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Der heilige Eddy von Jakob Arjouni

heilige_eddy

Blurb:

Neuer Held des Kayankaya-Autors ist Eddy Stein. Der hat sich im linksalternativen Kreuzberg eine Klischeeidentität aufgebaut, während er in den Bonzenvierteln ausgeklüngelte Trickbetrügereien startet und sich so sein Musikerdasein finanziert. Doch bei einem Handgemenge im Hausflur seiner Altbauwohnung tötet er aus Versehen Berlins meistgehassten Prominenten: den Großkapitalisten Horst König, der als Käufer der Tempelhofer Deo-Werke zunächst als Retter gefeiert wurde, nach der angekündigten Schließung aber als Vernichter von 8000 Arbeitsplätzen in den Schlagzeilen ist. Um seine Tarnung nicht auffliegen zu lassen, muss Eddy die Leiche verschwinden lassen. Als das gelingt, hören die Schwierigkeiten trotzdem nicht auf, denn der vermeintliche Mord an König wird zum Großereignis, und die Boulevardmedien feiern den unbekannten Mörder als Volkshelden.


In a nutshell:

I read it in: German

I liked it:     Yes      

For people who like: Screwball Comedies, Billy Wilder


My thoughts: 

Da das Buch ohnehin nur auf deutsch erhältlich ist, und dies ausserdem so gut in den German Literature Month passt, ist es nur angebracht, auch auf  deutsch darüber zu bloggen.

Ich habe bisher kaum von Jakob Arjouni gehört, und erst Lizzy’s giveaway post hat mich auf ihn aufmerksam gemacht. Da erinnerte ich mich vage an den Titel “Happy Birthday, Türke”. Wie es der Zufall will, bin ich kurz darauf in unserer Bücherei auf “Der heilige Eddy” gestossen.

Der Anfang erinnerte mich sehr an Billy Wilders “One, Two Three”, nur ohne Schwiegersohn in spe, dafür aber mit Leiche. Herrlich komisch, und Eddy’s Gedankengänge und Grundsätze sind einfach wunderbar.

Später lässt die Komik etwas nach, aber deshalb wird es nicht weniger unterhaltsam. Jakob Arjounis Stil zu schreiben hat mir sehr gut gefallen und Eddys Stimme war sehr realistisch – soweit ich das beurteilen kann, ich bin weder mit Trickbetrügern noch mit Original Berlinern bzw. Berliner Originalen gut vertraut.

Die Geschichte wies ein recht grosses Loch gegen Ende zu auf. Eddy’s Geschichte, die er der Polizei erzählte, klang zwar plausibel, jedoch könnte sie in Miuten wie eine Seifenblase platzen, wenn die Möbelpacker oder Königs Bodyguards aussagen würden. Die Bodyguards mögen ja vielleicht noch aus bekannten Gründen den Mund halten; weshalb aber die anderen schweigen sollten, leuchtet mir nicht ein. Und damit wäre dann auch Arkadi dran. Irgendwie hat mich das nicht zufriedengestellt.

Abgesehen davon ist dies eine wunderbare unterhaltsame, komische Geschichte, die schnell gelesen ist, einfach deshalb, weil man das Buch nicht aus der Hand legen mag.

Location: Berlin, Germany

Berliner BezirkeKreuzberg Hotel Adlon Schloss Charlottenburg

Alle Bilder von wikipedia. Klick auf das Bild führt zu dem wikipedia Eintrag mit Urheber.

Product info and buy link :

Title Der heilige Eddy
Author Jakob Arjouni
Publisher Diogenes
ISBN 978-3257240177
I got this book from the library
Buy link Kaufe “Der heilige Eddy”

 

Hast du dieses Buch auch gelesen? Wie fandest du es?

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Article

Maybe this time by Alois Hotschnig

Die Kinder beruhigte das nichtBlurb:

A spellbinding short story collection by one of Austria’s most critically acclaimed authors.

A man becomes obsessed with observing his neighbours. A large family gathers for Christmas only to wait for the one member who never turns up. An old woman lures a man into her house where he finds dolls resembling himself as a boy. Mesmerizing and haunting stories about loss of identity in the modern world.

 

 

 


In a nutshell:

I read it in: the original German (Die Kinder beruhigte das nicht)

I liked it:     Yes      

For people who like: creepy short stories with an eerie atmosphere


My thoughts: 

You have probably heard of this book by now. So had I before I started reading. I read this is German and I don’t think I have ever come across a writer who writes in such a precise way and who conjured such a clear picture of what is going on. I read the stories, strange and disturbing, watched people do things and could picture every little detail.

The story that stuck with me most was the one that gave the book its English title “Maybe this time, maybe now”. Those family gatherings were so bizarre and at the same time so common. Maybe here it is a bit more unusual than most, but haven’t we all been to events where a lot of time was spent wondering who would still be coming, when they would arrive or what keeps them from showing up (all this possibly to hide the fact that there is nothing else to talk about). The ubiquitous Uncle Walter who at the same time was never there was familiar in a strange way.

The German title “Die Kinder beruhigte das nicht” (This didn’t calm down the children) is not the title of one of the short stories, but it is part of a sentence in the third story in the book “Then a door opens and swings shut”. An upsetting  story that gave the idea for another German cover with a doll face on it. I find dolls rather frightening and women keeping dolls and treat them like children have a certain weirdness about them, sorry, no offense intended.

In that particular scene the narrator visits a school friend and inquires about their neighbour, an old woman with an odd collection of dolls. She is an outcast, the children are afraid of her and avoid her whenever they can, they throw pebbles against her window etc. So the friend’s wife tries to appease their two daughters by saying that the woman will be moving away soon and that the reason she is only looking for company is that she is lonely. The narrator then observes that “this didn’t calm down the children”.

Some stories I didn’t like as much, for example “Encounter” or “The beginning of something” but I loved Alois Hotschnig’s writing style and will definitely get more of his books.

Here are the stories with their original and English titles. My favourites were “Two ways of leaving” and “Maybe this time, maybe now”, probably because even though they were strange and creepy, they were still conceivable (at least for me).

Dieselbe  Stille – dasselbe Geschrei (The same silence – the same noise)

Zwei Arten zu gehen (Two ways of leaving) 

Eine Tür geht dann auf und fällt zu (Then a door opens and swings shut)

Vielleicht diesmal, vielleicht jetzt (Maybe this time, maybe now)

Der Anfang von etwas (The beginning of something)

Begegnung (Encounter)

In meinem Zimmer brennt Licht (The light in my room) 

Morgens, mittags, abends (Morning, noon and night) 

Du kennst sie nicht, es sind Fremde (You don’t know them, they’re strangers)

Product info and buy link :

Title Maybe this time
Author Alois Hotschnig
Publisher Peirene Press
ISBN 978-0-9562840-5-1
I got this book from I swapped it
Buy link Buy Maybe This Time
More info Maybe this time at Peirene Press

 

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

Want to know what others thought of this book? Have a look at:

Caribousmom

Chasing bawa

Beauty is a sleeping cat

Andrew Blackman

Tony’s reading list

The Parrish Lantern 

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Article

The hottest dishes of the Tartar cuisine by Alina Bronsky

gerichteBlurb:

Rosa Achmetowna is the outrageously nasty and wily narrator of this rollicking family saga from the author of Broken Glass Park. When she discovers that her seventeen-year-old daughter, "stupid Sulfia," is pregnant by an unknown man she does everything to thwart the pregnancy, employing a variety of folkloric home remedies. But despite her best efforts the baby, Aminat, is born nine months later at Soviet Birthing Center Number 134. Much to Rosa’s surprise and delight, dark eyed Aminat is a Tartar through and through and instantly becomes the apple of her grandmother’s eye. While her good for nothing husband Kalganow spends his days feeding pigeons and contemplating death at the city park, Rosa wages an epic struggle to wrestle Aminat away from Sulfia, whom she considers a woefully inept mother. When Aminat, now a wild and willful teenager, catches the eye of a sleazy German cookbook writer researching Tartar cuisine, Rosa is quick to broker a deal that will guarantee all three women a passage out of the Soviet Union. But as soon as they are settled in the West, the uproariously dysfunctional ties that bind mother, daughter and grandmother begin to fray.


In a nutshell:

I read it in: the original German (Die schärfsten Gerichte der tatarischen Küche)

I liked it:     Oh, yes.

For people who like: matter of fact storytelling, who don’t mind an un-likable heroine


My thoughts: 

Rosalinda is someone who gets things done. Living in the Soviet Union this is definitely a plus. She knows what she wants and she knows how to get it. She thinks she knows what is best for everybody and would sell her grandmother if it helped her plans along. Unfortunately the other people in her life often don’t agree with her meddling and feel quite a bit of resentment. However, Rosalinda is sure they will come round eventually and see how great she is.

Rosalinda is the heroine of this book and we see everything through her eyes. From her point of view everything she does makes perfect sense. It would have been interesting to see what Sulfia, her daughter, and later Aminat, her granddaughter, think about how she manipulates them and how she more or less rules their lives.

Alina Bronsky told this story so fabulously in such a dry, matter of fact voice that it is a pleasure to read it. Already after the first few pages where Rosalinda talks about Sulfia’s pregnancy and the following attempts at abortion I knew that I would love the book. The short passage that sold it to me right away was this one (sorry, it is in German):

Ich wusste, dass solche Fälle vorkamen. Eine Jungfrau träumte, und neun Monate später brachte sie ein Kind zur Welt. Ich kannte sogar einen noch schlimmeren Fall, meine Cousine Rafaella: Sie hatte ihre einzige Tochter in der Blüte einer grossen, exotischen Zimmerpflanze unbekannter Art gefunden, deren Kern sie aus dem Süden mitgebracht hatte. Ich konnte mich noch genau erinnern, wie ratlos sie damals gewesen war.

Rosalinda’s extremely self-assured, not to say conceited, view of herself and the way she dismisses the rest of the world was just astonishing. Whatever happens, she never finds fault with herself, but always with the others. Even at the end when she reads about Aminat’s life story in the paper – a story where her grandmother, i.e. Rosalinda, features in a very negative way -, she doesn’t realize it is her they are talking about and comments that she is not even mentioned. In her eyes she just can’t do wrong.

All this doesn’t make Rosalinda sound like a kind and loveable character, but I liked her nevertheless. Her story got never boring, it was funny, tragic, sad, everything you could wish for. After reading Alina Bronsky’s second novel I will be sure to get her debut "Scherbenpark" (Broken Glass Park).

Location: Sverdlovsk (Ekaterinburg), SU (I think) & somewhere near Frankfurt, Germany

Map Russia Ekaterinburg Ascension church Map Germany

All images from wikipedia

Product info and buy link :

Title The hottest dishes of the Tatar cuisine
Author Alina Bronsky
Publisher Europa Editions
ISBN 978-1609450069
I got this book from I swapped it
Buy link Buy The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine

 

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

Only Orangery reviewed this book some time ago.

Lizzy’s review at Lizzy’s Literary Life

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You can find all posts relating to German Literature Month at Beauty is a sleeping cat.

Article

German literature month November 2011

german_lit Caroline from  Beauty is a sleeping cat and Lizzy from Lizzy’s literary life are organizing a German literature month in November. It is very well thought out with readalongs, weekly themes and giveaways to boot.

I won’t join the readalongs, however. I read “Effi Briest” in school and am not so keen on Heinrich Böll, but week 3 is reserved for Austrian and Swiss literature, and then Alois Hotschnig comes into play. I have “Maybe this time” in German on my shelf, and it seems November is the ideal time to read it.

If you would like to try out some German literature and maybe need a little nudge, check out Caroline’s and Lizzy’s blogs.

Edit:

It might not be a bad idea to add a link to all the German books I have read recently. Maybe someone will find some inspiration what to read. There are not many…