... featuring not a single full stop throughout ... Such is his command of the rhythm of his prose, nimbly and hauntingly translated by Damion Searls, that the omission is barely noticeable, and after a while, engagingly welcome. The work simply loops and flows. The style is formal, yet with a sense of restlessness. As for plot, there is plenty ... Fosse’s fusing of the commonplace and the existential, together with his dramatic forays into the past, make for a relentlessly consuming work: already Septology feels momentous.
Like most of Mr. Fosse’s numerous works of fiction, The Other Name is stark, serious, thoroughly interior and written in an unbroken stream of consciousness that does not call to mind the flowing of a river so much as the steady drip of a thawing glacier ... In Damion Searls’s expertly restrained translation, the writing has the artless, improvised feel of an extended prayer, passing through repetitions, drab descriptive formulas and sudden moments of fervency ... in this book’s rhythmic accumulation of words, something incantatory and self-annihilating—something that feels almost holy.
Fosse’s book, translated by Damion Searls, is of a particular and recognisable type of European literature. The prose is closely packed and repetitive, with no paragraph breaks except when characters speak. The action is internal: everything that happens in the book happens in the narrator’s head. Which is fine, because what is a book but an effort, with no moving parts, to make things happen inside a reader’s head? ... The Other Name is not difficult to read because the repetition and the endless commas give it the hypnotic feeling of a mantra. A sense of provisionality is provided by the fact that many places and people in the book are named generically ... Although part of a larger work, The Other Name does have a proper (even surprising) ending, and the lack of full stops seems less affection than necessity. It forces you to read the book in long phases, maximising the satisfaction and engagement with Fosse’s slow-flowing story.