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Along the way from this first secret to the last—the final ...
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Along the way from this first secret to the last—the final revelation that brings the story full circle—van der Jagt leads us past a hilarious grotesque of characters: his stepmother Eleonore, author of the best-selling How Old Women Can Get Rich; Otto, the Dry Cleaning King of Vienna and the man who holds the key to Marek's past; the nubile and willing Luxemburgers Andrea and Milena, who uncover Marek's own darkest secret; Professor Hirschfeld, the collector of criminal dreams; Dr. Ahorn, the plastic surgeon without solutions; and, last but not least, Marek's own promiscuous mother, who "lived to elicit desire, the way other people live for their children, or to become millionaires..."
Marek's efforts to outdo his mother's romantic exploits are rewarded in unexpected fashion. The Story of My Baldness is fresh and funny—neurotically, claustrophobically funny. In it, van der Jagt uses Vienna the way Kafka used Prague—as the (strangely familiar) landscape where the narrator's obsessions are given free rein.