Translated by Eve Bacon and Lee Bacon
138pp. Rare Bird. $16.
"I AM WRITING THIS OUT OF FEAR", announces the narrator, S, at the beginning of Simon Strauss's slim debut novel Seven Nights. Strauss might be better served by a more literal rendering of the German: S is twenty-nine and writing out of Angst at the prospect of turning thirty--a transition, he worries, that means deciding on "a life, job, a woman", and stifling the passions of youth. He quotes Schiller: "Our best seeds for the great and good are buried under the pressures of bourgeois life".
In S's mind, it is not too late, however. "There's still time to band together, to start a group with the name 'New Sensualism'", he writes in a manifesto-like first chapter. "I'll start academies that...