This collection of half a dozen short stories is like a needle: sharply honed, painfully to the point. None of them make for comfortable reading: in a few brief pages they deliver a disconcerting and discordant viewpoint from a series of snapshot situations. This is genuine contemporary noir which breaks boundaries and refuses to be restrained by storytelling norms. Translated from the original German these tales can be both blunt and bold, simultaneously gruelling and intensely liberating.
We learn little about the protagonists apart from their immediate predicaments. Author Katja Bohnet sums up the often nasty reality of international backpacking in less than a page: sleeping on stained mattresses infested with bedbugs, aching all over from walking with the weight of worthless possessions. An unlikely place to meet your maker. An unpleasant tale.
They scrape and grind on the sense, these stories, carving out a niche somewhere between noir and despair; sour, unforgiving observations of a world which doesn’t care much for the pitiful people which populate it. This is powerful writing, but the overall effect is far from pleasant.
Reviewed by Rowena Hoseason
Threads In Dew by Katja Bohnet is available as an ebook
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