The question How German Is It underlies the conduct and actions of the characters in Walter Abish’s novel, an icy panorama of contemporary. The question HOW GERMAN IS IT underlies the conduct and actions of the characters in Walter Abish’s new novel, an icy panorama of contemporary Germany. The question implicit in the title of Walter Abish’s novel1 immediat alerts us to problems moment in German history, Abish plays with the familiar images such .

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Their only reaction is to turn their back on it. Abish is one of the few contemporary writers willing to risk a reference-list novel Alphabetical Africa ; his contexts tend to be like orgone boxes, energizing plots and characters by first stifling them.

I told him, im English, that I’d missed that part–due to my weak German. Want to Read saving…. How could you know? Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: But I ate it up. I did so, and he stopped me because, he said in English, I’d forgotten to first tell ‘someone’ who?

HOW GERMAN IS IT by Walter Abish | Kirkus Reviews

With a title like this and a last name like minehow could I not read this book? This act forces Ulrich to face up to his responsibility and to himself, and leads to the devastatingly waltef end.

They are getting spied upon, bombs go off in buildings designed by Helmut, and through all this, the reality of what really went on during World War II is slowly uncovered. I’m saving those only for things that literally knock me over. Ulrich, returned to Brumholdstein named after Ernst Brumhold, a Heidegger-type wakterbegins to suffer occasional death threats and attempts are made on his life. They have this obsessive, compulsive, at times all-consuming need go control everything.


How German Is It (Wie Deutsch ist es)

Abish uses an interesting narrative tool of switching between multiple points of view and internal monologues. You are commenting using your Twitter account. There was one gernan that blew me away: A house that after the war was gradually emptied of its contents, its furniture, its paintings, its silverware, its carpets, anything that was of value.

How German Is It is quite German. So I went to the First Aid class hours straight in a tiny room with about 30 other people, mostly teens. What qualities is it that makes something familiar? Bring your Blue Books. It does full justice to an exploration of post-war Germany with necessary nuance and memory-play, as well as dark humor.

Each week, our editors select the one author and one book they believe to be most worthy of your geran and highlight them in our Pro Connect email alert. Abish gathers his rather deadly view of contemporary German life around–rather than through–this alienated writer-figure.

I’ve studied just enough deutsch to get the German asides, and having recently moved to Berlin I laughed out loud in agreement with Abish’s insights i. Walger, from the book’s POV plus my own epxerience after 3 years as a foreigner in Germany I’d say thay ‘it’ is very, very German indeed. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Dec 19, Margaux Tatin Blanc rated it it was amazing.

The plot, if there is one, is a rambling affair, likely to spin off in any direction and shifting focus at will – following whatever happens to catch the eye and ear of the narrator: Then there are the titles of the book the main character has written: Dec 13, L rated it it was ok Shelves: This isn’t a bad book, but one to be read instead of reviewed.


For all its seriousness the book is also very funny. But then questions of how to comprehend the atrocities of the Third Reich will trouble novelists for eternity. The plot, if there is one, is a r Not sure if this book is devilishly funny or just devilish.

Ulrich is the son of a high-ranking military officer who had been executed for his part in the plot to assassinate Hitler in And much like the sinkhole that opens waltre beneath Brumholdstein, the toxic vibes terrorism, rampant infidelity and other types of popular upper class play, an infinite level of post-war emotion for Germany to deal with—if ever deftly erode from within.

Thus, different issues are addressed from different perspectives.

How German Is It/Wie Deutsch ist es

The central character’s father was executed in the s for plotting against Hitler. The Hargenaus were an important family, until their father turned against the Nazi’s and was executed for plotting against Hitler. But it’s also late and facts on the internet don’t exist anymore. I need to apply for a drivers’ license because there is no recirpocity between Germany and my home US state, despite the fact that I have been driving for 25 years.

Anyway, I am not giving up and will update when done. In the Future Perfect is a collection of short stories where words are juxtaposed in unusual patterns.

For all the turbulent subject matter, the writing is witty and moves quickly and the cast of characters well-differentiated and memorable.