English sample translation by Katy Derbyshire available
Recommended for translation by New Books in German
Longlisted for the German Book Award 2017
SPIEGEL bestseller (23 weeks / highest ranking #4)
Kreuzberg, Berlin, early 1980s – it was a creative big bang, a surreal world of artists, squatters, freaks, punks and newly arrived Berliners. Anyone could be a hero. Anything could become the next big thing.
Frank Lehmann, slacker by nature, together with two artist friends has to move house because their landlord and flatmate, Erwin, wants them out of the way now that he is to become a father. In the same go, Erwin also gets rid of his rebellious niece who also currently lives with him and is persuaded to move out, too. He rents them a shared apartment above his bar which is handy since they hang out at the place all the time anyway, either because they work there or because they would like to work there until success comes and finds them. Everything could be peaceful if Erwin’s business-like older sister had not decided to see for herself how her daughter is doing. Against his will and better judgment, the two women start to transform his dingy bar into a café that serves coffee and cake in the afternoons before opening its doors to the drinking public at night. But it is easier to let them do their thing than argue with them. It does not help his mood that Erwin’s girlfriend wants him to accompany her to prenatal classes, wearing a fake belly filled with water so that he can feel for himself what it’s like to be pregnant. Things finally escalate completely when a rival artist collective that disguises itself as a squatter collective decides to open up shop right next door, copying Erwin’s (or rather his artistic staff’s) new business idea of “bar plus gallery”, sparking an art war that may lead to ruin for everyone.
Regener once again manages to bring together a collection of characters who are at the same time unbelievable yet instantly recognizable; at least if you have spent some time in bars, wasting time, waiting for something to happen – extremely funny, well-observed and sparkling with absurd ideas that nevertheless ring true. It could all have happened just like this.
release: 07. September 2017
304 pages, gebunden mit SU
- 22,00 €
- 0,00 sFr
- 22,70 €
About the Author
Sven Regener is a singer, trumpet player and lyricist for the band Element of Crime. And a brilliant writer. In 2001, he published his first novel, Herr Lehmann (“Berlin Blues”), which was hugely successful right away. He followed it up with the novels Neue Vahr Süd (2004), Der kleine Bruder (2008) and Magical Mystery oder die Rückkehr des Karl Schmidt (2013).