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The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick: A Novel Paperback – December 10, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First Edition edition (December 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374531064
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374531065
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #522,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Handke became the enfant terrible of the European avant-garde, denouncing all social, psychological and historical categories of experience as species of linguistic fraud. But [he] has aged well and now…is regarded as one of the most important writers in German." --Richard Locke, The New York Times

Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Certain Bibliophile on August 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
This review contains spoilers.

In this novel, "The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick," Peter Handke puts on full display the self-conscious experimentation for which he has become so well-known over the last four decades. This is Handke's third novel (originally published in Germany in 1970), and his first to be translated into English in 1972. Because of its length - only 130 pages - I would suggest this as a good starting place for those who think they might be interested in the voice of Handke's early fiction.

While the plot is perhaps not the most important aspect of the book, a précis is appropriate. Bloch, a construction worker, is laid off in the first sentence of the book. In a kind of heightened euphoria, Bloch checks into a hotel with only a suitcase, occasionally leaving to visit the cinema. He notices a young woman there, and spends the night with her. For some reason, or perhaps for no reason at all, Bloch murders her in her apartment. Emotion, motive, and fury are all completely excised from the tone of the novel, even in relation to this act. The reader never learns if Bloch is exhilarated or ashamed or scared of being caught. Shortly afterwards, he leaves for a small town on the Austrian border where still more events occur that should faze him, but they never seem to. The last few pages shed light on the meaning of the title is a way that is simply too good to divulge here.

Handke uses some brilliant social critique, especially on the subjects of consumerism and the meaningless of small talk shared with strangers. At one point, he is sitting in a café with two young women. "We buy all our dressed ready-made," one tells him. "We do each other's hair.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Georgios Chalkiadakis on May 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
An excellent psychography of the modern city dweller.
An ordinary working man suddenly senses that all his world is falling apart. He "reacts" to this with apathy and the conduction of a murder that has no apparent motive; no attempt is made to rationalize it. All of a sudden, he is a murderer. He then goes on moving from place to place, looking without seeing, focusing on details rather than on meanings. He passively waits for what is to come, without really thinking about it. The ending is sublime...
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Willis on November 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Book is boring. Painful. If you're into books that nothing ever happens, just a man walking around - not much thinking, or talking, or anything - it's like a 120 page read. Spend your time reading something else, personally - but the dealers were good. Book was in good condition.
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