^Pdf ⇞ The Anthropos-Spectre-Beast ☠ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free

super weird book. but you'll understand it all in the end Peter is a boy who is contemplating a comet (or is it an asteroid?) that is threatening to wipe out all life on earth. He feels that perhaps, considering how mundane and hopeless things are for him and his family, it may be better if earth was put out of his misery. Then when he couldn't feel less numb towards life, the Investigator Dog enters the picture and sweeps him away to a strange yet familiar world where his evil doppelganger lives. Then there's his love interest, a film studio, a belligerent chicken and of course the AnthroposSpectreBeast.

The AnthroposSpectreBeast is (as described by our young narrator):

"...everything that is not understood in nature and mankind. He is the Unknown itself. No one has ever seen him, but everyone is well acquainted with him."

The above quote gives pretty good indication of the melancholy and existential worry within this book. But this is also one of the funniest books I've every read. It's so rare for me to audibly laugh or unconsciously smile while reading, but it happened quite often here. I honestly can't recommend this enough. An oddball curio from Polish filmmaker and novelist containing an Inspector Dog and a rather formal and pompous teenage narrator. Read Nate’s excellent review for more. With cometary apocalypse imminent, young Peter teams up with Investigator Dog (a reincarnated English explorer trapped in the body of a slobbering, valeriansniffing Great Dane) to traverse the barrier between our world and a parallel universe to rescue a beautiful young girl from the clutches of her evil pseudosibling Retep. Meanwhile, Peter reads his sister's diary and secretly wins a role in a lowbudget scifi movie in which he plays an evil kid astronaut named Retep.
That's just the tip of the iceberg. Konwicki's works are impossible to elucidate. They are loopy and seem unthreatening and then they'll throw you for a loop with their mischievous surreality and hyperbolic and profound musings (especially regarding the titular monster). Quite unlike anything else I've read! A philosophical fairytale for adults. Super funny and heartbreakingly sad. Стара, хубава книга от моето детство.
Колко книги от полски автори се издават днес? Piotr är ett ett barn som tror sig vara en vuxen i ett barns kropp. Högmod är en av hans starkare kvalitéer. Jorden hotas av undergång och en talande hund visar honom vägen till en annan värld. Det finns en hel del lovande aspekter som jag tycker Konwicki inte riktigt tar vara på. Det blir lite hafsigt och lite för lite av allt. Inte ens när Piotr får jobb inom filmen tar det sig riktigt. Och slutet, som kunnat bli slagkraftigt, känns som en obetydlig smekning mot min kind. Det är inte dåligt egentligen. Bara inte bra. A surreal fantasy, translated from the original Polish. As an adult, I'd probably be annoyed by the ending, but the book is so trippy and weird that I enjoyed it as a kid. Another GoodReads reviewer called it, "A sort of unfairytale for bored, cynical children who read too many books". That sounds like me at age 1314, for sure. A sort of unfairytale for bored, cynical children who read too many books, perhaps. Except that Konwicki deftly mixes his flights of fancy with plenty of bitter alltooreal observation, disappointment, and philosophizing, to the point where I can't really tell who this is intended for. Though I'd like to think that a generation of clever 12yearolds devoured this and came out as brighteyed wonderseeking skeptics. As a 29yearold wonderseeking skeptic, I ate this right up. Really, it might be more surrealism than fairytale.

Plotwise, we follow our terribly engaging narrator, Peter, as he observes the mundane despairs of his family and is soon offered an escape from his existential boredom when a talking great dane, the Investigator Dog, rings his bell and calls him away to an idyllic/ominous pastoral town of indeterminate time and place*. These two alternating threads are soon intertwined with a third, all bleeding together in their margins with a delicious ambiguity, carefully tended throughout. It's rather refreshing to come back to something so entertainingly plotcentered, for once, but that's not to say there's not plenty going on besides those. In particular, there's an eerie shadow over all of the proceedings:

When and where does he make himself known? He is always present in those strange moments that we remember for the rest of our life. He is present in our sudden awakening from sleep in the late afternoon, when we see through the window a red sun setting and hear the loud twittering of sparrows squabbling in the road, and feel the first puff of evening air that fills the curtain. For a moment everything seems strange and frightening, as if we had just entered the world for the first time. In that moment the AnthroposSpecterBeast is very near.


Tadeusz Konwicki was born in 1926, near Vilnius, in what was then Poland but soon to become Lithuania. Serving as a Home Army Partisan during the war, he fought first the Nazis and then the Russians, narrowly escaping the Gulag to reach Warsaw and a career in journalism. Initially optimistic, he embraced the promises of Communism and statemandated Socialist Realism, only to become disillusioned by the mid50s and to join the neorealisminfluenced vanguard of the Polish Film School along with Andrzej Wajda and Wojciech Has. And like Has, Konwicki turned increasingly towards surrealism and Poland's preCommunist past. This novel, written in 1969, foresees some of the shifting narrative structure and thematic concerns of what may be his cinematic masterpiece, How Near, How Far Away (1972, a year before Has' equally fine Bruno Schulz adaptation The Hourglass Sanatorium).

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