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


4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,651 Ratings  ·  155 Reviews
Per scrivere il suo studio su Mendelssohn Bartholdy, il narratore, Rudolf, ha bisogno di essere a casa propria, in campagna. Ha dunque atteso con impazienza la partenza della sorella, venuta a trascorrere qualche giorno con lui. Ma non era stato forse lui a invitarla, proprio perché non riusciva a mettersi al lavoro? Così, dopo la sua partenza, Rudolf non riesce ugualmente ...more
Paperback, Testi e documenti, 153 pages
Published 2004 by SE (first published 1982)
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 Cemento, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Cemento

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Your bitter side
Recommended to s.penkevich by: Garima
For years I have lived in this state of self-condemnation, self-abnegation and self-mockery, in which ultimately I always have to take refuge in order to save myself.

I find it a bit ironic that I’ve been having such a difficult time beginning this review, a review for a book narrated by an aging man who has watched ten years flick by as he has attempted to write the first sentence for his own book. Thomas Bernhard’s Concrete is a darkly comical, spiraling plunge into the mind and soul of it’s na
Jul 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Steve by: Garima
Template for Review Writing

For the benefit of all you busy people out there who are looking to stay active within the still vital and cool Goodreads community, but in an efficient way, I’ve developed a time-saving template for writing reviews. The simple fill-in-the-blank format should prove to be a boon for those who might otherwise stare at a blinking cursor wondering how to start, or agonize over sentence structure, or waste precious brain cells trying to organize countless and fleeting thoug
Thomas Bernhard

How often does it happen to you that you pick up a book and after leafing through a few pages you feel your heart starts pounding with an unknown fear, as if your structure would no longer be able to contain it enclosed within and it would come out of your body and the world around you may collapse at once, to realize that probably the book, you're reading, is reflection of your own life or perhaps the reflection of everyone's life, and all of sudden, a chilling insight st
I’m going to say that I am an observer of myself, which is stupid, since I am my own observer anyway: I’ve actually been observing myself for years, if not for decades; my life now consists only of self-observation and self-contemplation, which naturally leads to self-condemnation, self-rejection and self-mockery, in which ultimately I always have to take refuge in order to save myself.
I knew it would happen. I knew that whatever little I missed on my first outing with Bernhard would no long
The World of Thomas Bernhard is one populated almost exclusively by obsessive losers. These are the kind of hair-pulling people who hunker down for years at a time in a single musty room in some rambling country manor bemoaning their fate or fretting about countless things, including but not limited to the stupidity or cruelty of others, the general horribleness of Austria, or accomplishing some esoteric goal. In other words, except for the anti-Austria sentiment, Bernhard was a man who spoke my ...more
Eddie Watkins
Sep 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german-fiction
Some years ago a colleague of mine suggested I read Thomas Bernhard, and in the random impetuousness of my callow youth I read, no, devoured, a number of his novels without first devising a method of “attack”, for whenever I first encounter an author it has been my practice, since my early days in the gymnasium if not before, to proceed systematically so as to maximize my experience and avoid any need to read through authors again, since it is my belief that every artist’s (and I do consider nov ...more
Nickolas the Kid
Ο Ρούντολφ είναι ένας σκεπτόμενος και προβληματισμένος άνθρωπος. Προσπαθεί να γράψει εδώ και δέκα χρόνια μια μελέτη για τον μουσικοσυνθέτη Μέντελσον...

Ο Μπέρνχαρντ μας δίνει έναν φιλοσοφικό μονόλογο σφιχτοδεμένο και συμπαγή σαν μπετόν...
Ο πρωταγωνιστής πνίγεται, αηδιάζει, κουράζεται από την υποκρισία και την "ασχήμια" του κόσμου. Σταδιακά απομονώνεται στον εαυτό του βρίσκοντας σαν δικαιολογία την ολοκλήρωση της μελέτης του.. Οι χαρακτήρες φωτίζονται όσο ακριβώς χρειάζεται για να καταλάβουμε την
Jan 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: heaven knows I'm miserable now
Recommended to Mariel by: David
Morrissey said about James Dean, "He was incredibly miserable and obviously doomed. People who feel this are quite special." I thought about this quote for some reason about Rudolph from Concrete. (I couldn't remember the word "rockabilly" and searched Morrissey fashions. "Something something billy. Banana fanna fo billy!" Didn't help. [My twin is more helpful than google.] This quote came up. That's honestly how it happened. I like to trace trains of thought. It's an exhausting and preventive h ...more
Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An Austrian musicologist has been trying to begin work on a book about a favorite composer for ten years, but he's blocked. He lives in a rather grand family house bequeathed to him by his parents. He's the most equivocating, self-contradictory man on earth. He hates his sister, despises the Viennese social life and business career she's made for herself, but at the same time he loves her and believes her correct in everything she says. He extends this vacillation to himself and his projects, th ...more
Feb 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is always a pleasant experience to be able to immediately recognize one's surroundings when you enter into a literary work by an author you are familiar with. In Concrete this was provided by the opening announcement of the narrator, Rudolf, that [a] he was suffering considerably from the effects of an illness, one for which he thankfully was in possession of the requisite pharmaceuticals required to ameliorate the condition; [b] a family member of a decidedly malicious bent who seemed to fun ...more
Οσοι είδατε το φώς το αληθινό διαβάζοντας Σάλιντζερ και Καμύ, γοητευμένοι από την αμεσότητα της γραφής τους όπου έκαναν τα δύσκολα απλά για χάρη μας και κυρίως ενδιαφέροντα για να τα διαβάσουμε, μην χάνετε καιρό. Είναι για σας αυτό το βιβλίο. Ακόμα κι αν δεν συμφωνείτε με όλα (όπως εγώ) αυτά που λέει. Μονολογεί και αυτοσαρκάζεται, μπερδεύεται, δεν ξέρει τι θέλει κι αν το θέλει, πως να το ζητήσει και από ποιόν. Στα δικά μου μάτια είναι ειλικρινές συναισθηματικά την ίδια στιγμή που παρωδεί τους πν ...more
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: austria, bib-p
Dei-lhe 4* porque deixou-me, literalmente, agoniada no final. Talvez mereça 5*, há que reconhecer em T. Bernhard a genialidade da escrita; em cento e poucas páginas de narrativa tensa, sem interrupções, traçou todo o absurdo de uma vida aprisionada no medo, no pessimismo e na contradição. No início até que lhe encontrei alguma piada, mas aos poucos a ansiedade tomou conta de mim perante a dimensão do desequilíbrio da personagem do seu pessimismo e indecisão.
Um livro que nos envolve assim tem que
When we have sentences in our heads we still can’t be certain of being able to get them down on paper, I thought. The sentences frighten us; first the idea frightens us, then the sentence, then the thought that we may no longer have the idea in our heads when we want to write it down. Very often we write down a sentence too early, then another too late; what we have to do is to write it down at the proper time, otherwise it’s lost.

Concrete is a rather difficult, deep, philosophical novel. The
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, Bernhard, I love you so much. No one understands hateful bastards the way you understand hateful bastards. Self-important, narcissistic, overly-privileged, autodidact pricks mulling about and neurotically focusing on their illnesses and their annoyances and, oh, I'm not going to make it to middle age, and how I hate everyone; nothing but dwarfed intellectual nitwits, con-artists, and delusional thieves in our depraved world. Yes, I feel the same way. And when I read you, I often reflect and ...more
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
BETON ist mein erstes Buch des „Skandalautors“ Bernhard, von dem ich ein Bild hatte, ohne etwas über ihn zu wissen. Bislang hat mich mein Vorurteil davon abgehalten, eines seiner Bücher zu lesen.

Es ist der kapitel- und absatzloser Bericht eines Ich-Erzählers Rudolf, der das geerbte Elternhaus in Peiskam nach langem Zögern schließlich verlässt, um in Palma seine Studie über Mendelssohn Bartholdy zu beenden; eine Studie, an der er seit 10 Jahren arbeitet, ohne auch nur mit der Niederschrift begon
Jul 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: austria
Initially, I rated this as “five stars,” but have since demoted it to four, because my knee-jerk reaction was that I should have loved it, and that I would have loved it. This seems to be a classic case of “the right book at the wrong time.” You see, I had just read (and loved) Woodcutters back in June, this thus being my second foray into the Bernhard canon. I think it was too soon to read this after reading Woodcutters, because it was too similar, even down to some of the phrasing, which frank ...more
M. Sarki
Jun 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

It is almost impossible to write a critical review of a book I read almost twenty years ago and now am attempting to read again after having been philosophically and physically altered so dramatically from the person I was way back then. In 1996 I was a first-year student of the infamous fiction-writing teacher Gordon Lish and it was he who had informed me of the great work of Thomas Bernhard. I did not keep a journal from that period so I am hard-pressed
Rudolf, the rav-ing luftmensch,
Wrote a very whiny prose.
And if you ever read it . . .

Okay okay, don't be dumb. This book deserves better. This book spoke to me. In fact, this book was me on many levels. How very sad. For me. Rudolf's ravings were feverishly musical and hilarious and, by the end, devastating. Rudolf is a luftmensch, to use a term from Bernhard's mother tongue. His pursuits are decidedly abstract. You get the feeling he's avoiding something. "Luftmensch" means an kind of artsy, hi
Justin Evans
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Three books in and it's fairly clear that Bernhard doesn't write books so much as he cuts off sausages from a long sausage tube of anger, disgust, self-disgust, irony, sincerity, satire and self-righteousness. This was more enjoyable than The Loser and Gathering Evidence, in large part because the irony/sincerity levels were a bit more in keeping with, you know, basic human intelligence. There's less of the foolishness that you get in Gathering Evidence, and more humor than The Loser. E.g.,

May 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: procrastinators; complainers
Recommended to Jessica by: douglas
This droning, paragraphless trek through the sludge of a hate-filled, pathetic, sickly-and-depressive-Austrian-Mr.-Burns-with-intellectual-aspirations-who's-obsessed-with-his-sister-type narrator's mind should be a total downer, but instead it's weirdly elating. Somehow the distillation of all this odious, self-defeating, self-inflicted, and yes, disturbingly close-to-home misery has an invigorating comic effect that can make the reader feel positively perky. This isn't schadenfreude; it's somet ...more
Kobe Bryant
What was this book about? I couldn't tell you. Is it any good? It's alright
Amanda--A Scientist Reads
Sep 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amanda--A Scientist Reads by: Adam @ MementoMori
This book is the literary equivalent of being cornered at a party by that one guy who would have most definitely played for the NFL, if only his coach gave him playing time....This book is the friend who constantly asks advice, only to completely ignore it and complain about the exact same outcome on but another occasion. It's the "intellectual" friend who claims you read more only because you're not reading "real" literature. The angst filled teen who is now middle aged and trying to find a [ex ...more
Guzin Tanyeri
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bu çok bilmiş, sözünü sakınmayan, huysuz Thomas Bernhard'a şöyle söylemek istiyorum; "Bundan sonra senin adın Zebercet Thomas Bernhard olsun." Dahası Beton ve diğer bütün kitapları için de diyebilirim ki, bu eserler birer "kendini gerçekleştiren kehanet" olma özelliğine sahipler. Bu kitapları ergenlikte okumayı başarırsanız, (kitap uzunluğunda paragraf okuyabildiğiniz için Proust'un nehir romanını okumayı da başarırsınız, ama diyeceğim bu değil) ergenliğiniz ömür boyu sürebilir, evlenmeden önce ...more
Interestingly enough, I thought of Elmore Leonard while reading this book. Because Leonard just died, the newspapers are awash with tributes and such. One New York Times piece contained a link to his Ten Rules for Writers. Here's #10:

"Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

"A rule that came to mind in 1983. Think of what you skip reading a novel: thick paragraphs of prose you can see have too many words in them. What the writer is doing, he's writing, perpetrating hooptedoodle, perh
Stephen Durrant
Sep 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can never get enough of Thomas Bernhard's obsessive, confused, desperate, lonely, semi-mad narrators! "Concrete" on one level is a study of writer's block. The narrator has been planning for ten years to start a work on the composer Mendelssohn, but he just can't get the first sentence written . . . for a whole variety of reasons. His frustration leads to a series of typical Berhardian rants, which include an attack on the incredible selfishness of dog-owners, the general stupidity of Austrian ...more
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: míos, mainstream, drama
‘Hormigón’ (1982), del austriaco Thomas Bernhard, tiene como protagonista y narrador a Rudolf, que vive enfermo y aislado del exterior. Su obsesión, encontrar esa primera línea que dé pie a un ensayo sobre Mendelssohn. Pero Rudolf es incapaz de encontrar un comienzo, y por eso, incapaz de finalizar dicho ensayo, con el que ya lleva años de preparación. Y las continuas visitas y críticas de su hermana no ayudan, al contrario, le interrumpen sus pensamientos y su manera de trabajar. Ante tal agota ...more
Nov 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A remarkably varied and intricate book, despite its being so short and claustophobic...

A mix of Kafka, Proust, Notes from the Underground, and something much more modern and existential... Quite surprising.... I will have to read more Bernhard before I can know what I've just read.
The Thomas Bernhard novel that I've read that seems to hold the others together. We have glimpses of his future novels (a hated sister from Extinction, an obsession with a certain wing chair that would come to fruition in Woodcutters, a Herr Wittgenstein) and his past novels (drives around the Styrian Alp from Gargoyles), and that very Bernhardian voice -- fueled by misery and hatred, aspiring to the heights of classical music and the imagined luxury of a more Mediterranean mode of living, while ...more
Brad Young
Feb 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gaddis fans, anyone that loved the film Adaptation, those seeking the unique
Shelves: favorites
Bernhard is amazing, inspiring. His writing is, in a word: relentless. It's been a couple years, but I remember Concrete as a meditation on creation anxiety and the paralysis of extreme self-absorbtion. There is no escape for the protagonist. His obsessions have permanently distanced him from the world and made connecting with others impossible. He spends the whole novel failing to begin his work. I imagine this novel as Bernhard's escape from his own obsessions and an attempt at communion. His ...more
Adam Floridia
I only read the first paragraph of this and just didn't enjoy it; paradoxically, I finished the entire book and also didn't enjoy it.

Not a scathing "I Hated it" one-star, just an "I didn't like it" one star. First person monologue from a character who's vapid, hypocritical, delusional, depressed, narcissistic, solipsized, incompetent, lazy, a member of the idle rich; and somehow I just couldn't find it palatable.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Ways to Choose the Right Concrete Contractor? 1 1 May 04, 2017 06:53PM  
When does the plot take place? 2 27 Sep 21, 2016 11:48PM  
  • Vertigo
  • Repetition
  • The Sleepwalkers
  • Jakob von Gunten
  • The Lord Chandos Letter: And Other Writings
  • War & War
  • Malina
  • Kassandra and the Wolf
  • The Confusions of Young Törless
  • The Quest for Christa T.
  • Death in Rome
  • La Confusion des sentiments
  • The Island of Second Sight
  • Indian Summer
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...

Share This Book

“Whatever condition we are in, we must always do what we want to do, and if we want to go on a journey, then we must do so and not worry about our condition, even if it's the worst possible condition, because, if it is, we're finished anyway, whether we go on the journey or not, and it's better to die having made the journey we're been longing for than to be stifled by our longing.” 101 likes
“Very often we write down a sentence too early, then another too late; what we have to do is write it down at the proper time, otherwise it's lost.” 45 likes
More quotes…