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The Maimed

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  378 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
Set in Prague, The Maimed relates the story of a highly neurotic, socially inept bank clerk who is eventually impelled by his widowed landlady into servicing her sexual appetites. At the same time he must witness the steady physical and mental deterioration of his lifelong friend who is suffering from an unnamed disease. Part psychological farce, Ungar tells a dark, ironic ...more
Paperback, 220 pages
Published April 1st 2002 by Twisted Spoon Press (first published 1922)
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Jan 08, 2012 Mariel rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Lorne Michaels
Recommended to Mariel by: an education
I don't know if anyone else on goodreads is a fan of Canadian sketch comedy show Kids in the Hall? If you were this would be the easiest review ever to write. My favorite Kid, Bruce McCulloch, wrote and starred in some bits that I consider to be inspired. He has a dark and twisted mind that I adore. It could have gone anywhere and those guys let them go in all these different places in those years. Anyway, I love the "Huh" feeling at the end and all uncomfortable laughter in the dark. The kids w ...more
Aug 28, 2013 knig rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, artimitateslife
At first I thought Ungar had been to see Tod Browning’s Freaks, and directly plagerised modelled ‘The Maimed’ on it. But no: he wrote it in 1923 and Freaks came out in 1932. Lynch’s Boxing Helena came out in 1993, one big massive nod to Ungar as well.

The centrefold here is a Karl, and he has Aspergers. Ungar doesn’t say so, not least because Aspergers wasn’t identified til 1944, but nevertheless, what we have here is a portrait of the artist as an Aspergers man. Like Sheldon in the Big Bang Theo
Nov 16, 2015 Teresa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-checoslovaquia, e2
A propósito do que escreveu Thomas Mann sobre esta obra: "Um inferno sexual, pleno de depravação", há uma opinião no Goodreads que diz, mais ou menos, assim: "Se Mann pensava que isto é um inferno sexual, que pensaria ele se tivesse conhecido a minha história, ahahah!". Esta opinião (a do Kobe Bryant, não a de Mann) foi o que mais gostei nesta leitura, ahahah!
Kobe Bryant
Feb 15, 2013 Kobe Bryant rated it liked it
If Mann thought this was a 'sexual hell' then what would he think about my search history haha
Cheryl Anne Gardner
Mar 14, 2010 Cheryl Anne Gardner rated it it was amazing
I read the Maimed two years ago, and it's one of those rare books that I return to over and over again. This is from my Amazon review:

Franz Polzer, a pitiable, wretched man, lives out his ordinary days in solitude and poverty ... the mundane tasks carving out his time and his life. Tortured by sick and demented hallucinations of his father and aunt, Polzer suffers an immense sense of self-loathing as well as a loathing of women and children. He also suffers endless nights in cold sweat, paralyze
João Reis
Um verdadeiro freak show.
O livro de Ungar tem como grande qualidade a palatabilidade do estilo: é de leitura rápida e quase compulsiva. No entanto, e mesmo tendo em conta o simbolismo da obra e o tom expressionista (de que, aliás, gosto por norma), Ungar exagerou. Não no sentido de cada personagem ser demasiado perversa, mas porque todas elas são, no fundo, taradas de uma ou outra maneira.
Assim, Polzer, o protagonista, sofre de uma espécie de obsessão-compulsão, de masoquismo (por causa do mod
Dec 01, 2015 João rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: foreign-fiction
Franz Polzer é um obstinado com a ordem, os seus papéis no banco têm de estar arrumados, faz um inventário do seu quarto todas as noites, evita tudo o que perturbe a "normalidade" do seu mundo, o que se vem a provar uma tarefa impossível, face à ambição da sua senhoria, Klara Porges, que o transforma num escravo sexual, e à degradação física e mental do seu maior e talvez único amigo, Karl Fanta, por quem terá tido uma ligeira paixão de adolescente.

Trata-se de um romance quase kafkiano, muito su
Monica Carter
Jun 15, 2009 Monica Carter rated it it was amazing

The Maimed by Hermann Ungar wonderfully terrifying descent into paranoia, perversity and the power of abuse. Well-written and captivating from the opening sentence, this novel tells the depressing story of Franz Polzer. Ungar leads us with a perfect narrative through a tale that offers no lasting happiness for the tortured soul of Franz or those around him.Thematically, we are dealing with repression, abuse, madness, homosexuality and sadism.

Doesn't that sound like fun? Read on, brave ones.

Jul 23, 2011 Malcolm rated it really liked it
Franz Polzer, at the centre of this book, is a seriously neurotic, messed up bank clerk in early 20th century Prague whose paranoia, insecurity, social incompetence, and assorted lack of social skills makes this an unsettling, disturbing, and utterly marvellous book. Polzer's ineptness means that he passively watches his school friend whom he idolises waste away from some unknown rot-the-body disease, allows himself to be coerced into a sexual relationship with his landlady, and attempts to cont ...more
May 13, 2012 Rafa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Con una escritura intachable nos muestra un conjunto de seres humanos socialmente al límite. Todo un descubrimiento gracias a Offuscatio.
Apr 30, 2007 Matthew rated it really liked it
I would have given it five stars upon reading it through the first time, but I looked at it again several months later and I realized I liked it less. I liked it for its novelty, a novel exploring, excruciatingly, the short life story and psychosis of the supremely emasculated man. Ungar's other works deal with similar characters, individuals who may be considered marginal in the wide spectrum of society, freakish possibly. I was impressed with Ungar's sometimes sympathetic, sometimes brutal han ...more
Ben Arzate
Nov 05, 2016 Ben Arzate rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
Full Review

Ungar is not a well remembered author. He was a contemporary of Kafka and is often compared to him. They were both Jewish writers from Prague who wrote dark fiction, but Ungar is quite distinct from Kafka. Ungar finds horror in the every day and in the repressed psyches of the people around him. While his body of work is not large, this book makes it clear that Ungar deserves to be more well-known than he is.
Jul 22, 2010 Jed rated it it was amazing
Don't sleep with your landlady.
Jul 11, 2008 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
painful and disturbing
Rune Lindgreen
Jan 11, 2017 Rune Lindgreen rated it really liked it
Lovely little book. Dark, disturbing, sad, and filled with anxiety.
Feb 26, 2017 Cátia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Franz Polzer faz-me lembrar aquele empregado pacato da conservatória do registo civil, de vida monótona que encontramos no livro "Todos os nomes" de José Saramago. Também ele de repente vê transformada a sua vida simples num intenso rol de problemas.

Mas Polzer bem que também podia ser o personagem principal de um livro de Gonçalo M. Tavares.

Este livro sombrio, de gente estranha, infeliz e maldosa, tem de facto muito de Freud pelo meio. Seria pois escândalo para a altura, mas já não tanto para o
Colin N.
Jul 25, 2011 Colin N. rated it it was amazing
A truly fascinating and unique book. In "The Maimed" Ungar tells the story of Franz Polzer, a bizarre man who for 17 years has lived a meticulously-crafted life of routine as a bank employee. He wakes up at exactly the same time, goes to work, crunches his numbers, returns home, eats, and sleeps. Everything is done in exactly the same manner everyday. Yet Polzer is frightened with paranoid dreams at night, is taken to obsessively counting his possessions, and is incapable of most human interacti ...more
Dec 31, 2014 Howard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was written in 1923 and portrays a sordid, squalid sexual pit of a strange group of Avante Garde twenty somethings in Prague. The main character Franz Polzer is lonely, superstitious, in the same bank clerk job for many years; he has been damaged by the early loss of his mother, and sexually repressed by images of his brutal father and step-aunt who are having relations; and by the maid Milka, who teases him ‘intimately’. Franz rents a room from Klara Porges a senior widow. She learns ...more
"Los mutilados " es, ante todo un libro/síntoma, muestra las preocupaciones de la Europa de comienzos de siglo que se plasmarían en la literatura (el absurdo, la teoría psicoanalítica, la sexualidad como tabú, concretamente en Kafka, en Mann y Hesse (por nombrar los más identificables) y que en los años sesenta haría suya el existencialismo, concretamente el "héroe" absurdo, el hombre sometido por su realidad incapaz de cambiar nada.

Pero a pesar de ser pre-existencialista, parecería más "pos" d
João Duarte
Nov 01, 2015 João Duarte rated it did not like it
Um dos pontos de interesse que vejo no Goodreads é poder ler outras opiniões sobre livros que acabei de ler, e isso é especialmente interessante quando a pontuação que me preparo para atribuir a um livro é claramente dissonante da tendência.

"Os Mutilados" conta-nos a história de um empregado de banco totalmente transtornado e obcecado pela ordem e rotina, Franz Polzer, que se vê a braços com uma realidade que não controla, com uma senhoria sexualmente insaciável e com um amigo de infância mutila
Jul 22, 2015 Pečivo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: svíčková
Hermann Unger je další autor o kterým mi prababička nic neřekla. Tak nějak sem si to myslel a proto sem ji za trest chodil do kredence na rum. Prababička 1: pečivo 1, budiž ji země lehká. Hermann Unger byl taky kámoš Thomase Manna, s čímž se rad chlubil, ale mě to zajímavý nepřijde teda vůbec.

Co mi zajímavý přijde je jeho román the maimed. V českém překladu vyšlo jako the disejblds. Vydán někdy okolo roku 1920 vypraví Unger příběh bankovního úředníka z Prahy, kterej neměl lehký mladí (klasika -
Lukáš Palán
Jul 19, 2015 Lukáš Palán rated it it was amazing
Shelves: czech
Druhé největší překvapení roku 2015. Na prvním místě se stále drží událost z března kdy bratr umyl nádobí, což udělal poprvé od devadesátého devátého. Ungarova existence mi nějakou záhadou unikala až do letošního července, kdy jsem ho objevil. Větší záhadou mi je pak fakt, že jsem o něm netušil, i když toho kluka českýho z Boskovic opěvoval Zweig a Thomas Mann mu šel za kmotra.

Nicméně ke knize. Maimed je příběhem jednoho úchyla, co se nastěhuje k robustní úchylačce, která ho šikanuje a sexuálně
Susana Costa
Jan 05, 2016 Susana Costa rated it liked it
I wanted to read this once I heard it was one of the books forbidden by the Nazi regime. It pinched my curiosity, I will have to admit.

The story itself is this huge reflexion about the human condition. Franz Polzer seems like a really disturbed guy with a lot of social issues. Everything in its right place and lil' Polzer will not do anything to change it. If change occurrs, drama. And that is exactly what happened - change.
I can see how the parallel might be established between that and a lot o
Świętosław Brzenczyszczykiewicz
Strange and direct bleeding of perspectives, of factual recount, dream, hysterical delusion, morbid desire, and hope, or perhaps it is lust which underwrites the derangement of Polzer. What a style, and how fitting to see the physical debasement of the fellow scroungers in Polzer's circle taken through, and done in such a style. From Polzer's mind, and from Polzer's degraded set of words that stand in for his eyes, we read but almost dream, or rather have a nightmare which is the cauchemar of Po ...more
Michael Estey
Jun 18, 2013 Michael Estey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
by Hermann Unbar
translated by Mike Mitchell

A bizarre story of a man,
named Franz Polzer.

Polzer has problems with OCD. Obsessive, compulsive disorder. He is always counting things. Afraid he is being robbed. His life full of routines.
He lives with his oversexed landlady. After accepting a gift of clothing to wear to work as a bank clerk, his one and only job. He's offered a promotion but his fears intervene.
I found this book hard to follow, probably due to the translation from German to English.
Sep 19, 2014 Rocío rated it really liked it
The weirdest yet most captivating story I've read so far this year. The plot is the story of Polzer, a wretched man who appears to suffer from OCD and other mental issues, living his mundane life in relative peace until a series of events begin to disturb his standarized way of life. Soon we get to know other important characters such as Polzer's landlady, Frau Porges, Polzer's childhood friend, Karl Fanta - now a cripple-, Fanta's family and a mysterious nurse that will contribute to the chaos ...more
Apr 25, 2016 Natalia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Los mutilados, es un relato terrible sobre las perversiones y locuras más mundanas del hombre.
Comienza describiéndonos al bueno de Franz Polcer, un empleaducho de banca de hábitos rígidos, obsesionado con el orden y lo correcto. Es un hombre mutilado psicológicamente por un pasado lleno de traumas. De su entorno, aparecen el resto de personajes: su casera, el amigo de la infancia y enfermo terminal, su sufrida familia y el enfermero a cargo de sus cuidados, entre otros. Todos ellos personajes en
Jul 12, 2007 Namrirru rated it it was amazing
Shelves: europe, e
I liked this book more than I thought I would. It has a story full of sick little twists, and a lot happens. Maybe it's a little slow in the beginning, but the pace speeds up at the end.

I'd agree with the other reviewer that it would have been better if it were in first-person. It would debase the reader who reads it as "I," and it would make the "I" more believable. As it is, the reader is divorced from the text and the whole book seems like a caricature. First person probably would make the m
Dec 19, 2016 Lucy rated it really liked it
This book is a vivid account of an obsessive bank clerk and his misfortune - his and that of everyone around him. It takes you inside his mind, full of anxiety, neurotically so. Any change brings dread into his chest. Uncertainty is what bothers him - and almost nothing is resolved in this novel. He lets himself be abused, for fear of action, and relives his traumatic past with distant revulsion, focusing his hatred on the parting of his abuser, the parting of his aunt. A dagger of white scalp i ...more
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Hermann Ungar was a Bohemian writer (in the German language) and an officer in Czechoslovakia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His novels were influenced by expressionism and psychoanalysis. He was praised by Thomas Mann as a great writer.
More about Hermann Ungar...

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