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Faserland

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Einmal durch die Republik, von Nord nach Süd: Christian Krachts namenloser Ich-Erzähler berichtet von seiner Deutschlandreise. Der kleine Bildungsroman Faserland veränderte in Deutschland die Wahrnehmung einer ganzen Generation, von der es vorher hieß, sie habe gar keine Wahrnehmung.


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Einmal durch die Republik, von Nord nach Süd: Christian Krachts namenloser Ich-Erzähler berichtet von seiner Deutschlandreise. Der kleine Bildungsroman Faserland veränderte in Deutschland die Wahrnehmung einer ganzen Generation, von der es vorher hieß, sie habe gar keine Wahrnehmung.

30 review for Faserland

  1. 4 out of 5

    Meike

    The sequel Eurotrash will be published next week! Kracht's debut is a cult classic that can be read as a novel about a road trip, a piece of decadence literature, as pop literature, as a study about the repercussions of German history or as social criticism. We are accompanying an unnamed first-person narrator on his journey through Germany, starting with an infamous first scene on the island of Sylt that opens with one of the most recognizable sentences in postmodern German literature. The young The sequel Eurotrash will be published next week! Kracht's debut is a cult classic that can be read as a novel about a road trip, a piece of decadence literature, as pop literature, as a study about the repercussions of German history or as social criticism. We are accompanying an unnamed first-person narrator on his journey through Germany, starting with an infamous first scene on the island of Sylt that opens with one of the most recognizable sentences in postmodern German literature. The young narrator was born into a wealthy family, but is limited in his emotions and lacking direction. He seems to be driven by the urge to evoke inner movemement through his outward travels, trying to connect with old friends he meets and new acquaintances he makes, thus struggling to overcome his emptiness and alienation. Even to him, his soul seems to be an enigma, he is self-medicating with alcohol and drugs, and his stomach (a part of the body where we generally locate feelings) is constantly upset. The narrator's voice is very disctinct, he is frequently searching for the right words and tries very hard to verbally convey his experiences and emotions, but often fails: He cannot make sense of what he feels, and he cannot put the world into a coherent narrative. What becomes clear though is that one of his main feelings is that of disgust, a mixture of desperation and anger evoked by the enigmatic normalcy of 90's Germany, a country haunted by its past, itself stifled and and hid under thin surfaces. At the same time, the text is often very funny, thus creating a disruptive, confusing effect that will later become a Kracht trademark. The same goes for the narrator's concern for aethetics, as he is pondering the connection between outward appearance and inner morality - a Krachtian topic that has often caused controversy. There have been many attempts to interpret this text (Kracht himself would never explain his books): Does the narrator reflect the decadence of the rich? The alienation of postmodern youth? Does the text reflect Adorno's statement that it's barbaric to write a poem after Auschwitz? Or is the narrator Kracht's alter ego? (The author was born into a rich and influential family and attended the same boarding school as the narrator.) The German title translates to "Fibreland", so a country that is made of many (maybe mismatched) threads, but it can also be seen as a representation of how a German-speaker would pronounce "Fatherland" (the German language knows no "th" sound). Full disclosure: Kracht is one of my favorite authors ever. With "Eurotrash", he seems to re-open his work phase of the triptych ("Faserland", 1979, and Ich werde hier sein im Sonnenschein und im Schatten) which has been read as a trio of books in which the first-person narrators walk towards their own destruction. But the narrator of "Faserland" will return next week - let's find out what he's been up to.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Who wants to read about a person who is constantly throwing up? About a person who just travels around the country because he has way too much money he does not know how to use?! The protagonist, without a name, is such a person. He is throwing up, or visiting clubs or telling disgusting stories of his past. Empty book. No plot. No characters. Not even a good write style. I had to read it for school and it was a torture. This book has no message. Nothing. I am really disappointed with German aut Who wants to read about a person who is constantly throwing up? About a person who just travels around the country because he has way too much money he does not know how to use?! The protagonist, without a name, is such a person. He is throwing up, or visiting clubs or telling disgusting stories of his past. Empty book. No plot. No characters. Not even a good write style. I had to read it for school and it was a torture. This book has no message. Nothing. I am really disappointed with German authors... Don't read it. Trust me, this book is nothing but a big waste of time.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Left Coast Justin

    Review in English is here (view spoiler)[ Despite thousands of cigarettes and gallons of vomit ..... No, I don't want to start my review this way. This charming period piece ... No, that doesn't work either. The truth is, I think this book was a potential masterpiece, but unfortunately due to my shaky German I only understood seventy-eighty percent of it. And thus far it hasn't been translated into English, so seventy-eighty percent is all I can expect. What is clear to me, however, is that it was Review in English is here (view spoiler)[ Despite thousands of cigarettes and gallons of vomit ..... No, I don't want to start my review this way. This charming period piece ... No, that doesn't work either. The truth is, I think this book was a potential masterpiece, but unfortunately due to my shaky German I only understood seventy-eighty percent of it. And thus far it hasn't been translated into English, so seventy-eighty percent is all I can expect. What is clear to me, however, is that it was one book in the beginning and something completely different in the end. And just as the narrator went on a journey from the sunny, flat north to the cool, hilly south, so the book changed from something flat and not-serious to something much deeper and more thoughtful. The narrator is not a good person. He throws trash in the road, smokes in non-smoking areas, and steals from his friends - a jacket at the beginning, a Porsche at the end. He regards women as appetizers, and it is no surprise that he is usually alone. Are we supposed to believe that the author is actually describing such a man? Or does he mean something completely different? Sometimes he seems totally real because his thoughts and opinions are so specific (translations mine -- buyer beware): The whole apartment looks as if an old teacher lived here, a corduroy jacket with leather patches on his elbow, someone who always makes tea, puts the cup somewhere and then forgets to drink it, and then make another one. He has white hair in his ears and everyone at school thinks he's ridiculous, but they have to keep him because he teaches ancient Greek and Hebrew and every year two or three students take an interest in it. ... into the small net that is attached to the seat in front of me, and the Lufthansa in-flight magazine is in there. This is a magazine so that people have something to leaf through during long flightrs ... There are always articles about master watchmakers from Bavaria or about the last furrier in the Lüneburg Heath. And the whole thing is then translated into English, and that's how Lufthansa introduces Germany to the world. I also take a train to the south, one of these low-cost regional trains .... So I'm back in this incredibly ugly on-board 'Board-Meeting', which looks just like the bistro on the high-speed rail lines, only that the 'Board-Meeting' is a bit more horrific. .. Nobody is sitting in the 'Board Meeting' except me. It's really called that. Board Meeting. Such an insult. Such a wicked, huge insult. I wonder who might have come up with this name. I mean, were there people sitting there with colorful glasses in a design office in Kassel and really racking their brains over whether this disaster in the middle of the low-end trains should now be called 'Board Meeting' or not? Maybe someone said: No, it should be Gastro-Bar, or maybe even Eat Something! No, everyone said, no, we need something cozy, something that sounds like home, but at the same time also like high-tech, like airplanes and velocity. From the above one could believe that the narrator should not be viewed seriously. But he also has dreams for a better existence, even if it takes place with Isabella Rossellini on a private island. The other interpretation, of course, is that the narrator isn't real. In my view, he actually represents the worst part of all of us; we all have our blind spots, our bad habits, our selfishness, and this book is really about taking these ugly parts of ourselves and sticking them in the microscope, and (with any luck) the bright light will cause these cancers to wither and die. But maybe that's just because I'm an optimist. And just as I have only understood seventy percent of this book, I cannot explain all of my thoughts about it here. What author Knacht probably did not expect is that I will feel homesick; not only for Germany but also for youthfulness (not this youthfulness, I should say, but still.) One day I hope either this book has been translated into English, or better yet, that my German will improve so I can understand (and write about) more. Thank you Meike for the recommendation (hide spoiler)] Literatturreise durch Deutschland Projekt: (view spoiler)[ Normaleweise besuche ich Deutschland etwa zweimal im Jahr; natürlich geht das nicht in Covidzeit. Als Alternativ habe ich mich darum gekümmert, ein Buch das im jeder die sechszehn deutschen Bundesländer stattfindet zu lesen. Damit habe ich mein deutsches zu üben als auch mein Reiselust zu sättigen. Meine Liste bis jetzt: Baden Württemberg: Die Bucherdiebin von Markus Zusak Bayern: Tannöd, von Andrea Maria Schenkel Berlin: Gebet nach dem Schlachten Brandenburg: Bremen: Hamburg: Faserland, von Christian Knacht Hessen: Mecklenburg-Vorpommern: Niedersachsen: Nordrhein-Westfalen: Kälter als der Kaltkrieg, von Ross Thomas Rheinland-Pfalz: Sagen und Legenden aus der Pfalz Saarland: Sachsen: Sachsen-Anhalt: Schleswig-Holstein: Der Schimmelreiter, von Theodor Storm Thüringen: (hide spoiler)] Trotz tausende Zigaretten und liters Kotze.....Nein, ich will mein Review mit diese Woerter nicht anfangen. Diese charmante Geschichte....Nein, das klappt auch nicht. Die Wahrheit ist, ich glaube dieses Buch eine potenzielle Meisterwerk war, leider habe ich mein deutsch kenntnis wegens nur siebzig-achtzig Prozent verstanden. Und bisher ist es nicht in englisch uebergesaetzt, so siebzig-achtzig Prozent ist alles, das ich erwarten kann. Was selbst mir klar ist aber, ist das es am Anfang ein Art Buch war, und am Ende etwas ganz anders. Und wie der Erzähler eine Reise vom sonnigen, flachen Norden nach den kühlen huegelische Süden gegangen ist, so änderte sich das Buch von etwas Flachem und nicht-im-Ernst zu etwas tiefer und gedachtsvoll. Der Erzähler ist kein guter Mensch. Er wirft Muell auf den Boden, raucht in Nichtraucherzonen, und stiehlt von seinen Freunden -- eine Jacke am Anfang, eine Porsche am Ende. Er betrachten Frauen wie Vorspeisen, und es ist keine Ueberraschung, dass er normaleweise allein ist. Sollen wir glauben, dass der Autor eigentlich so ein Mann beschreibt? Oder meint er etwas total anders? Manchmal scheint er total tatsachlich zu sein, weil seine Gedaechte und Meinungen so spezifisch sind: Die ganze Wohnnung sieht aus, ich will das mal so sagen, als ob hier ein alter Lehrer wohnen wuerde, so einer mit Lederaufsaetzen am Ellbogen seines aufgescheuerten Cordsakkos, einer, der sich immer Tee macht, die Tasse irgendwohin stellt und dann vergisst, den Tee auszutrinken, und sich dann noch einen macht. Er hat weisse Haare in den Ohren, und eigentlich finden ihn alle in der Schule laecherlich, aber sie muessen ihn behalten, weil er Altgrieschisch un Hebraeisch unterrichtet, und sich jedes Jahr zwei oder drei Schueler dafur interessieren. ...in das kleine Netz, das am Sitz vor mir befestigt ist, wo immer dieses Lufthansa-Bordbuch drinstekt. Das ist so ein Magazin, damit die Leute was zum blaettern haben...Da stehen immer so Artikel ueber Uhrmachermeister aus Bayern drin oder ueber den letzten Kurschner in der Lueneburger Heide. Und das Ganze wird dann erbaermlich schlect ins Englishe uebersetzt, und so stellt dann die Lufthansa der Welt Deutschland vor. Ich nehme also einen Zug nach Sueden, einen dieser Interregios....Also sitze ich wieder in diesem unfassbar haeslichen Bord-Treff, der genauso aussieht wie das Bistro im ICE, nur, dass der Bord-Treff noch etwas grauenvoller gestaltet ist...Ausser mir sitzt niemand im Bord-Treff. Das nennt sich wirklich so. Bord-Treff. So eine Frechheit. So eine niedertraechtige riesengrosse Frechheit. Ich ueberlege mir, wer sich wohl diesen Namen ausgedacht haben mag. Ich meine, sassen da irgendwelchen Menschen mit bunten Brillen in einem Designbuero in Kassel und habe sich tatsaechlich darueber den Kopf zerbrochen, ob diese Monstositaet in der Mitte Ihrer geschmacklosen Zuege nun Bord-Treff heissen sollte oder nicht? Vielleicht hat einer ja gesagt: Nein, Gastro-Stubb muesste es heissen, oder vielleicht sogar Iss Was. Nee, haben alle gesagt, nee, wire brauchen etwas Gemuetliches, etwas, das nach Heimat klingt, aber gleichzeitig auch nach High-Tech, nach Flugzeug un nach Geschwindigkeit. Von das Oben kann man glauben, dass der Erzaehler nicht im Ernst betrachtet soll. Er hat aber auch Traueme fuer eine bessere Existenz, auch wenn es mit Isabella Rossellini auf ein Privatinsel stattfindet. Die andere Interpretation ist natürlich, dass der Erzaehler nicht real ist. Meiner Meinung nach repräsentiert er tatsächlich den schlimmsten Teil von uns allen; wir alle haben unsere Selbst-Missverstaendnissen, unsere schlechten Angewohnheiten, unseren Egoismus, und was diesem Buch wirklich handelt, ist, diese hässlichen Teile von uns selbst unter ein Mikroskop zu nehmen und (hoeffentlich) das helle Licht wird diese Krebs ausschreien und sterben lassen . Aber vielleicht liegt das auch daran, dass ich Optimist bin. Und genauso wie ich nur siebzig Prozent dieses Buch verstanden habe, kann ich auch nicht alle meine Gedaechte dazu hier erklaeren. Was Autor Knacht wahrscheinlich nicht erwartet hat, ist dass es in mir Heimweh wacht; nicht nur fuer Deutschland aber auch fuer Jugendlichkeit (nicht dieser Jungendlichkeit, soll ich sagen, aber troztdem.) Eines Tages hoffe ich entweder dieses Buch in englischse uebersetzt worden ist, oder noch besser dass mein deutsch sich verbessert, so ich mehr verstehen (und darueber schreiben) kann. Vielen Dank Meike fuer die Empfehlung

  4. 5 out of 5

    Heleen

    This was one of the most frustrating reads in a long time. It's so postmodern it's a bit sickening. You can just imagine the Lyotardian analyses of Faserland... Which would be okay if there was the least bit of contextualisation, but instead it's just an endless parade of judgmental, masturbatory and whiny observations, which, because it's written as the first-person narrative of this protagonist who is basically the culmination of every smugly complacent boy & man I have ever been bored by, YOU This was one of the most frustrating reads in a long time. It's so postmodern it's a bit sickening. You can just imagine the Lyotardian analyses of Faserland... Which would be okay if there was the least bit of contextualisation, but instead it's just an endless parade of judgmental, masturbatory and whiny observations, which, because it's written as the first-person narrative of this protagonist who is basically the culmination of every smugly complacent boy & man I have ever been bored by, YOU GET NO BREAK FROM. Don't even get me started on the limited characterisation of the female characters - in those few instances where they were actually graced with a name, their most redeeming quality is still being hübsch. It seems to me a particular arrogance is involved when an author decides to devote his time to create a platform for a protagonist who has this little to say. And then, roughly 15 pages before the end, I - weirdly, annoyingly - kind of got into it??? Which was the most frustrating bit of all. Useless. USELESS.

  5. 5 out of 5

    John Hatley

    The best description I can think of is: the 1st-person narrative of a very lonely person portraying his very lonely friends. A very interesting book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Wiebke (1book1review)

    Well this didn't get better. I didn't see any sense to it other than the narrator moving from city to city, getting drunk and meeting friends everywhere, name dropping, stealing and abandoning friends. By the end I had strong Catcher in the Rye vibes and not sure what the Gatsby reference was doing there - especially as it didn't have any effect on the narrator. Not at all what the blurb for the book promises, disappointing. I never got along with Thomas Mann, so if there was a nod to his books as Well this didn't get better. I didn't see any sense to it other than the narrator moving from city to city, getting drunk and meeting friends everywhere, name dropping, stealing and abandoning friends. By the end I had strong Catcher in the Rye vibes and not sure what the Gatsby reference was doing there - especially as it didn't have any effect on the narrator. Not at all what the blurb for the book promises, disappointing. I never got along with Thomas Mann, so if there was a nod to his books as well I am sure I missed that (other than it was the offputting writing in genereal - did not enjoy the writing at all).

  7. 5 out of 5

    Iana

    Drugs, expensive cars, sex, techno. (West)Djermany in the 1990s. Not too bad a book actually. It is very good a conveying the sense of emtpiness of a whole generation in an indecently prosperous country.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Philipp

    Heute kann man die Fenster natürlich nicht mehr aufmachen, da im ICE, dessen Einrichtung ganz grauenvoll ist und mich immer an irgendwelche Einkaufspassagen erinnert, gar nichts mehr schön ist und erst recht gar nichts mehr so wie früher. Heute ist alles so transparent, ich weiß nicht, ob ich mich da richtig ausdrücke, jedenfalls ist alles aus Glas und aus so durchsichtigem türkisen Plastik, und es ist irgendwie körperlich unerträglich geworden. Rough translation: Of course nowadays you can't open Heute kann man die Fenster natürlich nicht mehr aufmachen, da im ICE, dessen Einrichtung ganz grauenvoll ist und mich immer an irgendwelche Einkaufspassagen erinnert, gar nichts mehr schön ist und erst recht gar nichts mehr so wie früher. Heute ist alles so transparent, ich weiß nicht, ob ich mich da richtig ausdrücke, jedenfalls ist alles aus Glas und aus so durchsichtigem türkisen Plastik, und es ist irgendwie körperlich unerträglich geworden. Rough translation: Of course nowadays you can't open the windows anymore, there in the ICE, where the fittings are completely horrible and which remind me of some shopping centers, nothing is beautiful anymore and especially nothing is like it used to be. Nowadays everything is transparent, I don't know whether I'm saying this correctly, anyway everything is made out of glass and like transparent turquoise plastic, and it is somehow physically unbearable. This invites comparisons to Catcher In The Rye, but with Germany of the late 90s instead of the US of the 40s. A young man has been kicked out of his elite boarding school, he drifts along and uses his parents' credit card to travel the country, starting from the northern-most point on Sylt to Frankfurt, a few other places, Munich and then Switzerland. What connects Holden and this narrator is the attitude towards society - for Holden, everyone's a phony, for the narrator, everyone's either an old Nazi or an idiot. Most of the book is the narrator drifting around and ranting about various things: Dann zünde ich mir eine Zigarette an und denke daran, daß ich Partys hasse, auf denen es Prosecco gibt, weil Prosecco weder Wein ist noch Champagner, sondern nur so ein blödes Zwischending, das eigentlich gar keine Existenzberechtigung hat. Then I light a cigarette and think that I hate parties where there's Prosecco since Prosecco is neither wine nor champagne, just an idiotic in-between-thing that doesn't really have a right to exist. This can be very funny but it can also get tiresome (maybe I'm too old?), but still the tone is wonderful, not sure how to say, the correct German word would be "hingerotzt", it's just spat on the page. What's underneath all this is a feeling that started in the 80s, 90s and still hasn't really ended (for me, and I suspect for most people): a feeling that things used to be somehow better (but you cannot really describe how things used to be better), and that from now on things will only get worse, but it's unsure how or why, just anxiety, "Angst". I'm sure by now the English speaking world would have adopted "Zukunftsangst" if it could pronounce it. (Personally, his feelings about Germany on entering Switzerland mirror 100% my feelings when I left Germany roughly 5 years ago: "a big machine beyond the border, a machine that moves and produces things no-one cares about". It's uncanny, and that's what makes this book memorable.)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Astrid

    German (high) literature: No plot and depressing. Two stars because it got better at the end; the author is able to write. But the subject of this book is just: Young man, alcoholic and totally disoriented, visits friends who are equally disoriented and on drugs. Leaves them with nothing on him and goes on to the next drugged friend, leaving him behind again and so on. The thin novel gives nearly no hints to where all that emotional misery comes from. It features spoilt rich young people whose p German (high) literature: No plot and depressing. Two stars because it got better at the end; the author is able to write. But the subject of this book is just: Young man, alcoholic and totally disoriented, visits friends who are equally disoriented and on drugs. Leaves them with nothing on him and goes on to the next drugged friend, leaving him behind again and so on. The thin novel gives nearly no hints to where all that emotional misery comes from. It features spoilt rich young people whose parents don't care for their children. I think that this book would have been better if the author would have gone through some therapy before writing it. Twenty years later, I suppose some analysis could be possible. The generation Kracht describes were children of parents who have been children during the war and therefore psychologically damaged. We call it "grand-children of war" now.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Steffi

    Like all of us (lol, like who exactly?), I just got around to re-reading Kracht's first novel 'Faserland' (1995) in time for the release of the book's sequel (Euro Trash, March 2021) in about two weeks or so. Pre-ordered, obviously. The book and I should arrive in Berlin around the same day. It's still amusing to remember how I fully misread the book about twenty years or so ago as a teenager, I actually took the book at face value. While it's also a very teenage thing to have 'favourites' I thi Like all of us (lol, like who exactly?), I just got around to re-reading Kracht's first novel 'Faserland' (1995) in time for the release of the book's sequel (Euro Trash, March 2021) in about two weeks or so. Pre-ordered, obviously. The book and I should arrive in Berlin around the same day. It's still amusing to remember how I fully misread the book about twenty years or so ago as a teenager, I actually took the book at face value. While it's also a very teenage thing to have 'favourites' I think Kracht is my favourite contemporary German language writer so bring on the holidays and release day already.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Maria Hallberg

    Kracht writes in the way you think, switching from one thought to another while following a young man for a few days travelling through Germany. You get to know the protagonist’s raw thoughts and his surroundings, but in the end you have no clue who he is, what he does or where he came from. Absolutely brilliant literature, I’ve read it three times and will for sure read it again.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Gregg

    Great book in all of it's wry, liquor and cocaine soaked, privileged Germanic cynical glory. Great book in all of it's wry, liquor and cocaine soaked, privileged Germanic cynical glory.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kersi

    actually the story wouldn't be that bad but i didn't really like the writing style - even after reading it a second time actually the story wouldn't be that bad but i didn't really like the writing style - even after reading it a second time

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bert van der Vaart

    Meticulously described set of experiences through Germany from Sylt to Bodensee, and ending in Zurich, by a jaded and relatively passive rich young man. His existence is materialistic but empty, and one can wonder where this will all end up. At one level, this is a German version of a slightly older Holden Caulfield, but one where alcohol, drugs and empty sexual experiences amidst brand names and other spoiled society people plays a more advanced role. Some of the images and observations are fan Meticulously described set of experiences through Germany from Sylt to Bodensee, and ending in Zurich, by a jaded and relatively passive rich young man. His existence is materialistic but empty, and one can wonder where this will all end up. At one level, this is a German version of a slightly older Holden Caulfield, but one where alcohol, drugs and empty sexual experiences amidst brand names and other spoiled society people plays a more advanced role. Some of the images and observations are fantastically well described. Probably worth reading as a marker of the limits of materialism and the transition of Germany away from the hard working "Wirtschaftswunder" to a more confused and dissipated country.

  15. 4 out of 5

    clara

    Reading through some of the reviews other people have left on here has got me thinking that maybe to appreciate this book for what it is you have to have grown up in Germany or at least have to have lived there for some time. It's observational, it's cynical and it's funny. Of course the narrator seems to be the last kind of person you would want to hang out with but Christian Kracht narrates his travels in a way that makes you want to keep reading. At least those are the feelings I had while re Reading through some of the reviews other people have left on here has got me thinking that maybe to appreciate this book for what it is you have to have grown up in Germany or at least have to have lived there for some time. It's observational, it's cynical and it's funny. Of course the narrator seems to be the last kind of person you would want to hang out with but Christian Kracht narrates his travels in a way that makes you want to keep reading. At least those are the feelings I had while reading Faserland. Kracht wrote a great book that deserves its praise. He made me hate being German by putting his finger on all of the awkward and painful spots but he also made me miss my home country in a way I didn't expect to..

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chiara

    A great representation of the Jeunesse dorée in Germany, which is still prevalent today and exists similarly in Switzerland. Reminds me of "Less than Zero" by Bret Eaton Ellis, but it's a bit less explicit. A great representation of the Jeunesse dorée in Germany, which is still prevalent today and exists similarly in Switzerland. Reminds me of "Less than Zero" by Bret Eaton Ellis, but it's a bit less explicit.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sintija

    This book is very confusing. I actually enjoyed the way it was written - I'd give the writing and style full 5 stars. The Latvian adaption was great. However, - what is the story? Who is the main character? This is literally just one man's tale about various pointless people and absolutely boring alcoholic and pill addict gatherings. Throughout the whole book, I had so many questions about the main character. Is he a party bum? Is the dude poor, with moderate income, or rich and with too much mo This book is very confusing. I actually enjoyed the way it was written - I'd give the writing and style full 5 stars. The Latvian adaption was great. However, - what is the story? Who is the main character? This is literally just one man's tale about various pointless people and absolutely boring alcoholic and pill addict gatherings. Throughout the whole book, I had so many questions about the main character. Is he a party bum? Is the dude poor, with moderate income, or rich and with too much money to spend aimlessly? What is he doing? Why does he have so much free time? There is no real connection with other characters introduced throughout the book. There is no build-up, no main event, and no closure. If the author wanted to portray the aimlessness and the stories of quite ridiculous and aimless people, he did the job well. Did I enjoy it? Not so much - hence the final 3 stars. I wanted to like it, but there was no content to cause any real joy. I have enjoyed various chick flick type of books a lot more than this one. I really do like books about miserable characters. This Spring, I read Bukowski's "Women" - that was one hell of a piece! The character was even more miserable than this one, but the whole book and story made sense. A disappointment but really, it's more like a strong confusion about what to feel about this book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Danna

    Look, I can get by with an unlikable narrator, and I enjoyed watching the mindless journey he embarks on, but the writing style is a burden. Obviously, the writing does play a huge role in portraying the narrator as a post-idealistic rich youngster and the train of thought style really does bring you closer to his experience, what with the blessed abundance of pop culture references - but I just don't like the writing. Again, I acknowledge its semantic role, academically speaking, which is fantast Look, I can get by with an unlikable narrator, and I enjoyed watching the mindless journey he embarks on, but the writing style is a burden. Obviously, the writing does play a huge role in portraying the narrator as a post-idealistic rich youngster and the train of thought style really does bring you closer to his experience, what with the blessed abundance of pop culture references - but I just don't like the writing. Again, I acknowledge its semantic role, academically speaking, which is fantastically done - but it simply isn't enjoyable for me. It has too much slang and vulgarities for me to enjoy. I'd like to blame the Hebrew translation, brought to you by Hanan Alstein, but at such low level - this must be the author's personal style (note after reading the translator's note - which is much better than the novel itself, by the way - it is). All in all, this is a novel to be vehemently discussed in a classroom setting, but even having the ability to analyze it won't save you from the clutches of boredom because, honestly, what little literary value it has simply doesn't compensate.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nina Krebs

    Already read this in high school, but I got so much more from reading it for a second time now. Big fan of Kracht‘s writing - very visual, actually takes you to places especially if you have visited them before. But he also manages to capture the zeitgeist of 90s Germany (as I’ve heard of it) and the hurt and anger that live in a lonely young man who seems to have everything. Re-read this as preparation for Eurotrash to be able to spot any connections or changes.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lorella

    I guess it’s just just not what I vibe to. We had to read it for school. I did find it very boring in the beginning, however I need to say that it gets really interesting in the end. Not really plot wise but it makes you think a lot which is good in my opinion. What I found unusual was the language since it was very easy and simple.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Shining

    It’s a very sad story about different super rich German young men and young women feeling lost in life and struggling to find real happiness. Based on the author’s own life before the age of 25, I am giving this book 4 stars for being honest in reflecting back on his and his friends’ lives.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Christoffer Petersen

    Had to read it for a class, was not very amused by the story because it was all over the place.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Maltoablativ

    3,5*

  24. 5 out of 5

    Helene

    catcher in the rye but make it german and 90s- you’d think it’s bad, but it’s wonderful.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    Read it 26 years too late. Still amazing.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra Just

    I think this book is a good example of pop literature. The book shows you the world to which the descendants of the German upper class belong.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Eglė

    This is the type of book I call wandering book. It‘s the best companion while spending time going by bus or train. The type of book you can enjoy, comparing your with your own trip and adventures. The main hero is crossing Germany taking first class train accompanied by huge luggage of his memories as well as alcohol, woman and dugs. Quite easy and facile at the first sign, the roman unveils the now days wry society – consume oriented culture, downfall of postwar class and crisis of national and This is the type of book I call wandering book. It‘s the best companion while spending time going by bus or train. The type of book you can enjoy, comparing your with your own trip and adventures. The main hero is crossing Germany taking first class train accompanied by huge luggage of his memories as well as alcohol, woman and dugs. Quite easy and facile at the first sign, the roman unveils the now days wry society – consume oriented culture, downfall of postwar class and crisis of national and personal identity. Every place awakes warm flashback from childhood days which appears like a conspicuous contrast to the events the main hero take part today. The perturbation step by step is enhanced by endless snorts of wine, whisky or other heady drink. However the end of book keeps the feeling of bright future :) Enjoy the reading…

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mihai

    A Swiss troublemaker (writing his books in German) in the likes of Beigbeder, Houellebecq and so on. Comparing it to Bernhard, my previous attempt at reading German which took place exactly one year ago, this one was much easier accomplishment.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Britt

    I had to read this book for one of my German literature classes. I think this is the type of book you should read in just one sitting, which unfortunately I wasn't able to, but I still thouroughly enjoyed it. It felt like a time travel to mid-90s Germany. This is not the type of book that will make you feel good, but it is very raw, cynical and cleverly written and a pretty quick read. I had to read this book for one of my German literature classes. I think this is the type of book you should read in just one sitting, which unfortunately I wasn't able to, but I still thouroughly enjoyed it. It felt like a time travel to mid-90s Germany. This is not the type of book that will make you feel good, but it is very raw, cynical and cleverly written and a pretty quick read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kowalski

    This is one of the most nothing-saying books that I have ever read. The main character is highly unlikable and there isn't really a point to the story. I still had to finish reading it for school, but i can't recommend this book to anyone. 0-stars. This is one of the most nothing-saying books that I have ever read. The main character is highly unlikable and there isn't really a point to the story. I still had to finish reading it for school, but i can't recommend this book to anyone. 0-stars.

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