Appelfeld has written a strange, off-kilter novel with The Immortal Bartfuss. We are treated to the odd life of Bartfuss himself, a “dealer” of unknown merchandise, some sort of legend with other dealers, a father to a grown daughter and a younger, mentally retarded daughter. He hardly speaks to his wife and lives in a separate room from her. Bartfuss has money and gold stashed in a secret location, which he reveals to no one.
Bartfuss can’t let his guard down. He still lives the cagey life of the displaced person, running schemes, trusting no one, living a nomadic, bizarre life. This rootless world is Bartfuss’ only legacy. He can no longer settle down as he can die.