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3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  793 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
Ein Medizinstudent nimmt den Auftrag an, den Kunstmaler Strauch zu beobachten, der sich in das Gebirgsdorf Weng zurückgezogen hat. In seinen Aufzeichnungen hält er die Monologe und Visionen Strauchs fest, bis er entdeckt, daß diese Begegnung, die er bewältigen zu können glaubte, ihn selbst überwältigt.
Paperback, 315 pages
Published 1984 by Suhrkamp (first published 1963)
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(showing 1-30)
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Dec 12, 2009 Szplug rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
They say that the great artist is able to take the personal and - through the glamours of their craft - present it as the universal: certainly the torment called life that afflicts the Painter Strauch in Bernhard's first published novel, Frost, will resonate with certain readers at certain parts; for myself, there was so much about Strauch's plight that hit home with stunning effect that I felt drained by the time I finished its 342 ragged, caustic and beautiful pages.

The novel is, essentially,
Vit Babenco
Apr 25, 2016 Vit Babenco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Youth is a mistake. The mistake of age, on the other hand, was seeing the mistakes of youth.”
An observer and a man he observes: youth and old age, sanity and insanity, a patient and a diagnostician… Who will influence whom? Who will win in the duel of minds?
“I was asking myself what imagination is. I’m sure imagination is an illness. An illness that you don’t catch, merely because you’ve always had it. An illness that is responsible for everything, and particularly everything ridiculous and mal
Oct 21, 2008 Jimmy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
It's possible that this has been said once before; is one of the most common reasons for postponing suicide, that of wanting to simply add a few more words before the fatal decision? Taking Bernhard's typical premise for any of his novels, it almost seems as though the reason that he wrote at all was in order to thoroughly explain his dissatisfaction with the world around him before he made that final decision. Of course, Bernhard died of natural causes, but it even seems possible that death cau ...more
Apr 15, 2013 Isabelle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: deutsche-lit
I forgot where that was, but Brod once said something like this to Kafka: I feel like a mourning man among wedding guests, like a spider among butterflies.

Well, that’s the painter Strauch for you. You might also like to imagine him as the last human being on earth (that’s how he likes to perceive himself; no, that’s how he must necessarily see himself, otherwise he couldn’t have kept on existing for such a long time).

Frost is a mediation on self-loathing, a monologue within a monologue. It is St
Apr 23, 2008 justin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imagine if Beckett and Celine tagteamed a rewrite of the Magic Mountain, only the war is over, and the high-class sanatorium on a mountaintop is now a dilapidated inn in a festering valley.
M. Sarki
Dec 01, 2011 M. Sarki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The inn was one of that type where you would spend no more than a single night, and only if you had to...It wasn't any amenity it had, it was the shortcomings of it that delighted him. pg. 25

...He was just scraps of words and dislocated phrases. pg. 232

The incomprehensible is the miraculous. The un-understood world is the world of wonders, the one you understand has no wonder in it. pg. 270

Women were like rivers, their banks were unreachable, the night oft
Sep 15, 2008 Sampson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Meditation of Frost


Art has nothing to do.
The painter paints
in complete


Consider the speaker,
the reliability of the soul, whether
it exits or not, weather
it exists or not, everything
a matter
of inter-


It occurred to me, that today
was my 31st birthday. Not a soul
in the world is aware of this fact. And if
they are, they don’t know
where I am. Except my land-
lord, not a soul
where I am.


“. . . as the inside of a cow.”
I heard someone say, somehow
that it was snowing
Jim Elkins
Oct 09, 2012 Jim Elkins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german, austrian
'Frost' is yet another excrescence of Bernhard's imagination. This time it's a student who follows a painter, or rather a man who used to be a painter, in order to see if he is sane. Of course he isn't: that is so immediately obvious that the question becomes--as of the first five pages of the book--what kind of imagination the painter possesses.

The book offers no relief, no pleasure of slowly dawning insight (even if that insight is might reveal psychosis, impending suicide, unrelieved pessimi
Dec 25, 2014 SurferRosa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: europea
Agenzia Turistica Weng

Benvenuti in Austria, fra i monti dell'incantevole Weng. Venite a conoscere le bellezze locali, come la natura incontaminata o le bellissme fattorie. Le possibilità di pernottamento sono molte (una), ma l'ostessa della locanda vale già da sola il soggiorno (ehi, ehi, maschietti, cos'è quella faccia furbetta, a cosa state pensando...?)
Godete del privilegio di svegliarvi alla mattina e trovare l'acqua nella bottiglia sul comodino accanto al letto congelata! Ma le possibilità
May 04, 2017 Anamaria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cu siguranță una dintre cele mai bune cărți citite recent. O situez la un loc cu ”Cartea nefericirii” a lui Pessoa, ”Lupul de stepă” a lui Hesse și ”Abbadon exterminatorul” a lui Sabato - cărțile mele de căpătăi. În primul rând m-a frapat naturalețea cu care Bernhard descrie peisajele si decorul, și cât de ușor se folosește de cuvinte să picteze exact imagini în care te poți transpune, ca și cum tu, ca cititor, ai fi exact acolo, ascuns în umbră, privind acest du-te, vino al celor doi protagoniș ...more
Jan 23, 2009 Oscar rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: míos, mainstream, drama
'Helada' fue la novela que consagró al gran Thomas Bernhard, y noto que le falta a su prosa ese ritmo y repeteción tan característicos. Sin ser una mala novela, hay muchos momentos en que me aburrió, sobre todo por la avalancha de reflexiones sin (y con) sentido del pintor Strauch, que a veces rozan el hermetismo.

El cuadro que se ofrecía en los jardines de verano de los mesones le permitía a uno ver a los hombres en sus manejos más tontos. "Entrar en su mundo. Entrar en el mundo. ¿Táctica? ¡Cuan
Jan 04, 2015 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Erm, I feel a tad awestruck. And a tad traumatized by the tedium of the dialog, which was obviously the point. Welcome to Bernhard?
Kobe Bryant
It's weird reading a Bernhard book thats basically like a normal book but it's still cool
Simon Robs
Our world some days makes TB's lit-world which is arguably messed-up seem comical and that for sure is messed-up. So, however it was I got here I am clicking off Bernherd's novels in no particular order but with this entry being his first it's with keen interest in such, the beginning of what is really it seems one long soon-to-be non-chaptered/paragraphed monologue and/or disquisition of dregs upon dregs nihilistic harangue albeit occasional moments of existential blissfully pellucid in nothing ...more
Jul 22, 2009 Catherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had trouble finishing this book - maybe because I like to read in the morning, and I often didn't want to let this book foul my mood for the day. I came to a sort of reconciliation halfway through: an intelligent writer, but I don't accept his world view. The passage on p.270-271 demolished that idea:

The thought of a glass of beer leads to the wildest overestimates and thoughts: the world is what I am! Begins where I begin. And ends where I end. Is as bad as me. As good. No better, because me
Bart Everson
Jun 19, 2007 Bart Everson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aloud
One of the most unpleasant books I've ever had the displeasure of reading. I was looking for something grim and challenging, and this certainly qualifies. However, the most challenging aspect for this reader was being utterly bored by the lack of narrative momentum.

(I read this aloud to my wife who shared my general sense of revulsion. Perhaps this was not the best way to read this book.)

I find the idea of Bernhard intriguing; the capsule descriptions of his books and the reviews are compelling
Apr 27, 2015 NobilisGughy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un colpo mortale e disperato, che esplode in tutte le direzioni e in ogni cosa e dappertutto, sin dentro alle più anguste rientranze dell’uomo.
Parole che ci travolgono, ci annientano, di fronte alle quali vorremmo scappare, gridare e invece restiamo lì, immobili, risucchiati e dominati senza riguardo. Prolunghiamo l’ascolto fino all’ultima sillaba, fino all’estremo latrato che frantuma, lacera, spalanca la porta a dolorosi e necessari e inevitabili dubbi sul nostro esistere.
Jun 12, 2009 ben rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
May 19, 2016 Julian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Most humans lose themselves in the sexual at 30 or so. And thereafter they just eat."
Lolita Church
Jan 06, 2017 Lolita Church rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: oesterreich
Ein Famulant bekommt von seinem Vorgesetzten, dem Chirurgen Strauch, den Auftrag, dessen Bruder, den Kunstmaler Strauch, zu beobachten. Über 26 Tage erstreckt sich das Protokoll der Begegnung im entlegenen Unort Weng.
Der frühe Roman "Frost" hat den Witz eines typischen Bernhard-Textes, ist insgesamt aber weitaus düsterer, existentieller und bitterer als die späteren Publikationen.
Childerich III
Feb 22, 2017 Childerich III rated it it was amazing
Dies war mein erster Bernhard, den ich im Frühling 2005 gelesen habe. Ich habe mehrere Anläufe gebraucht und das Buch mehrmals an die Wand geworfen (diese Spuren sind an dem Buch auch noch gut sichtbar). Es war wirklich nicht einfach, sich in die Sprache Bernhards und vor allem in dessen Dichte hineinzufinden. Die Monologe Strauchs verwirrten mich in einem Maße, dass ich es fast schon körperlich spüren konnte. Dennoch merkte ich, dass es sich lohnen würde, dieses Buch durchzulesen. Und beim drit ...more
En cualquier escrito de Bernhard, por nimio que sea, se encuentra a Bernhard y todo lo que su obra representa. Las formas en las que el mismo se materialice ya es objeto de puntualización y son determinadas, en gran medida, por la cronología misma del escritor, pero el hecho es que incluso en Helada, aun privada de ese estilo característico por el cual el autor es conocido y reconocido, encontramos los motivos bernhardianos. Y es crudo, es brillante, es denso y oscuro... una oscuridad, sin embar ...more
jean lice
Oct 20, 2010 jean lice rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: nobody
Shelves: studies, austrian
Man muß wissen, was bei ihm 'Verbitterung' heißt, was 'grundsätzlich' und was 'Licht' und 'Schatten' und 'Armut überhaupt'. Man weiß es nicht. [...] "Man muß es nicht wissen." (S. 84)

Dieser Auszug beschreibt anschaulich das Buch und dessen Verlauf. Bernhard legt einer alten, verbitterten, ausgegrenzten, ... Figur über 300 Seiten lang wirre und diffuse Phrasen in den Mund und führt den Leser durch krude und oftmals unzusammenhängende Gedankengänge. Über dieses leere Gerede und die sich ereifernde
Jan 08, 2008 Amari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
shocking... less typical of bernhard's later style than i had expected, although the beginnings of his hammering vocabulary and phrase repetition are certainly there. four stars don't give the right idea of the book, especially some of the truly remarkable passages near the beginning of the book. highly, highly recommended.
Mar 21, 2017 Olivia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading Frost feels a lot like being stuck. Like being pinned between walls, or stuck in a mountain crevice. It’s not just the imagery forced upon the reader by Bernhard, but the very text in itself. The rhythm is steady, it gives you no safe, steady ground to rest, no opportunity to breathe a bit easier. Wherever you turn, you’re met by these sentences, unrelenting, methodic, as if hewn from rock. Words accumulate on top of each other, become new ones that when repeated line up like thick walls ...more
Feb 02, 2012 Maddy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Many ideas turn into lifelong disfigurements.”
Feb 07, 2008 G rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: high-caliber
Insanity is contagious. I think.
Here is Thomas Bernhard once again offering the “philosophy of the exacerbated bird’s-eye view of impure thought” as it goes “through the nitrogen of the primal condition of the devil,” “pitch[ing] wildness and quiet alternately at the disquiet of others.” His voicebox is the painter, Strauch, “one of those people . . . who tie tourniquets round the arteries of their thought, but to no effect; who pour themselves out in suicidal word-spate, who hate themselves in truth because the world of their ...more
bernhards first book about the slow, creeping feelings of numbness to the world brought on by age, repetition, and the realization of the ultimate meaninglessness of one's life. IM Going to kill myself ha ha
Adrian Astur Alvarez
"'You see,' said the painter, 'the brain is capable of nourishing itself on the inventions , the great inventions of little and lesser and infinitesimal dread can make itself roar ...make itself a world, an original world, an ice age, a vast stone age of organization ...One proceeds from a very small and insignificant instance, from a little individual who falls into one's hands ...From the principle of some desecration, the justness of such desecration, into the desecration itself ...more
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Thomas Bernhard was an Austrian author, who ranges among the most distinguished German speaking writers of the second half of the 20th century.

Although internationally he's most acclaimed because of his novels, he was also a prolific playwright. His characters were oftenly working in a lifetime and never-ending major work while they deal with themes such as suicide, madness and obsession and, as B
More about Thomas Bernhard...

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“...He was just scraps of words and dislocated phrases.” 17 likes
“The study of sickness is the most poetic of the sciences.” 16 likes
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