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The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick
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1001 book reviews > The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick by Peter Handke

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Diane  | 2051 comments Rating: 2.5 stars


I had high hopes for this since the description compares it to The Stranger, one of my favorite books. I failed to see the similarities, however. This is a book about a construction worker (who used to be a soccer goalkeeper) who loses his job, loses touch with reality, and commits a murder. As interesting as that may sound, it really didn't deliver. I found it to be quite dull, rambling, and too existential for my taste. I may re-read it in the future to see if I'll appreciate it more at a later date.


Dree | 243 comments I honestly expected this to be 133 pages of a goalie stressing out about a penalty kick. It was not that.

Instead, we have a goalie-turned-construction-worker. He has murdered a woman. And now we get 133 pages of his analyzing everything he is doing and everyone else is doing and even what things are doing, as he leaves town and wonders if he will be caught. Despite the fact that he seems to either have some sort of social anxiety or more likely a more serious issue, no one around him behaves as though he is acting unusual. Despite the fact he is in some random town and is just hanging around with the residents. And when I say "analyzing" I mean "wonders why he picked something up and what others will think and does that umbrella being there mean something" analyzing. I found it tiring to read, but also unsettling and somewhat creepy. I didn't really like it, but I understand why others might.

Rating: 3


Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments 2 stars

Why is this on the list? I was tempted to give it one star. I really did not like it. It is rambling, self-involved, existential, and not my cup of tea.


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