Frost by Thomas Bernhard / ISBN 9781400033515 / 352-page paperback from Vintage
Thomas Bernhard combined a searing wit and an unwavering gaze into the human condition. His debut novel, Frost, marked the beginning of one of the century’s most provocative literary careers.
Visceral, raw, singular, and unforgettable, Frost is the story of a friendship between a young man beginning his medical career and a painter in his final days. The youth has accepted an unusual assignment, to travel to a miserable mining town in the middle of nowhere in order to clinically—and secretly—observe and report on his mentor’s reclusive brother, the painter Strauch. Carefully disguising himself as a law student with a love of Henry James, he befriends the aging artist and attempts to carry out his mission, only to find himself caught up in his subject’s apparent madness.
Thomas Bernhard was born in Holland in 1931 and grew up in Austria. He studied music at the Akademie Mozarteum in Salzburg. In 1957 he began a second career, as a playwright, poet, and novelist. The winner of the three most distinguished and coveted literary prizes awarded in Germany, he has become one of the most widely translated and admired writers of his generation. He published nine novels, an autobiography, one volume of poetry, four collections of short stories, and six volumes of plays. Thomas Bernhard died in Austria in 1989.