altAt Home, by Franz Hohler (translated from the German) (Bergli Books, Basel, Switzerland, 2009)

Franz Hohler observes the same situations you or I might, but sees them quite differently.  He sees stories.

At Home was a Christmas gift to Porter (thanks A&M!), and he found it the perfect book to read for his hectic life:  the stories are for the most part very short, and thus the book can be read in bits and snatches, here and there.  Not that you'll want to put it down if you can help it.

Some of the stories are a bit on the weird side (though not nearly as weird as Ray Bradbury's), but most show a very interesting perspective on life, and nearly all are enjoyable.  The tale of the man who inadvertently brings a baby devil home from the pet store is fascinating, perceptive, and frightening (though not at all in the modern gross-out horror film sense).  I, of course, enjoyed reading about and recognizing aspects of Swiss life; Hohler is Swiss and lives in Zurich.

Because it's very short, and because of its steel connection, I'll quote in entirety the final story in the book, hoping Herr Holner would consider it "fair use" and good advertising.  It's called The Mailbox, and provides a good snapshot of his style.

"I wish I were a racing bike," said the mailbox to the garden gate, "and could flit through wide plains and conquer mountain passes."

"You and your wishes," croaked the garden gate, "when you don't even meet the official postal regulations."

"One can always wish," sighed the mailbox, and continued to swallow bills, magazines, advertisements and postcards.

A little later he was unscrewed and replaced with a new one.  He was melted down.  Then together with old metal chairs, torn wire fences and bent screwdrivers, he was processed into light steel, landed in a racing bike factory, and was soon flitting across wide plains and conquering mountain passes and could hardly believe that he had stood for years in the same place and every day nearly choked on the mail.

Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 8:38 am | Edit
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Reminded me of the Tale of Three Trees.

Posted by dstb on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 8:07 am

Yes, I love that story!

Posted by SursumCorda on Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm
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