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Crime: Stories [Rauer Buchschnitt] [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Ferdinand von Schirach , Carol Janeway
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11. Januar 2011
From Ferdinand von Schirach, one of Germany’s most prominent defense attorneys, comes a jolting debut collection of short stories that daringly brings to light the motivations stirring within the criminal mind. By turns witty and sorrowful, unflinchingly brutal and heartbreaking, the deeply affecting, quietly unnerving cases presented in Crime urge a closer examination of guilt and innocence.

In “Fähner,” a small-town physician and avid gardener betrays little emotion when he takes an ax to his wife’s head, an act that shocks the locals but provides a
long-awaited reprieve for the good doctor. Abbas, a Palestinian refugee who is cornered into a life of crime, finds true love and seemingly a saving grace with a beautiful student named Stefanie in “Summertime.” But when she is viciously murdered in a hotel room after having been paid to sleep with one of the country’s wealthiest men, is Abbas to blame or is it the man who seems to have it all? And in the startling story “Love,” a young man’s infatuation with his girlfriend takes a grisly turn as he comes to grips with his unconventional—and uncontrollable—impulses to truly know a woman.

“Guilt,” writes von Schirach, “always presents a bit of a problem.” In this beautifully nuanced and telling collection, guilt is indeed never as clear-cut as the crime, and justice is more nebulous still.

Hinweise und Aktionen

  • Hinweis: Dieses Buch hat einen sogenannten "rauen Buchschnitt" oder auch "rough cut", weshalb die Seiten unregelmäßig geschnitten sind.

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  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 208 Seiten
  • Verlag: Knopf (11. Januar 2011)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0307594157
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307594150
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 22,1 x 15 x 2,3 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 264.312 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

Mehr über den Autor

Ferdinand von Schirach, geboren 1964, arbeitet als Strafverteidiger und Schriftsteller in Berlin. Seine Storybände »Verbrechen« und »Schuld« wurden, genau wie sein erster Roman »Der Fall Collini«, zu internationalen Bestsellern. In mehr als dreißig Ländern erschienen Übersetzungen. Schirach wurde mit dem Kleist-Preis und anderen - auch internationalen - Literaturpreisen ausgezeichnet. Zuletzt veröffentlichte er im September 2013 seinen Roman »Tabu«. In seinen Essays und Reden äußert er sich regelmäßig zu großen gesellschaftspolitischen Themen.



Crime would command the attention due a carnival freak-show if von Schirach’s crisp, swift prose did not lend it such laconic authority. Save in the sparest of hints, he shuns forensic psychology. Each tale whips along, a shock at every turn, like some beast with eyes of red-hot coal panting down a forest track at night. For, courtroom procedure aside, the spirit of the German-language Märchen really drives this book: eerie tales of the uncanny, as practiced by Hoffmann, Kleist, the Grimms, and even Kafka.” —Independent (UK)

"Mesmerizing. . .a slim, utterly absorbing collection of 11 stories. . .told in a cool, patient voice that draws the reader in. Von Schirach guides us through the unpredictable sequences of events that can maneuver regular, flawed people into unbearable positions, leading them to abhorrent acts. . .[He] has the talent to dazzle." --New York Times Book Review 

"An extraordinary book about ordinary crime, written with suspense, insight, and beautiful precision by an experienced defense attorney. An authentic thriller." --Bernhard Schlink, author of The Reader


Provocative, shocking and brilliant, Crime may change the way you judge the world. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

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4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Format:Kindle Edition
I've read the book in German, as I am German, but I just looked it up for my partner who's British and I was shocked when I saw the rating. This is one of the most intense books I've ever read in my whole life. And I am not a big fan of short stories. But this collection is simply great. Not only the stories, it's also the author's language and style that impressed me. It is straight, clean and clear but at the same time so full of colorful details, that the film you are creating in your head whilst reading becomes realistic and tangible. So please have a look at the reviews on, because I don't care in which condition that other reviewer's book was when it arrived, that has nothing to do with the words that are actually in the book. And those are brilliant.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.2 von 5 Sternen  28 Rezensionen
22 von 22 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen What a delightful collection! 12. Januar 2011
Von Richard Cumming - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
THe author of this collection of short stories is a German lawyer who derives his inspiration from real cases. These stories run the gamut from gory to whimsical. Some cases involve gruesome murders. Others deal with insanity. In one particularly delightful story about a museum guard the tale revolves around a man's experiences guarding the same statue in the same room year after year. It is told in marvelous fashion.

In each story the nameless attorney character makes an appearance as legalities ensue. These stories reveal a writer who has found a way to merge humor, tragedy, violence, and absurdity with an economy of form that is quite stunning. I started reading the book one evening just to try it out since I had never heard of this author. I got into it and I simply could not put it down. I finally stopped with a couple of stories left to savor. I did not want this book to end. Truly fabulous stuff!
7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Follow The Money Or Follow The Sperm.. 24. Januar 2011
Von prisrob - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Assistant District Attorney Schmidt in one of the stories in Ferdinand von Schirach's novel,'Crime' made a statement that connects all of the stories of murder, mayhem and lust, "Follow the money or follow the sperm. Every murder comes down to one or the other."

Ferdinand von Schirach is a criminal defense lawyer in Berlin, Germany. He has defended the famous and infamous, and here he tells some of their stories. His uncle was a judge and a soldier in World War II. His grandfather was convicted of crimes against humanity at Nuremberg. There is a history here, and the stories von Schirach tells all come from the heart and most involve guilt of some sort. There are eleven stories, all different and all are mesmerizing in their own right.

'Self Defense' may be my favorite story. A man at a train station defends himself from two criminals, the fact that he does not say a word at any time, to anyone, raises the level. The District Attorney and the Defense Attorney vie against each other, and the man continues to remain silent. How do you defend a man who does not speak, it can be done. 'The Thorn' may be the most unusual of stories, a museum guard patrols and guards the same room for some twenty odd years. He comes slightly unhinged, and his journey is one to behold. 'Tanata's Tea Bowl' may be one of the most gruesome crimes, but the story underneath is the reality. The other eight stories are as fascinating.

The characters are rich and full of life. Their stories are told by the author and narrator, but the words come from the characters. The road to their crime is told from their perspective, and the author fills in the voice of the law. Ferdinand von Schirach gives us a base of German law, and how it is practiced. There may be a different format but essentially the law is the same in Germany and the United Sates. There is good and then there is bad, and then we have the legal system. We get a glimpse of the man and his make-up, and the hope is that more stories are on their way.

Highly Recommended. prisrob 01-23-11

Schuld: Stories
6 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Very good, very German addition to the crime genre 25. Februar 2011
Von Jack Joyce - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
In this collection, the complex emotions and motivations that drive people to violent crime are examined in a series of short stories by a nararator who is wonderfully insightful, yet clincal and detached. Never read anything quite like this. Highly recommended.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen IF factual, these "stories" are engrossing 27. Januar 2011
Von R. M. Peterson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Ferdinand von Schirach is a criminal defense lawyer in Berlin. In the preface, von Schirach writes that he tells the stories of people he's defended. Thus, this riveting book, ostensibly, is a collection of eleven true stories from cases of his career: defending a mild-mannered 72-year-old physician who one day snapped and decapitated his harpy wife, whom he had married almost 50 years earlier for the sex; representing a young woman who was a phenomenal cellist before she committed her life to tending her deranged and crippled brother, whom she eventually decided to spare from further deterioration by drugging and then drowning him as they both lay in the bathtub; facilitating the release of a mystery figure who with his bare hands calmly killed two thugs who had attacked him in a subway station, and then refused to talk about the incident or even give his identity; defending an utterly nondescript man who, on his last day at a museum where he had been working in the same room as a guard for 23 years, suddenly picked up and smashed to smithereens the Roman statue he had been guarding all that time; and so on, including several that are truly bizarre.

The book exemplifies well, and graphically, how criminal lawyers are exposed to the outer fringes of human behavior and the subterranean depths of the human psyche. Several of the stories are as outré and tragic as the Oedipus myth. Part of what makes the collection especially gripping is von Schirach's calm, measured prose. (On occasion, it becomes distinguished in its originality - for example, referring to the soon-to-be beheaded harpy, "Ingrid's metallic voice laid down animosity after animosity like railroad tracks.") Another aspect that enhanced the reading experience for me was that the stories take place in Germany. Hence, I was exposed to first-hand accounts of the widespread social disfunctionality, and criminality, that marks the lives of many immigrants from the Middle East; differences in criminal practice and procedure between Germany and the United States; and odd trivia of life in Berlin - where, for example, they sell fifteen times as many baseball bats as baseballs (a metal bat being a favored piece of a young goon's arsenal).

But what ultimately underlies the force of CRIME is that the stories, ostensibly, are true. If they were presented as fiction, the book would only be so much wood pulp (and any reviews of it probably would criticize some of the stories as being beyond credibility). In this regard, I am at the mercy of the publisher (here, Alfred A. Knopf) and author von Schirach. (I am curious as to whether Knopf advises bookstores to shelve the book under fiction or non-fiction.) The epigraph, from Werner K. Heisenberg, is a little disquieting: "The reality we can put into words is never reality itself." So, the $64,000 question is: Are these "stories" fact or fiction? Perhaps I am a sucker - it wouldn't be the first time in my life - but I will come down on the side of non-fiction and thus recommend it as a five-star work.

P.S.: I have one other nagging reservation. Several times von Schirach mentions the attorney-client privilege, and I gather that it is substantially the same in Germany as it is here in the United States. And if that's the case, I am a little uneasy accepting that, in all instances and all details, he was free from ethical obligations of confidentiality or, alternatively, that his clients consented to the publication of otherwise confidential information (the story "Love" is particularly troublesome in this regard). But then, if the stories are fiction, this concern dissipates.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The book you recommend to everyone 20. März 2012
Von Chen, Amy L - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
You can read this book in an hour and it'll stay with you for months. You'll relate parts of it to friends and always shove copies into their hands knowing they'll love it. It is so well told, so well written, so well observed, that I don't care if it's fiction or non-fiction. All the details are told with documentary-like clarity and the author puts himself into the stories here or there to explain why he would have such in depth knowledge of such eccentric cases. The ones that have stuck with me the most include the old man who finally snapped and killed his monstrous wife, the possible international hitman who killed, in self defense, the thugs on the railway platform, and then the museum security guard who also just snapped one day. While these are stories of crimes committed and the sometime awkward role prosecution and justice fit in after the fact, they are actually brilliantly observed portraits of people under duress. Even if they are made up, you find yourself reading them thinking, "You couldn't make this up." I could not recommend this book enough.
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