Monday, 28 May 2018

Walser, Martin "Runaway Horse"

Walser, Martin "Runaway Horse" (German: Ein fliehendes Pferd) - 1978

This is an interesting story where you can see how people who are friends when young grow into completely different kind of people. Helmut and his wife Sabine have become reclusive, they enjoy their holidays with their books and a glass of wine. Klaus has married a second time, a much younger wife, and they are a lot more active. They happen to meet again after twenty years while on holidays. Neither of them really looks like what they seem. They both try to hide who they really are. And they certainly both have a good deal of midlife crisis to deal with. Their wives also play a role in this but all their husbands want is their support.

A good story that gets us to think about how we want the world to see us and what we are prepared to sacrifice for them to believe us. A novella, far too short for my liking but I really enjoyed it. Martin Walser is a well-known German author and this was my first book by him. Certainly not my last.

From the back cover:

"The accidental reunion of two men, former schoolmates, and their wives in a lakeside resort leads to a comparison of memories, an awkward intimacy, and a moment of terrible, yet exhilarating liberation."

I read this in the original German language.

Martin Walser received the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade (Friedenspreis) in 1998.


  1. While visiting my sister and her husband last week, I thought about how we have changed. I knew her husband before she met him, even dated him a couple times, so we have all known each other for a long time. We sure talk a lot about memories when we get together.

    1. I saw my brothers the other week and we sure have changed since we were little. This book certainly encourages us to reminisce but there is more to it than that. And it's not that the friends knew each other that well before.

      Still, if anyone is looking for a German book to read, I would recommend Martin Walser.