Our blog for German learners. Read up on our monthly reviews of original German books, TV series, games and more. Find tips for doing business in German, bilingual parenting and how to boost your own language skills German or others. We will also be adding some German ressources because we know you want to immerse yourself fully.
Review: Tschick – by Wolfgang Herrndorf
Suitable: lower intermediate (B1+) should follow confidently, adventurous beginners (A2) will be able to follow with a good dictonary
Buy it here.
Maik Klingenberg is about to spend the summer holidays in
his parents’ villa by himself while his mother has yet another stint in rehab
and his father is going on a business trip with his young assistant. He is
looking forward to weeks of lazing by his parents’ pool and endless pizza
deliveries until his classmate Tschick (real name Andrej Tschichatschow), a
Russian late repatriate turns up in a stolen car.
He convinces quiet and shy Maik to take a road trip to Wallachia*. They take to the Autobahn and criss-cross provincial Germany trying to evade the police and concerned citizens.
Tschick was released in 2010 and has all it takes for a modern classic. Herrndorf’s novel is everything at once: thought-provoking, relatable, heart-breaking and immense fun. German learners will appreciate the straightforward prose that is a perfect insight into youth slang without ever being patronising.
Readers of a delicate disposition are advised that this book contains swearing. Lots of it.
Review: Die Entdeckung der Currywurst – by Uwe Timm
Level: Lower intermediate (B1)+
Buy it here.*
Die Entdeckung der Currywurst is popular reading for adult German learners for a reason: the book is short and the language accessible without being dull, and the plot is captivating as well as a rich illustration of post war Germany.
We meet Lena Brücker through the narrator at 86 years old in an old people’s home. He remembers his aunts former neighbour as the owner of a small, unassuming Imbissbude (the German chippy) where he just happened to eat the best Currywurst of his life throughout his childhood. Lena is rumoured to have invented the Currywurst and our narrator wants to hear the full story.
As he visits Lena, she takes him and us back to Hamburg in April 1945 days before the Nazis surrender to the allies. At the cinema she meets Hermann Bremer, a 24-year-old soldier on his way to join a Volkssturm unit that is almost certain to be eradicated by the advancing British army. They spend the night together after which Lena offers to hide him in her flat.
Bremer, now a deserter, accepts and awaits the end of the war. An event which Lena conceals from him as she enjoys the attention of her younger lover.
This short novella is an excellent introduction to German literature with its straightforward and contemporary German and its rich description of the last days of the Third Reich. We get emotion, history, suspense and Germany’s favourite street food all in one.
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