Gaito Gasdanow

Underdog Literature, December 2012: 15 fresh or brilliant, off-the-wall titles

Underdog Literature December 2012 WordPress.

Here are 12 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles – all published in 2012 – that might deserve more attention:

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01: RICHARD KRAMER, „These Things happen“, 272 pages, 2012. [quirky domestic drama, written by a former „My so-called Life“ writer.]

02: PHILIP SINGTON, „The Valley of Unknowing“, 298 pages, 2012. [set in the GDR, a story in the style of „The Lives of Others“]

03: LEANNE SHAPTON, „Swimming Studies“, 336 pages, 2012. [Essays / Memoir, German title: „Bahnen ziehen“ (Link, Perlentaucher)]

04: KEVIN YOUNG, „The Grey Album“, 476 pages, 2012. [Essays / Experimental]

05: WILEY CASH, „A Land more kind than Home“, 320 pages, 2012. [literary Thriller]

06: GILLIAN FLYNN, „Gone Girl“, 419 pages, 2012 [Thriller / Bestseller].

07: JESS WALTER, „Beautiful Ruins“, 337 pages, 2012 [Bestseller].

08: FLORIAN ILLIES, „1913 – Der Sommer des Jahrhunderts“, 320 pages, 2012. [German (Link: Perlentaucher)]

09: PIA ZIEFLE, „Suna“, 304 pages, 2012. [German]

10: VERONIQUE BIZOT, „Un Avenir“ / „Eine Zukunft“, 130 pages, 2011. [French; German edition (Link, 2012)review at Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Link)]

11: KERSTIN EKMAN, „Schwindlerinnen“ / „Grand final i skojarbranschen“, 448 pages, 2011. [Swedish, German edition 2012 (Perlentaucher)]

12: MICHEL ROSTAIN, „The Son“ / „Le Fils“ / „Als ich meine Eltern verließ“, 160 pages, 2011. [French Memoir, German Edition 2012 (Perlentaucher)]

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Here are nine 2012 books that I’ve featured / mentioned here before… and that might (still) be worth a look:

01: STEVE ERICKSON, “These Dreams of you”, 309 pages, 2012.

02: SHANNON MESSENGER, “Keeper of the Lost Cities”, 496 pages, 2012. [Young Adult / Fantasy]

03: CLAIRE LEGRAND, “The Cavandish Home for Boys and Girls”, 352 pages, 2012. [Young Adult, Horror]

04: FRANCIS SPUFFORD, “Red Plenty”, 448 pages, 2007. [Science Fiction; German version published in April 2012: „Rote Zukunft“, Rowohlt]

05: JENNY LAWSON, “Let’s pretend this never happened”, 318 pages, 2012. [Memoir / Comedy]

06: NICK HARKAWAY, „Angelmaker“, 482 pages, 2012. [post-modern, absurdist Sci-Fi Noir]

07: GAITO GASDANOW, „Das Phantom des Alexander Wolf“, 192 pages, 1947. [Russian emigré writer, new German translation]

08: GERMÁN KRATOCHWIL, „Scherbengericht“, 311 pages, 2012. [German, Link (Perlentaucher)]

09: NORA BOSSONG, „Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung“, 296 pages, 2012. [German, Link (Perlentaucher)]

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Here are 3 books not published in 2012 (…to round up „Underdog Literature’s“ usual „15 new recommendations, every month“ format):

01: TAIYE SELASI, „Ghana must go“, 336 pages, 2013.

02: SAMANTHA HUNT, „The Seas“, 193 pages, 2004.

03: J.L. CARR, „A Month in the Country“, 135 pages, 1980.

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Here are five books that made me curious enough to buy them:

01: SIMON MAWER, „The Fall“, 442 pages, 2003.

02: NATALIA GINZBURG, „All our Yesterdays“, 300 pages, 1952.

03: KVETA LEGATOVA, „Zelary“ / „Der Mann aus Zelary“, 156 pages, 2001 [Czechian].

04: WILLY RUSSELL, „The Wrong Boy“, 506 pages, 2002.

05: MARKUS FELDENKIRCHEN, „Was zusamengehört“, 318 pages, 2010. [German]

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…and finally, here are three books that I read – and that were really good:

5 of 5 stars: ALEXIS M. SMITH, „Glaciers“, 174 pages, 2012.

5 of 5 stars: MARLEN HAUSHOFER, „The Wall“ / „Die Wand“, 284 pages, 1962. [Austrian]

4 of 5 stars: DANIELA KRIEN, „Irgendwann werden wir uns alles erzählen“, 240 pages, 2011. [German]

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Underdog Literature, October 2012: 15 fresh or surprising, off-the-wall titles

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Here are 15 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention:

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01: ROBIN SLOAN, „Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Book Store“, 304 pages, 2012.

02: JENS PETER JACOBSEN, „Niels Lyhne“, 152 pages, 1880 [Danish].

03: DONALD HALL, „The Best Day The Worst Day – Life with Jane Kenyon“, 258 pages, 2005 [Memoir].

04: ELIZABETH ARTHUR, „Antarctic Navigation“, 816 pages, 1995.

05: A.S. KING, „Ask the Passengers“, 296 pages, 2012. [Young Adult]

06: SHANNON MESSENGER, „Keeper of the Lost Cities“, 496 pages, 2012. [Young Adult / Fantasy]

07: KATJA MILLAY, „The Sea of Tranquility“, 380 pages, 2012. [Young Adult, might be trash…?]

08: BOUALEM SANSAL, „The German Mujahid“, 240 pages, 2008. [Algerian]

09: GAITO GASDANOW, „Das Phantom des Alexander Wolf“, 192 Seiten, 1947. [Russian emigré writer, new German translation]

10: YI IN-SEONG, „Jahreszeiten des Exils“, 318 pages, 1983. [Korean, new German tanslation]

11: SEPP MALL, „Berliner Zimmer“, 188 pages, 2012. [Austrian]

12: ANNETTE KOLB, „Das Exemplar“, 210 pages, 1913. [German]

13: DANIEL MEZGER, „Land spielen“, 318 pages, 2012. [Swiss]

14: TILMAN RAMMSTEDT, „Die Abenteuer meines ehemaligen Bankberaters“, 190 pages, 2012. [German]

15: SABINE FRIEDRICH, „Wer wir sind“, 2032 pages, 2012 [German].

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Here are five books that made me curious enough to buy them:

01: MARLEN HAUSHOFER, „The Wall“ / „Die Wand“, 240 pages, 1962. [Austrian]

02: MARCEL BEYER, „Flughunde“, 301 pages, 1996. [German]

03: SERGEJ LUKIANENKO, „Wächter des Morgen“, 464 Seiten, 2012. [Russian; German translation.]

Ich habe die „Wächter“-Reihe u.a. HIER besprochen / empfohlen: Link

04: NIKOLAI VOGEL, „Spam Diamond“, 210 pages, 2012. [Austrian, Rezensionsexemplar, danke an Haymon!]

05: ANDREAS STICHMANN, „Das große Leuchten“, 240 Seiten, 2012. [German; Rezensionsexemplar, danke an Rowohlt!]

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…and finally, here are three books that I read – and that were really good:

5 of 5 stars: ARNE BELLSTORF, „Baby’s in Black: Astrid Kirchherr, Stuart Sutcliffe, and the Beatles in Hamburg“, 208 pages, 2010. [Graphic Novel]

4 of 5 stars: TOVE JANSSON, „Fair Play“, 127 pages, 1989. [Nonfiction / personal essays – not half as good as her „Summer Book“, though.]

4 of 5 stars: MILENA MICHIKO FLASAR, „Ich nannte ihn Krawatte“, 144 pages, 2012. [Austrian; Rezensionsexemplar, danke an Verlag Klaus Wagenbach!]

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