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Latest Review: "Funeral for a Dog" by Thomas Pletzinger

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is Jennifer Bratovich’s piece on Thomas Pletzinger’s Funeral for a Dog, available from W. W. Norton in Ross Benjamin’s translation.

I’ve been holding onto this review for months, waiting first for the book to come out, then for Ross and Thomas to come here, then . . . I simply forgot about it. Better late than never though, especially since Jennifer Bratovich—a former student—really, really dug this book.

Anyway, for more Three Percent love for Funeral and Thomas and Ross, you can read this interview from the Iowa Review or check out this video of their event on campus.

Or, you can read Jennifer’s review:

Thomas Pletzinger doesn’t waste any time. In the first paragraph of his stunning debut novel Funeral for a Dog, his central character Daniel Mandelkern tells exactly what to expect: “I’m sending you seven postcards and a stack of paper, XXX pages. This stack is about me. And about memory and the future.” Sure enough, the “stack of paper”—which includes interview transcripts, drawings, and facsimiles a la Johnathan Safran Foer minus some of the schmaltz—is a fresh, vigorous read that nimbly weaves together the anxieties of the (real and reconstructed) past and the unknown, dubious future.

Mandelkern is an ethnologist/journalist whose professional and personal life are under increasing strain (his wife Elisabeth is also his editor, and they have been arguing). The novel finds him leaving Hamburg on assignment to interview Dirk Svensson, a peculiar author of children’s books who lives on a lake with his three legged dog. During his stay, Mandelkern stumbles upon a manuscript of Svensson’s revealing a complicated mix of people, events, and circumstances.

Click here to read the full piece.



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