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A new novel of artful understatement about mortality, estrangement, and the absurdity of life from the acclaimed author of Unformed Landscape and In Strange GardensOn 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 possiblePraise 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 On a Day Like This

About the Author: Peter Stamm

Peter Stamm grew up in Weinfelden in the canton of Thurgau the son of an accountant After completing primary and secondary school he spent three years as an apprentice accountant and then 5 as an accountant He then chose to go back to school at the University of Zurich taking courses in a variety of fields including English studies, Business informatics, Psychology, and Psychopathology During this time he also worked as an intern at a psychiatric clinic After living for a time in New York, Paris, and Scandinavia he settled down in 1990 as a writer and freelance journalist in Zurich He wrote articles for, among others, the Neue Z rcher Zeitung, the Tages Anzeiger, Die Weltwoche, and the satirical newspaper Nebelspalter Since 1997 he has belonged to the editorial staff of the quarterly literary magazine Entw rfe f r Literatur He lives in Winterthur.

10 thoughts on “On a Day Like This

  1. says:

    This is my favourite Stamm A wry, laconic, deeply phobic and very funny account of a man s dealing with work and women.

  2. says:

    The challenge with this novel is to care The story suggests the main character, Andreas, is about forty He spent eighteen years in Paris teaching and now he wonders why His life has been empty, without purpose or affect He is handsome so he has had ample sex but no emotional ties No ties of any sort Adrift And he doesn t much care So why should we Peter Stamm s writing is spare Understated No lush descriptions No

  3. says:

    A novel about a Swiss native, Andreas, in his 40 s who teaches and lives in Paris In the first chapter his girlfriend comments on his emptiness Her observation is supported as we learnabout his life he lives in a sparse apartment, has few friends, is detached from his job, has lost contact with his brother and brother s family who are his only living relatives.Reading this I was reminded of the protagonist in the St

  4. says:

    Only Connect On second thoughts, don t bother.There can be something bracing about Peter Stamm s ice cold objectivity Andreas loved the empty mornings when he would stand by the window with a cup of coffee in one hand and a cigarette in the other, and stare down at the small, tidy courtyard, and think of nothing except what was there in front of him And so this 2006 novel begins, with a fortyish bachelor, Swiss like th

  5. says:

    This is just my second novel by Peter Stamm but he might become my favorite contemporary author writing in German His stories are unexceptional, the characters are average people experiencing everyday occurences But there are cracks in the surface The ordinary settled life is an illusion Behind the curtain, unrest and dissatisfaction broods On a day like this, any day, the cracks will burst Here, Andreas gives up his posi

  6. says:

    At first, I was reminded of the main character in Night Train to Lisbon, whom I liked Can t give this one three stars, because I went from feeling neutral about Andreas here, to not liking him much by the end Setting and description are well done, but I guess it s a matter of lacking European sensibility rather than a translation issue I feel Not interested in readingby this author At first, I was reminded of the main charac

  7. says:

    Well, this book was very depressing, but at the same, I did enjoy it.I appreciate the fact that Stamm set out to write a story, and, while accomplishing this, also wrote about why we turn to stories He wrote about nostalgia in an extremely focused way that I appreciated, and he was careful with his words.11 16 I had rated this 4 stars before, but I changed it to 5 I cannot stop thinking about this book.

  8. says:

    Everything would be much easier if you could see yourself as a victim, he thought, a victim of your childhood, of fate, of the people you had grown up among, and finally too, as victim of illness But in order to feel himself a victim, he had to believe in the possibility of another, better life Andreas believed in nothing but chance He loved the curious coincidences and repetitions that life threw up, against all logic He loved th

  9. says:

    I m a fan of Peter Stamm s short stories especially the collection, We re Flying , and thought I d try some longer fiction This novel reads quickly and feels almost like a long short story Andreas, a teacher of German in a school outside Paris, is floating through his life when he s caught unaware by a medical diagnosis Fearful of the results, he opts to sever his connections with the school and his life, and sets himself off on a co

  10. says:

    I think this author is better at writing short stories I read this book because of a collection of short stories contained in his book We re Flying I have Agnes and plan to read it, but I hope it s better than On a Day Like This ODLT seemed to ramble on and switch characters in a way that wasn t really believable Others might like it, but it wasn t my cup of tea.

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