Books for Language Learners: Tschick by Wolfgang Herrndorf


Review by Eva Litzenberg

Suitable: lower intermediate (B1+) should follow confidently, adventurous beginners (A2) will be able to follow with a good dictonary

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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.

Note: This book was first published on 22nd January 2022 on our blogger platform.