A fascinating glimpse into the world of one prosperous man, set upon by the forces of the new world.
Bernd Willenbrock is the owner of a used-car dealership in the newly unified Germany. In the nascent free market of Central Europe, the former East German engineer seems to be the paradigm of the new world: a successful businessman, an owner of real estate, and a generous husband. Prosperity seems guaranteed by a steady stream of cash-only clients from Eastern Europe, and plans for a glitzy new showroom are firmly underway. Yet little by little, a series of ever-more menacing incidents—an attempted break-in, the theft of several cars, a vicious beating--erode his innermost certainties. No amount of locks and latches, it seems, can contain his growing obsession with external safety or stop the coming violence.
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Christoph Hein, novelist, playwright, essayist, is among Europe’s most respected literary and political voices. A former president of PEN Germany and author of the internationally acclaimed novels The Distant Lover and The Tango Player, he lives in Berlin.
An enterprising used-car salesman in post-Iron Curtain Berlin navigates the capitalist world of shady deals and armed robbery in this sharp, darkly humorous novel by East German novelist/playwright Hein (The Tango Player). Though German reunification brought an end to Bernd Willenbrock's 20-year engineering career in East Germany, he now presides, alongside his Polish assistant, Jurek, over an exceptionally profitable used-car business that's frequented mostly by Russians and Poles. Willenbrock provides well for his lovely boutique-owner wife, Susanne, yet he's still a ladies' man and has several ongoing dalliances with women who wander onto his lot and end up with much more than a good deal on a clunker. In the unsettled climate, a rash of thefts troubles Willenbrock, prompting him to hire a night watchman to guard the lot. A particularly traumatic robbery at the Willenbrock country home further erodes his sense of security, and paranoia sets in. While his plans to build a new showroom move ahead, the thieves from the break-in are apprehended, but then merely deported without punishment. This injustice pushes Willenbrock to take his Russian friend Krylov up on an offer to settle the matter privately as a "friendly favor," but in the end he thinks better of it and accepts a handgun instead. The tense climax tests his mettle and forces him to finally confront a long-held aversion to weapons and violence. Hein's expertly translated novel is brisk, clever and engrossing, and Willenbrock makes a compelling protagonist an uncomplicated man faced with all the opportunities and pitfalls of post-Wall Germany.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Descripción Picador, 2004. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0312423683
Descripción Picador, 2004. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0312423683