Note however that a lot of the humor is lost in translation, so if you can, read this in German. The audiobook version is fantastic. Apr 06, Michael rated it really liked it. I can't figure out if "Herr Lehmann" felt more like a collection of short stories with a central chronology or a novel without aim. It definitely is exploratory and brings one close to the characters. Yet, it didn't seem like it went anywhere or that people fundamentally changed. Frank Lehmann, the main character, had all the makings of a man ready for literary and fundamental change.
While always denying he wanted change or ambition, he was intelligent, a natural leader among peers, did try to I can't figure out if "Herr Lehmann" felt more like a collection of short stories with a central chronology or a novel without aim. While always denying he wanted change or ambition, he was intelligent, a natural leader among peers, did try to establish a meaningful relationship, and was offered a management position at his bar.
The Federal Republic of Germany at Fifty
Throw in the collapse of the Berlin Wall as a culminating event in the setting, the reader is prepped for a book about change and forward progress. But at the end of the book, we find the wall coming down was an anticlimax as a plot device and that life went on rather normally… with Herr Lehmann remaining the same. Maybe that was the point… Jul 16, Mikey rated it did not like it. It sucked. I enjoyed the first chapter for it was pretty fresh and funny but after that it went downhill.
The author tries too hard to amuse his readers and at the same time creates much too long sentences with a lot of repetitions in them. That makes the style of writing pretty annoying to read though it was still fairly easy to progress because I skipped a lot of the bullshit chatter in this book it's not difficult to make out if there's anything of interest in the respective paragraph It sucked. That makes the style of writing pretty annoying to read though it was still fairly easy to progress because I skipped a lot of the bullshit chatter in this book it's not difficult to make out if there's anything of interest in the respective paragraph because, let's face it, most of them are redundant.
It just doesn't happen anything at all in the course of the whole story and I can't be bothered to smile at stuff that is too forced. Hence the one star.
I know why I usually avoid contemporary German writers. They're nothing better than contemporary German music or contemporary German films. Feb 07, Christine rated it it was amazing.
Herr Lehmann English title: Berlin Blues is a fantastically funny, dark and engaging novel about an ordinary single man living in West Berlin during the time immediately preceding the fall of the Berlin wall late s. The book follows his daily exploits: working at a bar in Kreuzberg, a love affair, his friendships, relationship with his family, drinking binges, etc.
There is no major plot--his life is pretty ordinary--yet the writer manages to draw you in and engage you by involving you Herr Lehmann English title: Berlin Blues is a fantastically funny, dark and engaging novel about an ordinary single man living in West Berlin during the time immediately preceding the fall of the Berlin wall late s.
There is no major plot--his life is pretty ordinary--yet the writer manages to draw you in and engage you by involving you in his charmingly bizarre but smart inner monologues. There was a German movie made about this book which I also recommend, though the book is much better. I read the book in German so can't comment on the English translation. An easy read about an aggressively disaffected young slacker in West Berlin, shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
It's a story of the last generation to grow up in divided Berlin, clearly designed to be critical of their lifestyles. It's interesting for an outsider American looking in, but I have no idea if the author's judgments on West Berliners are accurate. This lazy idea that turning 30 is seen as a point of reflection, of recognising that your life has noticeably changed since you were younger seems to act as a soft metaphor for the book - which in part looks at directionless lives routed in easy routine. Katrin, the girl that Frank falls for even challenges him early on about his work in a bar without any additional goals apparent in Frank's life.
We spend evenings in their company, largely in the pubs and clubs of Berlin, with his best friend Karl always referred to as "best friend Karl , and assorted other colleagues and friends. It is a witty place to be, with entertaining dialogue and scene shifting that moves at a pace. It feels like a memoir of a specific time and place from the author, where the ordinariness of their lives seems to contrast sharply with what the readers know is a momentous time in history just around the corner.
I found it a fascinating local insight into these lives, and enjoyed sharing time with the characters, and the depiction of Berlin.
der,die, das,any easy way to learn ?
A part of me would have loved to delve down deeper into the broader world they are inhabiting, but that would make for a different book altogether I suppose. The tale of a Kreuzberg hipster before there were hipsters, but there was a wall just about, we are in autumn Herr Lehmann mooches around southern Berlin, meeting a dog, getting into a bar-fight, going swimming, seducing a chef.
Each chapter is its own short story, vignettes almost, and you should definitely read chapter 2 if you've ever had a phone conversation with your parents or ch. Jan 28, Nienke rated it really liked it Shelves: volwassen , niet-engels. Very, very entertaining.
A real person in real daily life -- on the face of it, nothing seems to be happening, and yet this is the essence of being a human. And the writing style is fantastic, although I had to get used to the entertainingly weaving sub-subsentences - not easy at first for a non native German speaker. My new favourite sentence a short one : "Er schaute Kristall-Rainer an wie eine kaltgewordene Currywurst" -- pretty much sums it up. Reading this book was a bit challenging. It so often seemed to be about nothing yet at the same time was deeply sad. The main character was hard to like at first but then as it went on he became one of the only likable characters in the book.
It takes place around the time that the Berlin wall came down so the historical aspect is very interesting but the mindset of the people was depressing. I found it interestingly sad. I guess the title of Berlin Blues is quite fitting in retrospect.
A short book I borrowed from Adam. Set in Kreuzberg in , Herr Lehmann is about to turn thirty. Very engagingly written, not a lot happens but it has a kafkaesque vibe and a good helping of ennui. I really enjoyed it, not least because I recognised all the streets and stuff! With no responsibility or sense of short-coming Herr Lehmann has embarked on a career; a career as a bartender.
Even when questioned by others he does not see bartending as an interim job, this is something that he has spent time perfecting.
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After an evening of working and drinking with the boss at the Einfall bar, Herr Lehmann stumbles home through the deserted streets of Kreuzberg. Getting a glimpse of his argumentative character almost straight away it is difficult to tell whether Lehmann is hallucinating in the opening chapter or whether he really is seeing one of the ugliest dogs ever to exist. Unsure on how to proceed with his journey home and with a bottle of whiskey in his pocket Lehmann takes up residency in a small square literally around the corner from his flat: the dog has blocked him in and is refusing to let him pass.
So, what happens when you feed a dog alcohol? It falls over drunk!
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After this episode you start to question the sanity of this young man; maybe he has had one to many heavy nights out and it is beginning to take its toll. Trying to restore his bitter hung-over mind, after being woken by his mother phoning, the next morning he heads off to the Markthalle for some brunch. Bumping into his best friend, Karl, who seems to be pulling an extra shift at the establishment he soon finds himself irritated with the scene around him. Sunday Brunching families are not to his taste and he wishes that they would all realise that a bar is not a place to indulge in such niceties.
To try and lighten his mood, Karl puts him on a table out of the way and brings him a beer to try and staunch the flow of tripe coming from his mouth. To try and resolve the issue the new chef appears. Katrin is a no-nonsense type of girl that automatically appeals to Lehmann causing him to fluster slightly in his argument.
just the way he is Manual
Realising he has fallen in love with her on sight he now needs to try and stop himself revealing his thoughts. Much of the novel looks at the relationship between these two individuals. The candid nature of Katrin versus the overpowering desire to be in a monogamous relationship by Herr Lehmann leads ultimately to an argument and a break-up. Life, that at one time appeared to be quite rosy, is beginning to develop cracks. Karl, a budding sculptor, is under pressure to finalise his creations for an exhibition he is to star in.
Working nights at the bar and days on his artwork leaves little time for anything else. Sleep deprivation also seems to be a problem for this young man and he takes to spending his after-work hours in the bars drinking to try and overcome the nerves that are beginning to set in. Taking things too far, Karl has stopped sleeping, eating and showering causing friends to worry about him until he finally snaps.
Taking control, Herr Lehmann sees his friend break-down in front of him and knows that only one thing will help him — the men in white coats at the hospital are called in. With his life falling down around him Herr Lehmann begins to question whether everyone that thought bar-tending was a stop-gap job was right.