Read extract  

The Man Without Qualities

Picador Classic

Translated by

4.25 based on 3693 ratings & 122 reviews on Goodreads.com
Picador

23 February 17
9781509818198
0
£12.99
N/A
N/A

Synopsis

With an introduction by Jonathan Lethem

It is 1913, and Viennese high society is determined to find an appropriate way of celebrating the seventieth jubilee of the accession of Emperor Franz Josef. But as the aristocracy tries to salvage something illustrious out of the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the ordinary Viennese world is beginning to show signs of more serious rebellion. Caught in the middle of this social labyrinth is Ulrich: youngish, rich, an ex-soldier, seducer and scientist.

Unable to deceive himself that the jumble of attributes and values that his world has bestowed on him amounts to anything so innate as a 'character', he is effectively a man 'without qualities', a brilliant, detached observer of the spinning, racing society around him. Part satire, part visionary epic, part intellectual tour de force, The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil is a work of immeasurable importance.

In the media

There is scarcely a page that does not provoke new thoughts or offer new insights, not a chapter that, even read on its own, does not prove stimulating
Scotsman
The Man Without Qualities is one of the towering achievements of the European novel
Observer
Immensely rich and therapeutic, bristling with wit and a sly humour
Sunday Telegraph