Scrounged from his notebooks and hearsay, this is the story of a schoolteacher named Konrad Zündel: a philosopher, a wanna-be writer; scattered, self-conscious, glum, anxious, unlucky, discontent . . . At the end of his rope, he decides to flee his workaday life at all costs, only to find escape always a little beyond his reach. First his tooth falls out in the sight of other travelers, then he finds a severed finger in a restroom on a train. In fact, Zündel seems on the verge of falling to bits, as do his words, thoughts, wife, and world—will there be anything left, and anyone to hold the pieces? Zündel’s Exit is a Chaplinesque comedy of disintegration, never knowing if it’s coming or going.
“Markus Werner finds company among an elect and heroic group of voluptuaries, but of a special kind; like Flaubert’s Bouvard and Pécuchet, or Beckett’s Murphy, or the high-pitched monodrama of the impasse we get in Buster Keaton, Zündel’s Exit gorges on the limit point of madness, of fidgeting hands and heads and hearts punished by the sclerosis of cramped conditions.”–The Nation
“For such a short, quick-moving novel, it is remarkably full: action, hearsay, philosophizing, diary entries, imagined dialogue, advice. The speed and force and assurance with which the novel moves is arresting: it convinces us of the drama in the drama, and the drama in the everyday.”–The Rumpus
“Humor is a driving force of Zündel’s Exit, with most of it coming from the narrator’s layer of caring distance and the creative, lively voice that Werner gives him. This liveliness, plus his understanding of Zündel’s knowingly petty attempts to fight against the world, leads to moments that capture the heart of the novel”–Full Stop