Thomas Bernhard "is often accused of writing novels that feel like cruel jokes. So dark, so difficult, and so misunderstood..." so writes Jessica Ferri (many thanks to Dave Lull for the link):
Bernhard offered me a language for these nascent, creeping feelings of misanthropy and also relief from them, with his melodrama and humour. I can't think of a writer who better captures the intensity and ridiculousness of big-city living. Bernhard's books are the only ones I want to open on the subway. He managed to capture the most beautiful aspects of life using the most wretched, miserable situations and characters. Such glimmers of humanity are similar to those brief moments of serenity that can be found on a crowded subway station, if one looks closely enough.