Novels set in Germany

(48 Posts)
BasketzatDawn Fri 04-Jan-13 19:26:47

Either contemporary or old. Any suggestions?

Hellooooo2013 Fri 04-Jan-13 20:22:44

I really enjoyed Fatherland.

Germania? Can't think who wrote it off the top of my head and I think it's about the Germans rather than beinga novel.

I have Alone in Berlin on my kindle, will be the next book I read.

MrsSchadenfreude Fri 04-Jan-13 20:25:14

Heinrich Boll - The Bread of those Early Years (best book EVER, but English translation is not good and loses a fundamental part of the story due to the translator's lack of ability). And The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum. Actually, most of Boll's books. And anything by Gunther Grass. Love a bit of Gunt. The Call of the Toad is brilliant, and lighter than his other stuff.

MrsSchadenfreude Fri 04-Jan-13 20:25:45

And agree re Hans Fallada's Alone in Berlin - one of his better books.

niminypiminy Fri 04-Jan-13 20:29:10

Thomas Mann's Buddenbrooks - nineteenth century family saga, probably the most approachable of all his novels.

Christa Wolf - interesting East German author, can't remember a title off the top of my head.

Elizabeth von Arnim - Elizabeth and her German Garden - lovely book republished by Virago.

thixotropic Fri 04-Jan-13 20:30:57

Came on to suggest some le carre

Glad to see someone beat me to it.

elkiedee Fri 04-Jan-13 23:36:58

Are you looking for German books in translation or books by English writers/writers from elsewhere set in Germany, or both?

Some people have hated or been bored by it, but I really liked All That I Am by Anna Funder.

Judith Kerr's A Small Person Far Away is the third book in the trilogy which started with When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit - Anna returns to Berlin in her 30s for the first time since her family had to leave in 1933 when Hitler came to power - her mum is living there and is ill. She finds it hard to reconcile her memories of German Anna until she was 9, the present and she's become totally used to apparently being an Englishwoman (in sharp contrast to her parents who never really adjusted). It's published with the other books in the trilogy as a children's book, but I wouldn't recommend it to any but quite mature teenagers, it really isn't for kids.

elkiedee Fri 04-Jan-13 23:38:51

Don't know if it's in print (probably not) but there is a later novel, actually several, by Erich Maria Remarque about post war life in Berlin.

mummyonvalium Fri 04-Jan-13 23:43:54

Anything by Hans Fallada - Wolf among Wolves, The Drinker and Small Circus also very good. He was there.

BabeRuthless Sat 05-Jan-13 06:36:17

About to leave for work so have to be quick but I loved Luminous Life of Lily Nelly Aphrodite.

mintyminty Sat 05-Jan-13 11:03:15

The Kindly Ones, set before/during/after world war 2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Kindly_Ones_(Littell_novel)

Colyngbourne Sat 05-Jan-13 11:16:01

The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald, about the German Romantic poet Novalis.

tripfiction Sat 05-Jan-13 14:48:43

In addition to the great suggestions above:
Book of Clouds by Chloe Aridjis (Berlin)
Brandenburg by Henry Porter (Berlin and Eastern Europe)
Brother Grimm by Craig Russell (Hamburg)
In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson (Berlin)
Pleasured by Philip Hensher (Berlin)
Snowleg by Nicholas Shakespeare (Germany, Hamburg, Leipzig)
Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi (Germany)
The Incident by Kenneth Macleod (Germnay)

The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite by Beatrice Colin (a particular favourite set in Berlin early 1900s)

and we are currently reading Ben Elton's Two Brothers, set in Berlin 1920s/30s and exceptionally evocative of the era

BikeRunSki Sat 05-Jan-13 14:54:03

The Moment - Douglas Kennedy.

Set in West and East Berlin, before and after in wall came down.

BasketzatDawn Mon 07-Jan-13 19:00:39

Thanks for this terrific list. I wish i still had my copy of Bread of the Early Years. Away back in a previous millennium I did a German degree and this was one of the 'sticking' ones, but the book must have been cleared in umpteen house moves. I refuse to pay UK prices for German books as hope to get to Germany later in year. But this is one I would reread, I think. Anyway, as I said earlier I do have a few to work through still. The thread was curiosity mostly, to see if there was anything I was missing - and there are several new ideas. I didn't expect so many replies, so thanks again.

I did a German degree and can only remember a handful of books from my course but my favourites included:

Effi Briest
Im Westen Nichts Neues
Der Vorleser
A few shorter works by Heinrich Von Kleist eg Das Erdbeben in Chile

I'm sure there are more, but those are the ones which spring to mind.

BasketzatDawn Mon 07-Jan-13 19:22:50

Oh, i did my Honours diss on Effi Briest and Theodor F in general. It would do me - and my bad German - no harm to reread these - I have them still. In fact I think I or family have all those you listed, either in german or translated, twolittlemonkeys. BTW do you use your degree? If so, how?

bran Mon 07-Jan-13 19:32:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BasketzatDawn Mon 07-Jan-13 19:52:14

Oh, bran, I want I want! But sadly no kindle here. I will read every unread book (and knit every last piece of yarn in this house - another thread entirely, i know), then if there is time before I die I will get a Kindle.

bran Mon 07-Jan-13 20:07:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gudrun Pausewang (sp?) Fallout. It's a bit "children of the dust" but in Germany.

BasketzatDawn - sadly I don't. My German is steadily getting worse so I might have a go at rereading some of the books I still have - maybe it'll inspire me to do something to keep my language knowledge up to date...

Doraemon Tue 08-Jan-13 12:45:28

I enjoyed this.....
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Letters-Ancient-China-Herbert-Rosendorfer/dp/1903517397

anonymosity Thu 10-Jan-13 02:21:52

Charlotte Grey - much of this is spent in Germany.
Alice Hoffmann - isn't she German and translated to English (I think so).
anything touching the 2nd world war - The Corrections, etc

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