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Published: Coming on July 5th, 2022


This item will be released on July 5, 2022.


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Book Description

Shrouded in a thick cloud of cigar smoke, Hermann Arbogast Brenner, scion of an old and famous cigar dynasty, needs to settle his affairs, codifying his forty-six years of life, in a Proustian attempt to conjure the wounds, joys, and sensations of his childhood in the rolling countryside of the Aargau region of Switzerland. Estranged from his wife and two children, he decides there is no point in squirreling away his fortune, so he buys himself a Ferrari 328 GTS and drives around sharing cigars with his few remaining friends. In this roman à clef, writing and smoking become intertwined through the act of remembering, as Brenner, a fallible, wounded, yet lovable antihero, searches for epiphany, to unearth memories just out of reach.

In the guise of his narrator, Hermann Arbogast Brenner, Burger, the cigar lover, composes an autobiography of ashes: part wish-fulfillment, part settling of accounts, with the languid, bitter feel of a last smoke before an execution . . . rife with dialect and ornate, Latinate turns of phrase that possess rare evocative power.
Uwe Schütte, Asymptote

A Magic Mountain in the Stumpenland… What the Madeleine was for Proust, the cigar is for Hermann Arbogast Brenner.
Der Spiegel

A ringmaster at the edge of the abyss.
Marcel Reich-Ranicki