"A very supple and clever satire. . . . As with all the best satire, it's impossible to tell Oswald's own moral viewpoint, or even if he has one. Ultimately the book is a parable about the extent to which money is, or is not, destiny. This is a high ambition, one that Oswald tackles without pretension. That he manages to make it look easy is the real confirmation of his talents." Geoff Nicholson, The New York Times Book Review
All That Counts
978-0-8021-3931-3 • $12.00 • Paperback • Nov. 2002
Winner of the prestigious International Prize and praised for its “gleefully bitter prose” by the Los Angeles Times, All That Counts is a sardonic, fast-paced urban thriller by a scintillating young German writer. From the bland boardrooms of the bourgeoisie to the dark alleys of the criminal underworld, this searing contemporary satire exposes the dangerous attraction of opportunism, loss of control, and the seedy side of life.
Thirty-something Thomas Schwarz is certain that he is soon to become department head of Liquidations and Foreclosures at the bank where he works. But after fumbling a particularly byzantine property case, his life begins to unravel: his female boss glibly fires him and his wife walks out. Suddenly acquainted with the giddy thrill of a life unmoored, he falls in with a cocaine-fueled crowd of money launderers who set out to exploit him. But when the gang is busted, Thomas seizes his chance to escape with the profits and, in a final breathless move, exposes once and for all just how precarious the trappings of society really are. “Clever, informed, sarcastic, and streetwise” (Süddeutsche Zeitung), All That Counts is a provocative, glittering debut that will resonate for anyone who has felt like a cog in a wheel and wondered what life on the other side of respectability might hold in store.