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Other Side (Dedalus European Classics) Paperback – October 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: Dedalus European Classics
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Dedalus, (October 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1873982690
  • ISBN-13: 978-1873982693
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 4.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,651,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on October 29, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Perhaps I should have said a masterpiece of fantasticism. I believe the author was an artist in the school of the fantastic or fantasmic in the early 20th century. His only work of literature, this book is truly one of the strangest pieces I have ever read. I was initially introduced to it by my college German prof who had a love for this kind of apochryphal lit, and passed on that love to me. I have since read this many, many times. I don't want to give too much away, but the basic story has a young man and his wife invited to live in a newly founded realm in Asia. This realm has been founded by an old school chum, Patera, whose concept is that only things that enhance moods can be permitted into the country, and these things should usually be old and have a kind of emotional evocative power, so to speak. The young couple find themselves in a realm of moods, both depression and manic, and it is a very strange trip, indeed. I recommend this book to anyone who doesn't have a compulsive need for analytical, linear reason in a book!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By matthew martens on December 31, 2002
Format: Paperback
One senses that this indulgent and dazzling exercise in ferocious derangement and, arguably, allegory, must read less awkwardly in the original German. You will not read this for its literary style, which is clumsy at times, but for its pure, rarefied, winningly repulsive air of pre-War Euro-decadence, for its uncanny presentiments of the coming horrors of the 20th century, and for its profligate richness of bizarre imagery. The book is fuel for dreams of the weirdest kind. This is appropriate, because in it Kubin seeks to portray a "Dream Realm" -- very far from the one Morpheus rules over in The Sandman -- created at the whim of a ludicrously wealthy and myserious aristocrat. This Dream Realm, aka the city of Pearl, is situated in Asia, but represents, among other things, a vision of pre-industrial Europe stagnating, suppurating, and sinking into its indolent self -- but at least avoiding the horrors of modernization and liberalism! With a wink, then (the book is quite funny in a scabrous way), Kubin deals with such issues as race, the media, psychoanalysis, religion (gnosticism in particular), death, and sexuality. He does so inconclusively, but with unflagging inventiveness, and a real eye for the startling mental picture and the horrific detail.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
Two aspects make this book worth reading today:
It was written 1908, before the world wars, and
its haunting images were most prophetic.
Secondly, a key idea makes this books both a psycholgical
and surreal experience: The mood of a man and the state of his
soul are mirrored in the physical and social state
of the city he reigns.
Alfred Kubin is better known for his illustrations (of say
E.A. Poe's short stories), and this is his only work of
fiction.
If you want a book where everything becomes clear at the end,
you want something else. If you enjoy being disturbed,
go ahead and read it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Karl Ericsson on May 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
A man is visited by a person who is referring to an old schoolmate of the man, who in turn wants the man to come and live with him in his town in the middle of nowhere but with a good salary. As it turns out this town is built up by old houses that have been transported from Europe and other places, seemingly handpicked to give the town its special "atmosphere".
It is this "atmosphere" which really constitutes the essence of the book and it is hard to describe in few words.
Reading the book, I was spellbound from the beginning to the end as if I was reading something deeply essential and yet elusive and hard to pin down. The book isn't "artsy-fartsy" - don't get me wrong - there is something genuine here and a description of a panic-feeling, for instance, is absolutely correct (which is seldom the case in other books).
This is the only novel Alfred Kubin wrote and he was hesitant in publishing it. We can be grateful that he did for, as it stands, it is probably the most mysterious book ever written, reminiscent of both Meyrink and Hoffman yet still genuinely unique.
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