Music doesn’t need anything or anyone, it’s always there. But what about life?
The moving portrait of the outstanding composer Gustav Mahler at the end of his life.
Gustav Mahler sits on the deck of a ship en route from New York to Europe. He is famous – the greatest musician in the world in fact – but he is in pain, as he always has been. While the ship’s boy cares for him gently but insistently, Mahler thinks over the past few years, the summers in the mountains and the death of his daughter Maria, whom he still thinks he sees sometimes. And of Anna, his other daughter who is sitting downstairs at breakfast; and of Alma, the love of his life who has driven him to madness and to whom he has long since lost contact. This is to be his last ever trip.
"The Last Movement" is a poignant portrait of a composer who has grown tired while he is confronted with memories of the past in crystal-clear moments of beauty and regret.
“This book will be published by Hanser Berlin at the beginning of August and adds to Seethaler’s last two successes, A Whole Life and The Field, to form a trilogy of the triumph of literature over death. A surefire bestseller. And by no means one that he needs to be ashamed of in literary terms.”
- Andreas Platthaus, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“The way in which Seethaler unfolds his material proves his narrative skill.”
- Ijoma Mangold, Die Zeit
“With stripped-down sentences, Seethaler peels off everything that is superfluous until the core is exposed. What is left is life, looked at from a distance.”
- Elisa von Hof, Der Spiegel
“Seethaler’s language is imbued with respect and demureness towards Mahler. However, The Last Movement does more than accompany Gustav Mahler on his last sea crossing as well as carefully examining the composer’s biography and reception. It paints a portrait of a dying artist trying to capture his life during his last days and hours.
- Eva-Maria Stöckler, literaturhaus.at
Bulgaria (List), Croatia (OceanMore), Denmark (OLGA), France (Sabine Wespieser Editeur), Italy (Neri Pozza), Netherlands (De Bezige Bij), Norway (Forlaget Press), Spain (Salamandra), Sweden (Ersatz), Turkey (Timas), UK/US (Macmillan/Picador)