Peter Härtling

The Mindgamer

Der Gedankenspieler

The Mindgamer

The last novel by the celebrated author
Book of the month – April 2018 (Jury of Darmstadt)

A moving novel about old age, friendship and how to overcome loneliness

Johannes Wenger, a single, 80-year-old architect, led a rich and fulfilled life that evolved around the things he loved – architecture, music, literature, politics and nature. It all came to a standstill when he suffered a fall and became dependent on a wheelchair and care. This new dependence conflicts with his self-image, complicates daily life and leaves a lot of room for loneliness and melancholy.
Fortunately, Wenger is being looked after by Doctor Mailänder, who becomes aware of his patient’s poor state and invites him to join his family for their Easter vacation at the Baltic Sea. After some resistance, the eccentric wheelchair user, who is mentally constantly communing with historical figures like the architects Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Mies van der Rohe, accepts the invitation. It is the doctor’s six-year-old daughter that will pierce the old grouch’s solitude, despite his attempts to retreat. But Wenger’s journey doesn’t end there; his health continues to deteriorate and sulphurous dreams lead him into his past and to the edge.

With a great deal of feeling, a sharp eye and plenty of self-irony, Härtling takes his readers along with him into the hardship of old age – only to show them the tremendous potential for happiness that this stage of life also holds.



ISBN: 978-3-462-05177-3
release: 08. March 2018
240 pages, gebunden mit SU


20,00 €
0,00 sFr
20,60 €

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About the Author

Peter Härtling, born in Chemnitz in 1933, worked as an editor for newspapers and magazines and editor-in-chief at S. Fischer Verlag before becoming a freelance writer in 1974. His books include among others Bozena, Hölderin, Große, kleine Schwester („Big Little Sister“), Schumanns Schatten (“Schumann’s Shadow”) and Schubert. He has received numerous awards, including most recently the Hessian Cultural Prize 2014 and the Elisabeth Langgässer Prize 2015. Peter Härtling died on 10 July 2017.

His works have been translated into Bulgarian, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, French, Hungarian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Swedish.

Further titles by the author:
Eine Frau (A Woman)
Grosse, kleine Schwester (Big Little Sister)
Tage mit Echo (Days To Remember)
Liebste Fenchel (Dearest Fenchel. The Life of Fanny Hensel-Mendelssohn in Etudes and Intermezzi)
Felix Guttmann
Hoffmann oder Die vielfältige Liebe (Hoffmann or Manifold Love)
Leben lernen (Learning to Live)
Die Lebenslinie (Life Line)
O'Bär an Enkel Samuel (O'Bear to grandson Samuel. A story with five letters)
Schumanns Schatten (Schumann's Shadow)
Das ausgestellte Kind (The Exhibited Child)
Das andere Ich (The Other Ego)
Verdi (Verdi. A Novel in Nine Fantasies)
Waiblingers Augen (Waiblinger's Eyes)