David Schmahmann’s The Double Life of Alfred Buber
by Daniel Haim
The Double Life of Alfred Buber (pub date June 2011 as a $28, 198 page hardcover) is a spellbinding literary novel that touches upon something dark and lonely within each of us– with the central character’s passion for women matched only by his inability to relate to them. Funny, sad, lonely, and redemptive, it blurs the line between reality and fantasy as middle-aged Alfred Buber, a respectable New Englander, spins out his secret life.
Some early praise from Arthur Golden (Memoirs of a Geisha): “David Schmahmann has created a character with the vividness of J. Alfred Prufrock or Humbert Humbert. Buber’s obsession and the carefully-guarded secret life he leads not only make for a compelling novel, they tell us much about a very widespread and hauntingly ordinary form of deceit.”
Author Leonard Rosen had this to say of the titled character: “He’s creepy, decorous, pathetic, simultaneously delusional yet honest, and for all that sympathetic. His memoir is his redemption; just at the moment he calls himself a failure he rises above failure.”