As Long as It's Fine
Johanna hates being alone, and everything overwhelms her – emotions, men, even the stories she expediently invents. Mrs Kralik, her neighbour, thinks she is a "time-bomb", and the janitor has long expected problems with the young secretary "who hates to be ignored".
On the other hand: What is so very wrong? "Men still looked at her. Smiled…", it says in Magdalena Sadlon's new novel which focuses on the residents of an apartment house in Vienna, all more intricately connected than they realize. As in her highly acclaimed debut novel, DIE WUNDERBAREN WEGE, Sadlon knows how to make her characters speak from within while observing them from without. This lends a sinister touch to the alleged normality: Johanna, unable to get over a separation, the failed photographer Gregor, the Casanova of the suburbs, impressing only Mrs Kralik and her pet dog, the all-knowing janitor … Magdalena Sadlon gets close to them all, yet keeps her distance… until the terrible end.
"Magdalena Sadlon's writing is as argumentative as Robert Menasse's, as ironic as Antonio Fian's, as callous as Elfriede Jelinek's, as "Viennese" as Robert Schindel's, and as lucid as Franz Schuh's." (Andreas Breitenstein, Neue Zürcher Zeitung)
"At once fascinating and disturbing." (Martin Ebel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)