Baur and Bindschadler, two old men, friends from their days in the army, share a habitual walk to the edge of a town, Baur speaking incessantly circling between past and present, inconsequential observations and profound insights while Bindschadler, equally unmoored, listens, observes, and reflects. A meandering meditation on mortality, and a gentle complement to the work of contemporaries Samuel Beckett and Thomas Bernhard not to mention Gerhard Meier s countryman Robert Walser Isle of the Dead elevates a simple ramble along a riverside to the status of a metaphysical inquest, with Baur and Bindschadler s words and thoughts looping and colliding until it is nearly impossible to tell one man from the other. From the afterword by Burton Pike: Constant here are the insistent wind, the drifting clouds, the autumnal leaf- whirling and coat-billowing gusts and breezes, and the ever-recurring cycle of nature. The reader should relax into the aura of the characters thoughts and observations, and over the first few pages let himself or herself be drawn into the absorbing world that Meier has so skillfully created . . . Isle of the Dead is a subtle novel about a meticulously detailed world. What distinguishes it from other modern novels, from the works of Robert Walser and Thomas Bernhard for instance, is that it does not convey an alienation from life but a sense of wonder, expressed with wit and humor, and, beneath the wonder, regret.