I was fascinated and repelled by Max but the story was gripping and I had to keep turning the pages. I really felt the oppressive heat of Vienna; Max's grief and despair at the suicide of Jessie; even something of the strange world of the drug addict. This really is one of those books which haunt you long after you have finished it.
The hall is long like a train carriage, and empty, except for the aluminium telephone stand next to the front door and a narrow, hand-knotted runner. The runner leads to the door in a dead straight line, as if you would lose your way without it. The hair scrunchy the girl from the radio left clashes with the cordless telephone. I pick it up gingerly and drop it behind the cabinet. When I touch the telephone, the hairs on my arm stand on end. There must have been blood and brains all over it, the girl from the radio said on the phone. Her name has escaped me all this while, but now I remember it: Clara.