Skip to main content
A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler is an brilliant example of how small things can make an admirable difference. Every word has a place. Words evoke an imagery that is imprinted in the reader's mind.

The Australian Alps set the background for this personal tale of perseverance that spans almost a century. Born in 1898 Andreas Egger is orphaned at a young age and sent to live with a farmer uncle and his family. A Whole Life actually begins on a February morning in year 1933, when we meet Andreas Egger faced with a challenge (well, perhaps a challenge to us, but to Andreas Egger it's just something that he would do). 

The mission is carrying the dying goatherd Johannes Kalischka to the village along the three-kilometre mountain path that's buried beneath a thick layer of snow. 

It was by chance that he stumbled upon the goatherd's body. An intuition actually. As Andreas Egger picks up Horned Hannes (nicknamed as such by the village dwellers) in both arms like a child and places him gently on a wooden frame, padded with dry moss, we get a sense of the character of our protagonist. 

Andreas Egger knows his responsibilities in this world. He believed that a man needed to lift up his eyes and look as far as possible beyond his own small, limited patch of ground. 

In A Whole Life Egger experiences a lifetime of change. From his first encounter with a television set, to the war that took the lives of so many around him. Yes, he had seen the world change and it seemed to spin faster with each passing year. 

A Whole Life was originally published in German and was a bestseller. Sometimes with translations you feel there is something lost in translation. But, reading this English version by House Of Anansi, you do not feel you are missing anything from this poignant song of a fulfilled life. 

Blog post by @ShilpaRaikar (Creative and Social Media strategist, decor enthusiast and book lover, who also writes for a branding blog:, as well as a lifestyle blog: T: @SukasaStyle) 

A Whole Life is published by House Of Anansi Press (