknown others who may be secret police agents, assassins, or mere hunters. Particularly beguiling are the percussive sonic vignettes that accompany the book chapter by chapter, available online via QR codes at the head of each. Allusive and acerbic: a brilliant work that proves the adage that even paranoiacs have enemies.
Krasznahorkai’s strange and engrossing novella...reads like a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie dreamed up by Beckett and Kafka ... Batki’s translation exquisitely captures the grace underlying the hero’s frenetic mindset...as do the vignettes scored by free jazz drummer Szilveszter Miklós for each chapter (accessible via QR codes that appear in the text). Whether on a large canvas or small, Krasznahorkai never ceases to impress.