Simon Brenner

Heike Henderson, Boise State University


Conceived in defiance of a literary establishment that had for fifteen years refused to publish Haas's novels, the quirky ex-policeman turned private investigator Simon Brenner is now celebrated by literary critics and readers alike. Cranky, ambitionless, and often underestimated, Brenner (whose name translates as "Burner") is a reluctant hero who embodies many stereotypical Austrian traits while at the same time undermining traditional images of Austria as an unspoiled tourist destination with a rich cultural heritage, traditional values, and wholesome inhabitants.