09 March 2010

martin suter tries a whole new position

via a friend i got a ticket for yesterday night's martin suter book premiere of Der Koch at the sold-out babylon cinema in berlin mitte. all i knew about martin was that one of his kids choked on a bite of sausage and that he was swiss. the woman next to me said his best book was Die dunkle Seite des Mondes (indeed a reference to pink floyd's dark side of the moon), in which some yuppie guy starts eating magic mushrooms. because there were so many people at the reading, the host asked the audience to abstain from making martin write too long a dedication at the book-signing afterwards. wow. and because of bad lighting, it took martin a while to figure out how best to hold his book in order to see properly and not blind the audience with his reading lamp. "hang on", he said, "i'm going to try a whole new position". i might be mistaken here, but i think that was his best sentence of the night. runner-ups from his novel: "her good looks not only helped her find a job, they also gave her a hard time keeping it." and "[there they sat,] all with their tall, thin, blond second wives." ha.

the novel itself still came across as an erotic cookbook, though, sprinkled with some flakes of international politics. and while i liked how wide parts of it were open-minded and well-written, and also the fact that martin read with a thick swiss accent that reminded me of home, i couldn't refrain from leaving the hall halfway through. oops.

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