Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Extinction” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.29  ·  Rating details ·  1,827 ratings  ·  160 reviews
Thomas Bernhard is one of the greatest twentieth-century writers in the German language. Extinction, his last novel, takes the form of the autobiographical testimony of Franz-Josef Murau. The intellectual black sheep of a powerful Austrian land-owning family, Murau lives in self-exile in Rome. Obsessed and angry with his identity as an Austrian, he resolves never to return ...more
Paperback, 335 pages
Published 1995 by Quartet (first published 1986)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Extinction, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Extinction

Community Reviews

Showing 1-59
Average rating 4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,827 ratings  ·  160 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Extinction
Paul Bryant
Mar 10, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Thomas Bernhard : the dentist’s drill of modern literature. When you are having such an entirely miserable, entirely lonely, entirely teeth-grinding time reading a novel, when groans and hisses and yelps issue involuntarily from you as you turn the page, you know you are in the presence of a master and that this is great literature. It was just the same with Beckett (Molloy), and yes, pretty much the same with Hubert Selby (The Room) and Saramago (Blindness). In all of these great works what we ...more
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In my opinion once you get used to the writing style of Thomas Bernhard and his literary challenges and peculiarities, you have to immerse yourself into his person to enjoy his literature. His cold humor and style are certainly not for everybody. This novel – his last greatest prose work – is his attempt to manage the traumatically liberated misfortune of his childhood and early years as he represents his family in the environment of the Austrian nobility and put it in all its facets and accuses ...more
°°°·.°·..·°¯°·._.· ʜᴇʟᴇɴ Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος ·._.·°¯°·.·° .·°°° ★·.·´¯`·.·★ Ⓥⓔⓡⓝⓤⓢ Ⓟⓞⓡⓣⓘⓣⓞⓡ Ⓐⓡⓒⓐⓝⓤⓢ Ταμετούρο   Αμ
Τόμας Μπέρνχαρντ,σε αφανίζει κυριολεκτικά με την εμμονή του στην γυμνή αλήθεια και στον κόσμο της περισυλλογής.

Τον αγάπησα επειδή μου δημιούργησε μια ψυχοσωματική επαφή με το συγγραφικό του σύμπαν.

Τον φοβήθηκα,επειδή κατάφερε να μου αποδείξει πως είμαστε παγιδευμένοι και κολλημένοι σε έναν θλιβερό κόσμο αμβλύνοιας και προσποίησης.
Έχουμε επίγνωση των ψευδαισθήσεων, των ενόχων, της ψευτιάς και της υποκρισίας γύρω μας, αλλά θέλουμε να μείνουνε παγιδευμένοι,απρόθυμοι και ανίκανοι να αποκοπούμε απ
There are days when I see the world with the eyes of Thomas Bernhard, and I feel like filling a whole novel with a long, breathless rant against the incredible stupidity, the horrific narrow-mindedness, the scary Nazi propaganda of mainstream, small town mentality in the post-World War Two Western Hemisphere, and I take a deep breath, only to choke on the poisoned air filled with the evil of selfrighteous white nationalists basking in the publicity they receive when they endorse each other again ...more
Steven Godin
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Could there ever be a more scathing narrator than Extinction's Franz-Josef Murau (Who I like to think of as a fictional Bernhard). Cut off from his Austrian landowning family and their estate of Wolfsegg, he now lives the intellectual life as a tutor in Rome. Rome? He could have moved to the furthest corner of Australia, and still been too close to the country he so clearly finds the most repugnance, vowing never to return home to the place, in disgust, he so constantly slams in bitter resentmen ...more
M. Sarki
Jun 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star-wonders

There is nobody I have ever read who speaks to me more clearly and like-minded than Thomas Bernhard does. From the very first sentence Bernhard had me hooked on the book. I could have just said the first paragraph but there is only one in the entire book so that would have been a little bit too much tongue-in-cheek. But don’t let that stop you from reading this Extinction. A flowing single paragraph is a Bernhard trademark. At least he has proper sentences
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was my introduction to Bernhard, and what a powerful introduction it was. I became obsessed with his obsessive, discursive writing style, the way his sentences loop back on themselves to describe something several different ways. You have to give yourself to it and stop expecting the usual plot or character mechanics of most conventional fiction, but once you do, it's an exhilarating ride.
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy hell, this book was everything.
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
His final novel, Extinction, is, put simply, Bernhard's masterpiece..., a masterpiece among any number of masterpieces. An astonishing output.

(After starting with Concrete - which astonished me) I read Bernhard's novels chronologically, and would recommend anyone who wants to delve into his works, to read, in the following order:

The Lime Works
The Loser -- about Glenn Gould -- and

I found Woodcutters, Old Masters, and even Wittgenstein's Nephew to be somewhat inferior.
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Leggere Estinzione è farsi trascinare nel vortice di un desiderio di distruzione, farsi travolgere dal fiume in piena di un odio che attraversa tutte le pagine del romanzo sino alla conclusione inaspettata. Tutto inizia con un telegramma da cui il protagonista e narratore, Murau, apprende della morte dei genitori e del fratello. Notizia che lo getta nello sconforto non per la perdita subita, ma per la necessità di tornare a Wolfsegg, il paese natale da lui abbandonato per rifugiarsi a Roma e da ...more
Lee Klein
Feb 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Like Correction, this one is twice as long as the average Bernhard book and therefore it does twice the damage as the average 150-page Bernhard book, damage mitigated by the introduction of self-conscious acknowledgment about the narrator's abominable pronouncements, also direct attack on Austria's Nazi past, also two sympathetic idealized characters to counterbalance all the imbeciles and insincere simulators. As always, there's nothing as good, no approach as viral, nothing as unbearable to re ...more
"Pur di provare sollievo non esitiamo a camminare sui cadaveri"

Per quasi 500 pagine seguiamo i pensieri di un uomo che, appena appresa la notizia della morte improvvisa dei genitori e del fratello, non fa altro che sputare veleno sulla propria famiglia - persone realmente abiette in effetti, con cui ha sempre avuto rapporti altamente conflittuali - e sulle proprie origini. E in definitiva, su se stesso. Uno sfacelo, per l'appunto, come recita il sottotitolo.

Lo stile di Bernhard, in questa sorta
Nov 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bad-guys
This book is 326 pages of rabid, unrelenting misanthropy that is all ONE PARAGRAPH, from the perspective of a hateful, very rich Austrian expatriate who despises his family, Austria, and everything else.

It is totally impossible for me to explain why I loved reading this, but it had an intoxicating, addictive quality and I really could not put it down. However, I wouldn't in good conscience recommend it to my worst enemy.

Looking forward to reading something else by Bernhard (suggestions, Dieter?)
The funny thing about Bernhard's style is that because you have no stopping points, no denouements, you consequently just sort of pop in and out of Bernhard-land. And what a land it is! Hey, do you know what sucks? Everything! Do you know what sucks more? Everything IN AUSTRIA! Especially your Mom! She's a child-destroying, anti-intellectual, priest-fucking Nazi HO BAG! This kind of whinging is a more grown-up, more cultivated Holden Caulfield mentality, but fuck it, I worshipped at the altar of ...more
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Στην καμπή της χιλιετίας η σκέψη θα είναι πια κάτι αδύνατον γι' αυτήν την ανθρωπότητα, Γκαμπέτι, και η διαδικασία αποβλάκωσης, που έχει τεθεί σε κίνηση από την φωτογραφία και έχει γίνει παγκόσμια συνήθεια με τις κινούμενες εικόνες, θα φτάσει στο ζενίθ της. Να υπάρχεις σ' έναν τέτοιο κόσμο, που τον κυβερνά αποκλειστικά η αμβλύνοια, δεν θα μπορεί να είναι πια εφικτό."

- Αφανισμός, Τόμας Μπέρνχαρντ

[ Τα βάζει, δικαίως, με όλους και με όλα και το κάνει άψογα. Κορυφαίος. Νομίζω το καλύτερο του αλλά κα
Nguyên Trang
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
- Sự kết hợp giữa một lâu đài tăm tối kiểu Kafka với triết lý giết sạch, đốt sạch của Nietzsche.

- Ờ thì như mọi người vẫn gọi Bernhard, tức là Thánh Chửi =)) Chửi tuốt, từ tổ quốc, quê nhà, bố mẹ, anh chị em, tôn giáo, nhiếp ảnh gia, thợ săn, luật sư, bác sĩ, phóng viên,... chửi đến Goethe và sau cùng là chửi bản thân. Nhưng đồng thời cũng là người rất biết trước biết sau, vẫn chấp nhận cái mình chửi có khi lại là cái đúng đắn nhất. Tóm lại, như một vòng tròn bát quái, xới tung từ bên này qua bê
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Đọc "Diệt vong" mà chỉ thấy nhân vật chính "chửi tất cả mọi thứ" thì tức là thấy cây mà chẳng thấy rừng. Murau, nhân vật chính - và qua đó là tác giả - chửi gần như mọi thứ không phải vì ông thù ghét toàn thế giới. Ông thù ghét một phần thế giới, (cái phần mà, tiếc thay, là phần lớn) đang ngày càng xuống cấp, vô vị, giả tạo, vô sinh khí, phản tiến hóa. Bên cạnh đó, có một số ít những người mà ông yêu: những thợ làm vườn; nàng Maria, thi sĩ đồng hương Áo của ông; cậu Georg người thầy tinh thần củ ...more
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ovo je delo koje bi svako trebalo da pročita nekad, posebno kad vam se učini da ste besni na svaki koren u sebi i svaku kategoriju pripadnosti porodici, ljudima, prijateljima, odnosima, institucijama, državi, zemlji, konvencijama pristojnosti i međuljudskih odnosa, jer "Brisanje: raspad" je upravo to - jedno veliko brisanje identiteta u sumanutom naletu pripovedačevog besa, ali ubrzo ćete shvatiti da jednostavna mržnja nikad nije jednostavna, i da bes prema malograđanstvu neminovno onog koji ga ...more
Maru Kun
“...Millions are tyrannized by three-ring binders and never escape their tyranny, I thought. For the last century the whole of Europe has let itself be tyrannized by three-ring binders, and the tyranny is increasingly oppressive...”

Goodreads certainly does not need another review of a Thomas Bernhard novel. However, having now completed my reading of his novels, I will shamelessly debase myself by dribbling out a few meager comments. This book was not what I expected, though going into it my expectations were admittedly vague. I figured it would present itself as Bernhard’s masterwork. Perhaps it is that, and I am unable to see it. My current disinterest in fiction smears any perspective beyond recognition. There are a few
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
... i mille volti della scrittura...

Il protagonista abita a Roma, lontano dall'Austria, terra natìa.
Arriva un telegramma: i genitori ed il fratello sono morti in un incidente.
Dovrebbe esserci disperazione, tristezza, ma non è così. Il telegramma diventa, invece, motivo per sviscerare rabbia ed odio.
Nulla ha scampo: la famiglia in primis è dichiarata morta.
Le convenzioni sono carta straccia da bruciare.
L'attaccamento ai soldi, la "recita" del lavoro, il lusso non condiviso (nella tenuta di fa
Feb 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
After reading this, I have the sneaking suspicion that Thomas Bernhard doesn't really like Austria.
Bên Phía Nhà Z
đoạn kết sến hãi hùng =)))
Niki Sven
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: all-time-favs
Jedan ogroman, 478 stranica dug pasus, u kome je sumiran sav duševni teret pisca - malograđanska porodica od koje se oduvek razlikovao i koja ga je uvek odbacivala, zatucan i hladan austrijski mentalitet, gađenje prema nacionalsocijalizmu i katolicizmu kao uništiteljima slobodnog duha, dekadencija čovečanstva i njegova neizvesna budućnost. Kroz ono što Bernhard naziva "umetnošću preterivanja", dočarava nam jedan mračni svet u kome čovek od duha nema izbora osim samo da proba da se od njega izbav ...more
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ένας ολοκληρωτικός πόλεμος σε όλα τα μέτωπα... Οικογένεια, θρησκεία, κράτος, εθνικοσοσιαλισμός, μπαίνουν στο στόχαστρο αυτού του ευφυούς συγγραφέα, μέχρι τελικής πτώσης, μέχρι αφανισμού.
Ένα υπαρξιακό σκιαγράφημα, τόσο αριστοτεχνικά δοσμένο...
Héctor Genta
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: austriaci
J'accuse bernhardiano contro tutto e tutti. Un libro che parla di morte e dell'incapacità (impossibilità?) di accettare lo status quo. Una lettura a tratti faticosa, un monologo torrenziale dove il protagonista, Franz Josef Murau/Thomas Bernhard, con una prosa ossessiva, fatta di reiterazioni continue quasi fosse lingua parlata, lancia i suoi strali di volta in volta contro la famiglia, l'Austria, la Chiesa, il nazionalsocialismo (ma anche il socialismo per come è stato applicato) e in genere co ...more
Stephen Durrant
Jun 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
No one else writes quite like Thomas Bernhard, certainly one of the most distinctive stylists of the second half of the twentieth-century. His novels typically are constructed of rants addressed by a first-person narrator to a silent listener. These rants are always exaggerated, as Franz-Josef Murau, the narrator of "Extinction" realizes: "Without the art of exaggeration, I told him, we'd be condemned to an awfully tedious life, a life not worth living. And I've developed this art to an incredib ...more
Tuấn Mát
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tóm tắt: Tuyển tập 300 bài chửi không dành cho thiếu nhi, với đủ các chủ đề, việc chửi được trải khắp từ những người thân trong gia đình, ra làng xóm, đến cả nước Áo và lan rộng khắp năm châu... rồi vòng trở lại xỉ vả bản thân mình!

Lạc đề: Chuyện kể thời Tam quốc, lúc Tào Tháo và Viên Thiệu chuẩn bị giao tranh, Thiệu bèn sai thư ký là Trần Lâm làm bài hịch chửi Tào Tháo. Bài hịch truyền tới tai Tào gia. Bấy giờ Tào Tháo đang bị chứng nhức đầu, nằm trên giường. Tháo xem xong bài hịch của Trần Lâm
Daniel Leverquin
Roman je svojevrsni obračun Bernharda sa celim svojim bićem, svojom državom, nacijom, ali mora se priznati sa mnogim lošim stvarima koji ti nazovi entiteti nose u sebi u ovom slučaju. Tautologija koja služi da opiše sopstveni paroksizam, preovladava knjigom, a taj opis dodatno pojačava time što je pisan u prvom licu.

Pisac secira sebe, svoju porodicu, državu, a na ostatku tog leša je kontroverzna priča, koja u nekim trenucima dobija tragikomičan karakter. Kritička žaoka romana je usmerena na malo
rated it it was amazing
Jun 05, 2007
Ingvild Oda Moss
marked it as to-read
Jun 09, 2007
rated it it was amazing
Jun 11, 2007
rated it it was amazing
Jul 24, 2007
rated it it was amazing
Aug 23, 2007
David Auerbach
rated it it was amazing
Aug 26, 2007
rated it liked it
Aug 30, 2007
added it
Sep 06, 2007
marked it as to-read
Oct 13, 2007
rated it liked it
Oct 22, 2007
rated it it was amazing
Nov 04, 2007
marked it as to-read
Nov 05, 2007
rated it it was amazing
Nov 12, 2007
marked it as to-read
Nov 12, 2007
rated it really liked it
Dec 01, 2007
rated it it was amazing
Dec 05, 2007
marked it as to-read
Dec 06, 2007
marked it as to-read
Dec 13, 2007
rated it it was amazing
Dec 18, 2007
marked it as to-read
Jan 03, 2008
rated it it was amazing
Jan 07, 2008
rated it it was amazing
Jan 14, 2008
marked it as to-read
Jan 15, 2008
marked it as to-read
Jan 21, 2008
marked it as to-read
Feb 03, 2008
rated it really liked it
Feb 04, 2008
marked it as to-read
Feb 08, 2008
Ed Doty
rated it it was amazing
Feb 12, 2008
rated it it was amazing
Feb 21, 2008
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Add ISBN-10 and page count correction 3 22 Apr 22, 2019 11:29AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • I'm Not Stiller
  • Malina
  • War & War
  • Vertigo
  • Satantango
  • My Friends
  • Întâmplări în irealitatea imediată
  • How It Is
  • Either/Or: A Fragment of Life
  • A Short History of Decay
  • The Motion Demon
  • Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable (The Trilogy, #1-3)
  • The Rings of Saturn
  • A Sorrow Beyond Dreams
  • Difference and Repetition
  • Thomas the Obscure
  • Jakob von Gunten
  • The Unnamable
See similar books…
Thomas Bernhard was an Austrian author, who ranks 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 Be

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our lis...
30 likes · 12 comments
“We must allow ourselves to think, we must dare to think, even though we fail. It is in the nature of things that we always fail, because we suddenly find it impossible to order our thoughts, because the process of thinking requires us to consider every thought there is, every possible thought. Fundamentally we have always failed, like all the others, whoever they were, even the greatest minds. At some point, they suddenly failed and their system collapsed, as is proved by their writings, which we admire because they venture farthest into failure. To think is to fail, I thought.” 80 likes
“We have to keep company with supposedly bad characters if we are to survive and not succumb to mental atrophy. People of good character, so called, are the ones who end up boring us to death.” 61 likes
More quotes…