Category: Germany

Stille Zeile Sechs by Monika Maron

Stille Zeile Sechs by Monika Maron

How much fury fits into 142 pages? Monika Maron tells her readers from the very first sentence that Herbert Beerenbaum dies, so a good bit of Stille Zeile Sechs (Silent Close Number Six — “Close” in the sense of a small cul-de-sac street, with six as the house number) is finding out who he his, how …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2024/06/15/stille-zeile-sechs-by-monika-maron/

Marzahn Mon Amour

Marzahn Mon Amour by Katja Oskamp

With Marzahn Mon Amour Katja Oskamp aims for a double re-evaluation: of her own writing, seemingly derailed after two novels and a story collection are followed by publishers’ rejections of the novellas that followed, and of the district of Marzahn in the northeastern corner of Berlin, far from the city’s hip party places or its …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2024/03/02/marzahn-mon-amour/

The Road by Vasily Grossman

The Road by Vasily Grossman

Vasily Grossman is one of the great writers of the twentieth century, and The Road is a very good place to start reading his work. Born in the Ukrainian city of Berdychiv when it was part of the Russian Empire, Grossman experienced the Bolshevik Revolution and the ensuing civil war as a teen. He began …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2024/02/11/the-road-by-vasily-grossman/

Die Känguru-Comics 2 written by Marc-Uwe Kling

Känguru Comics - vol. 2

and illustrated by Bernd Kissel, subtitled “Du würdest es eh nicht glauben” — You Wouldn’t Believe it Anyway This second volume of the kangaroo comics concludes the hardback publication of the odd couple’s 2020–23 run in Germany’s leading intellectual weekly newspaper. There are some nice touches in the two volumes: the first is dedicated “For …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2023/12/01/die-kanguru-comics-2-written-by-marc-uwe-kling/

Die Känguru-Comics written by Marc-Uwe Kling

Känguru Comics

and illustrated by Bernd Kessel One of twenty-first century Germany’s best-known characters is a kangaroo. Talking, obviously, but less obviously a Communist, a fan of Nirvana (“The band?” asks Marc-Uwe Kling, narrator of the stories. “No, the Beyond,” says the kangaroo, and after a pause, “Of course the band! You like to pose unnecessary questions!” …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2023/09/06/die-kanguru-comics-written-by-marc-uwe-kling/

Der Zauberberg by Thomas Mann

A thirty-year-old edition of Der Zauberberg by Thomas Mann

Thirty years ago this spring I read half of Der Zauberberg (The Magic Mountain) during travels in southern Europe and stopped when I was no longer spending long stretches of time on busses or ferries, waiting for same, or otherwise doing the things that young people do when they have plenty of time and little …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2023/08/25/der-zauberberg-by-thomas-mann/

Wofür Frauen sich rechtfertigen müssen by Katja Berlin

The title of Katja Berlin’s book translates as Things for Which Women Have to Justify Themselves, and the cover shows a circle divided into four equal parts. They are labeled “Only children,” “Only career,” “Children and career,” and “No children and no career.” She is the creator of a pointedly humorous set of graphs that …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2023/04/30/wofur-frauen-sich-rechtfertigen-mussen-by-katja-berlin/

The October Man by Ben Aaronovitch

The October Man by Ben Aaronovitch

The October Man begins with what I have come to think of as a hallmark of Ben Aaronovitch‘s Rivers of London: a death that is in nearly equal measure grisly, fascinating and supernatural. This novella offers “a suspicious death with unusual biological characteristics.” (p. 4) The narrator’s local police liaison adds, a few pages later, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2023/04/02/the-october-man-by-ben-aaronovitch/

Reading Munich — München erlesen

München erlesen 1

The first great virtue of the 20-volume “München erlesen” (Selected Munich, with a bit of a pun on the German word for reading) series is the simple fact of its existence. There are not many provincial capitals that could support a literary series that runs to 20 books, let alone one with the quality of …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/04/02/reading-munich-munchen-erlesen/

Wir sind Gefangene by Oskar Maria Graf

Wir sind Gefangene by Oskar Maria Graf

For about the first eighty percent of Wir sind Gefangene (We Are Prisoners), my assessment of the book was that I could see why it was a sensation in the 1920s but couldn’t see much to recommend it for readers of the 2020s. It begins with Graf is at school in the small Bavarian town …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/03/18/wir-sind-gefangene-by-oskar-maria-graf/