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The Story of My Baldness

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  540 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
The ingenious comic novel named one of the “best books of 2004” by The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Baltimore Sun.

In The Story of My Baldness, Viennese philosophy student Marek van der Jagt tells the story of his quest for l’amour fou. Van der Jagt introduces a host of unforgettable characters and weaves a web of shameful secrets in this novel that uses Vienna the way
Paperback, 264 pages
Published February 17th 2006 by Other Press
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Mar 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Blue Mondays and The Story of My Baldness are both winners of the same first novel award, and both written by Arnon Grunberg. Along with David's raving albeit depressing review for Blue Mondays it's this fact that made me want to read these two novels. I like the idea that someone was able to fool an award committee into giving him the same award twice, an award that by its nature can only be awarded once.

I meant at one point last night to ask David to explain why he loved Blue Mondays as much
Ti Tia
Aug 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of ze alsjeblieft even normaal kunnen doen, gebiedt vader herhaaldelijk aan de eettafel.
De amour fou van de achterflap is me minder bijgebleven dan de gekmakende invloed van een gekke ouder.
Mar 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lillian Bernal
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Uno de los relatos más introspectivos y lleno de los contradictorios sentimientos humanos que he leído en mucho tiempo. La mente del protagonista merece una mención honorífica y la narrativa rebuscada y poco simplista es un deleite por la manera en que las oraciones juegan con los sentimientos del lector: uno puede comenzar a leer algo y sentirse identificado para después empezar a deprimirse.
Simplemente maravilloso.
Aug 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
From the first page, I said to myself: I'll love this novel! Which was almost true. This is the kind of book that you browse in a bookstore and immediately decide to buy (if you are not averse to coming-of-age novels, that is).

The writing is juicy, witty and funny. I especially loved Marek's recollections of his mother, which created in my mind a vivid, excentric, powerful character. Neither his father nor his brothers are what might be called "normal" people, not even Mark is an ordinary teenag
Michael Flick
Apr 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best
A masterpiece of contemporary Dutch literature. The author, Arnon Grunberg, won the Netherland's Anton Wachter Prize for a debut novel, "Blue Mondays" (1997), then came back to win the very same prize again for "Story of My Baldness" (2004) (dates are for the English translations from the Dutch) under the pseudonym "Marek van der Jagt." How his unique voice wasn't recognized the second time around is wholly incomprehensible.

This is another coming-of-age novel, but this time set in Vienna rather
Christopher Roth
Oct 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
I had no idea what to expect from this book, and I still have no idea whether it's really written by an Austrian with the sort of Dutch sounding name of Marek van der Jagt, or whether he is Dutch but living in Austria, or whether this is just a fictional character and the pseudonym of the real writer, who, then, could be from anywhere. (After all, some Austrians have "van" instead of "von" in their names.) This stressed me out slightly, but I enjoyed this bizarre sexual romp, which, in its blunt ...more
Nov 14, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nederlands
De geschiedenis van mijn kaalheid gaat eigenlijk helemaal niet over de kaalheid van Marek van der Jagt. Het begint met een klein voorzetje over zijn kaalheid en eindigt in een paar bladzijden over zijn kaalheid. Voor de rest bestaat dit boek vooral uit onaffe verhaallijnen. Ik vroeg me vaak af, en toen? Wat ging je toen doen? Maar dan ging het verhaal alweer verder. De geschiedenis gaat volgens mij vooral om Mareks moeder en de ontdekking dat hij maar middelmatig is. Ik lees graag over de middel ...more
Alicia Hobbel
Briljant. :-)

Ik heb me erg vermaakt met dit boek en het zit goed in elkaar. Het lijkt wel alsof het boek niet gaat over de kaalheid, en dat is ergens waar, maar toch ook niet. De oorzaak van de kaalheid is namelijk wel waar het boek over gaat. En de persona heeft gelijk als hij zegt dat het boek ook de geschiedenis van mijn middelmatigheid had kunnen heten. De kleine penis is daar eigenlijk ook een symbool voor, het niets voorstellen. En kleine penissen, castratie (zijn moeder verwijst daarnaar
Feb 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Two choice passages:

"...How do nightmares begin? I've asked myself that many times. Stories begin, lives begin, the sea begins somewhere and ends somewhere else, but nightmares don't begin. In nightmares you get lost, and only when you're in the middle of them do you realize it's a nightmare, and then you ask yourself: 'Why didn't I see this coming? Why didn't anyone warn me? How could I be so blind?...'"

"...Obsession relegates the world, reality, people to corner, while all that remains is a mi
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library-books
This was surely one of the most simple stories I have ever read. I don't know why I feel like this, because on the back of the book and on the net people praise it and say that it's a good book and an unpredictable story. I didn't find it "unpredictable", I actually took it for a very simple and clear story, and I was able to foresee some things way before they happened!

What I did like about this book, though, is the humor. It's a miracle I took this book from the library, but it was worthed, e
A quattordici anni lessi dell'amour fou. Due settimane dopo avevo deciso: la vera vocazione dell'essere umano è l'amour fou. Che cosa significasse esattamente non lo sapevo; l'amour fou viene fornito senza un manuale di istruzioni

Suvvia, è un libretto, ma non un cattivo libro. Diffonde una certa atmosfera stralunata che ricorda vagamente il Tamburo di Latta, ma finisce qui il paragone. La storia di questo Marek dalla minuscola "virtù", sul filo della dialettica tra volontà e impossibilità, è un

Marek van der Jagt è lo pseudonimo di Aron Grunberg, di cui ho letto "il maestro di cerimonie" (vedi). I due libri sono accomunati dalla presenza di un omicidio in ambito familiare: lì un padre che uccide la figlia, qui un figlio che uccide la madre. Un'ossessione? Edipo non risolto ben oltre l'adolescenza?
Entrambi i libri sono una buona lettura, ma entrambi lasciano la sensazione che avrebbero potuto essere qualcosa di meglio: pagine di ottimo spessore e interesse si accompagnano ad altre più p
Jun 14, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dutch-literature
Second Grunberg and same experience as the first one (Blue Mondays): what a sad world, even though the young Marek moves through rather wealthy circles in Vienna (not coincidentally with the same type of neurotic women as Freud got on his couch?). Again a sketch of an adolescent boy with a very negative self-image that discovers the world, of course obsessed by sex. The baldness of the title seems to stand for "scant".
Grunberg can certainly write; perhaps he even can be situated at internationa
Aug 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
I give it 4.5 stars, minus a half star for being too into place names, a big pet peeve of mine. Another book I read on a complete whim, and another success. A really funny book about an extremely small-dicked quasi-philosophical dork who tries to score with ugly, sad, or old women in his endless search for "crazy love." I also liked the background of the writer, winning best first novel twice, because this book was written under a pseudonym. Kick ass. Not pretentious like I'd thought it might be ...more
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"Amour Fou" was my first book from this author and I liked something about the writing. But the novel as a whole didn't quite enchant me. I found it very boring, absolutely not funny and not revealing anything. I do understand the conflict and where the comic parts should be seen, but as for me - it just didn't work out. I ended up getting more and more frustrated about the emptiness of what I was reading, so I didn't finish it.
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Daudzviet bija forši un/vai smieklīgi, bet visu laiku tomēr neatiet pārcenšanās sajūta, jo sevišķi beigās, kur autors iegrimst pārdomās, par ko tad grāmata īsti bija, lai gan iepriekšējās 250 lappuses nerada sajūtu, ka tur vispār bija tāda kārtīgi izfiškota doma apakšā.

(valodas nostiprināšanai gan bija īsti piemērota, lasīju katalāniski)
Gokhan Toka
Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
"İnsan kendine başkalarının gözünden bakabilseydi diye düşündüm, kendisinin evrenin uzak bir köşesinde, depremlerin viraneye çevirdiği, hiç tamir yüzü görmemiş, mimarların ve müteahitlerin terk ettiği, önünden gelip geçenlerin başlarını sallayıp, "Böyle bir yerde nasıl yaşanır?" dediği bir binada yaşamış olduğunu görürdü"
Toen ik las over de moeder van filosofiestudent Marek van der Jagt, moest ik denken aan het nummer "A Lady of a Certain Age" van The Divine Comedy. Alleen betrof het hier geen lady uit Engeland, maar wel een uit Wenen.
Mar 09, 2008 rated it liked it
Very funny/disturbing/tragic/ironic tale which may in fact become a movie (I have insider information). I'd recommend it, but only if you don't mind a couple of embarassing, albeit hilarious sex scenes. I won't say anymore...
Blane Worley
Jan 25, 2016 rated it liked it
The English translation, with its many errors, most probably did not do the original novel justice. Still an interesting read.
Een grappig en vermakelijk verhaal, en daarnaast een leuke en prettig leesbare schrijfstijl.
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kolder en wanhoop met duidelijke karakters. Leest lekker weg.
Kathleen Baeteman
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's the best of Grunberg's books, I think, because it's faster & even darker than his others. I wrote something about Arnon's hilarious debut prize scam in my blog post:
Anna-thalia De Meyer
rated it really liked it
Jun 05, 2014
Lucia Rosculete
rated it liked it
Oct 31, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Apr 16, 2014
Irina-Marina Borţoi
rated it really liked it
Jan 04, 2012
Angelo van Leemput
rated it really liked it
Jan 27, 2016
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“Als leven een baan is, wilde ik ontslag nemen. Maar ik kon het kantoor niet vinden dat over ontslagaanvragen ging.” 2 likes
“Ik denk dat mama zich een gast heeft gevoeld in het leven. Ze deed altijd alsof het haar niets aanging, het leven, alsof het niet van haar was. Alsof ze er toevallig in terecht was gekomen, zoals je een huis binnen kan lopen wanneer je je in het adres hebt vergist, en dan per ongeluk in dat huis blijft hangen. Buiten stroomt het van de regen en je hebt geen paraplu bij je.” 1 likes
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