The whole book is written as an interview: an anonymous critic, known only by the term Literaturbeilage
(which basically means ?Book Supplement?) and Wolf Haas discuss his latest book, ?Das Wetter vor 15 Jahren,? not to be confused with Das Wetter vor 15 Jahren
, the book that I actually read. It looks exactly like an interview (or a play, for that matter), and the fictionality of it all is the only difference to an actual, journalistic interview. It?s a mammoth, in-depth interview that takes place over several days. The book they discuss doesn?t really exist, but in their discussions of minutiae from the non-existing novel, they recreate it for the reader (as much as you can ?recreate? something that doesn?t exist). (...) All this is, as I said, great fun, moving, smart and much more. The only downside to this is the actual writing. Having written an interview, Haas has had to use a language that sounds colloquial, that recreates the authenticity of an actual interview. But a whole book of artificially blanded language can be taxing, and does reduce the enjoyment of this book to an extent. It?s a good thing then that it?s so clever, even on the level of language. Das Wetter vor 15 Jahren
may be somewhat bland, but it also contains the occasional pun and intriguing observations about characteristics of the Austrian variety of German. (...) It?s simply a good book, one of the few books I know that is a complex, genuinely experimental novel, and at the same time a quick, fun, light read. That?s why it both became a bestseller and won a prestigious literary prize. Highly recommended.