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Two or Three Years Later: Forty-Nine Digressions
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Two or Three Years Later: Forty-Nine Digressions

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3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  54 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Working in the traditions of Robert Walser, Robert Pinget, and Laurence Sterne, Ror Wolf creates strangely entertaining and condensed stories that call into question the very nature of what makes a story a story. Almost an anti-book, Two or Three Years Later: Forty-Nine Digressions takes as its basis the small, diurnal details of life, transforming these oft-overlooked ord ...more
Paperback, 142 pages
Published June 18th 2013 by Open Letter Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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MJ Nicholls
Jun 26, 2014 MJ Nicholls rated it really liked it
This untranslated (apart from this one) German surfictionist writes digressive, self-commenting and often self-abnegating stories, usually containing characters called Noll or Koll who sometimes do things in various German locations and who sometimes do not do things not in various German locations. Here is ‘An Almost Complete Portrayal of the Conditions in Maybe Waabs’:

A man, whose name I’ve thankfully forgotten, came up to me and said something that I’ve thankfully forgotten. It happened in a
...more
jeremy
Oct 22, 2013 jeremy rated it liked it
Shelves: translation, fiction
ror wolf is a german author, collagist, and composer of radio dramas. the first of his books to be translated into english, two or three years later: forty-nine digressions (zwei oder drei jahre später, neunundvierzig ausschweifungen) is comprised of short tales and observations of persons encountered by the narrator. some but a few sentences long, with others spanning a few pages, these stories are enigmatic little anecdotes of people's lives - incidents recounted with both deadpan humor and a ...more
Aaron (Typographical Era)
I don’t have a book to review by a surrealist German author and poet who wrote forty-nine digressions that each barely spanned the length of a single page. I’ve never read such a thing. I also don’t have a thing to report to you about the devastating effects of firing a bullet into a person’s urethra, because the author in question has asked me not to relay this information. I have never – and most certainly not at a convention of plumbers – lectured on the duties of newly elected government off ...more
Megan
Jan 22, 2017 Megan rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
In the reviews, before I read this book, I kept seeing the phrase "Anti-Book" to describe this short story like collection. And honestly, I completely agree with that description. Another way I would describe it would have to be... ramblings, or delicately obscure observations put together to trick a reader into thinking anything you read you'll have to remember or what you read has some sort of connection to what you've already read. There are connections, yes, but personally, they didn't matte ...more
Kaija
Feb 05, 2013 Kaija rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
Ror Wolf's narrator (or several narrators? Is it the same man the whole way through? Same men?) gives a slew of wonderful shorts, snippets, vignettes. They don't relate to each other, but character names will repeat, and there are some very solid themes throughout. Like sinking, hats, cigars, nameless men, overall ambiguity and, well—digressions.

Some of the stories are so absurd and happen so quickly that you barely have enough time to grasp what has just happened. There is also a semi-charming
...more
Brooks
When I think subversive, I think dark and difficult. This book is subversive, make no mistake, but everything is done with a wink and a playful smile. Ror Wolf has collected a bunch of very short stories that show remarkable versatility in subverting expectations, and one long final story that manages to build on everything that came before without losing that wink. It's a book that I enjoyed more when I was aware of how I reacted to each story, what frustrated me, what excited me, what made me ...more
Howard
Jun 27, 2014 Howard rated it really liked it
If you like postmodern stylists like Calvino and Sorrentino you'll get a kick out of this. It is often repetive and frustrating but that's entirely intentional. This is very much a nod wink book for the reader. Wolf gives us streams of images, often prefaced with a no or a not. A typical sentence is a man waits a train station with no hat and no suitcase. Wolf plays with our expectations but also entertains us. He is fully in control of the games he is playing and it's a fun ride. At times,too, ...more
Jeanette
Aug 10, 2014 Jeanette rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I enjoyed this book. Some of the digressions were 5-star worthy. I especially liked many of the short vignettes at the beginning of the book. There were times I laughed out loud. Some of the digressions left me a little flat or felt repetitive. I can appreciate the meta-ness of this book - if there is one character that we connect to throughout, it is the author as he's writing, changing his mind, writing something else, etc - but this meta-ness also took me out of the book so that I was always ...more
Nikki
May 04, 2013 Nikki rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This book overall was entertaining. It is a conglomeration of numerous short stories and snippets of seemingly random events. Some barely a few sentences long, while others were considerably longer. My only real complaint is that it seemed slightly repetitive throughout. These short stories will get the reader thinking about what exactly is going on, but also about why and how they are reacting to each story. In a way, it is a dark, twisted mirror into the reader's soul.


This book was amusing, e
...more
Ferris
Mar 12, 2015 Ferris rated it really liked it
This is the anti-collection of anti-short stories, in which nothing happens, no one goes anywhere, and no one sees what doesn't happen. I laughed, I shook my head, I got frustrated, and then I laughed again. Theater of the absurd meets short story genre. Do not look for plot or character...just give yourself over to the experience and then think about what we as readers take for granted about what makes a story. Fascinating!
World Literature Today
"Wolf’s book is fast, sometimes outrageous, and always surreal.... The tales cough, stop, reverse, and start again. The style is refreshingly unique but can be wearisome. There are no solid characters or narratives onto which we can grab." - Shaun Randol, New York

This book was reviewed in the July 2013 issue of World Literature Today. Read the full review by visiting our website: http://bit.ly/1a4hlvL
Dustin Kurtz
Aug 12, 2013 Dustin Kurtz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
Been comparing this to Walser and Sterne, yes, and maybe even Gogol, but maybe it's most accurate to imagine this as Daniil Kharms translating the work of the others.

Wolf plays a taught little game of cat's cradle stringing humor and death between your hand and his for page after page until you lose the trick of knowing his hands from your own.
Chad Post
Feb 04, 2013 Chad Post rated it really liked it
DISCLAIMER: I am the publisher of the book and thus spent approximately two years reading and editing and working on it. So take my review with a grain of salt, or the understanding that I am deeply invested in this text and know it quite well. Also, I would really appreciate it if you would purchase this book, since it would benefit Open Letter directly.
Natoria
Apr 17, 2013 Natoria rated it it was amazing
So very clever, how an author can create a unexpectedly delightful book. I read this book within one day wanting more with each page I turn. The stories are well balance, amazing how I yearn for more from this author.
Beth
Mar 25, 2015 Beth rated it did not like it
While I fully comprehend the uniqueness of Ror Wolf's writing style, I cannot stay focused on his narrative. The funny parts beg me to continue, where the "jabberwocky", for lack of a better word, drive me to distraction. Thus it is with a heavy heart, I lay this book aside for now.
Paul
Jul 09, 2013 Paul rated it really liked it
some of the stories got a little repetitive, but the last 12 were pretty solid
Peter McCambridge
Dec 05, 2013 Peter McCambridge rated it liked it
Unsatisfying at first, but not without its charms.
Jared
Mar 29, 2013 Jared rated it it was amazing
This book met all my expectations. Good read
Kristin
Jul 16, 2013 Kristin rated it really liked it
the first 2/3 of the book reminded me of an extended Marx Brothers routine.
Maggie
Jul 24, 2013 Maggie rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
Wanted to give it 3 but couldn't. Appreciate the stories but totally got repetitive (as you can tell from the other reviews). Too much of a good thing is a bad thing.
Sara
Oct 26, 2013 Sara rated it really liked it
I don't even know how to describe this book. It's about nothing but you can't put it down. The final story was my favorite...and then it was done.
Joseph
Joseph rated it it was amazing
May 01, 2013
cold green tea
cold green tea rated it liked it
Feb 20, 2014
SierraCoconut
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Sep 25, 2016
Bridget
Bridget rated it really liked it
May 30, 2014
Ecoo
Ecoo rated it it was ok
Jul 24, 2013
Angela
Angela rated it it was amazing
Nov 19, 2014
Jen
Jen rated it it was amazing
Mar 14, 2011
Cory Card
Cory Card rated it it was amazing
Feb 04, 2013
Kate
Kate rated it liked it
Mar 17, 2017
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