When Kleinzeit, an advertising copywriter whose name means either 'hero' or 'smalltime', depending on who you ask, picks up a sheet of yellow paper in the London Underground, he doesn't suspect that it will cause him to be fired from his job and admitted to hospital with geometrical pain in his hypotenuse.
In Hospital Ward A4, Kleinzeit discovers he is not alone: his fellow patients also suffer from nonsensical but possibly deadly ailments which all have something strange in common. With the help of the beautiful night nurse and armed with a glockenspiel and a paperback of Thucydides, Kleinzeit escapes from hospital and finds himself plunged headlong into a wild and flickering netherworld of mystery involving the Underground, an enigmatic red-bearded man, a key, sheets of yellow paper, and Death himself ...
A hilarious, surreal and completely unpredictable novel about one man's search for reality, Kleinzeit
(1974) is one of Russell Hoban's best-loved works.
'Hoban is as funny and unusual as any writer around ... Kleinzeit
is a sort of holy fool, a fierce, lonely intelligence desperately trying to make sense of a hopeless world. A tour de force.' - Evening Standard
'Hoban is an extraordinarily talented novelist, an original mind in the era of mass-produced philosophers.' - Irish Times
'Delightful ... Kleinzeit
's language is forever astonishing.' - Boston Globe