Fox 8 by George Saunders My rating: 2 of 5 stars For Fox’ Sake – what a disaster! What an unholy mess of a novella! Our protagonist, Fox 8, who is, you guessed it, a fox, gets a quick glance of what humanity is capable of.This is a promising premise and, if excitedly well, could lead to an interesting story. Unfortunately, it turns out foxes don’t “speak” English very well and I don’t have much patience for sentences like this: ...

Die Bagage by Monika Helfer My rating: 3 of 5 stars Der Literaturkritiker Denis Scheck hat dieses Buch empfohlen (“Auf nur 160 Seiten entfaltet die Autorin Monika Helfer eine beeindruckende und gehaltvolle Geschichte über Familienstrukturen und Beziehungen.”) und sein Wort hat für mich Gewicht. Wie so oft, wenn’s dem Esel zu wohl wird, naja, Ihr wißt schon… Das Problem dieses kurzen Büchleins ist, daß es die einerseits sehr persönli...

Cibola Burn by James S.A. Corey My rating: 3 of 5 stars Oh, well, this will be a difficult review to write, I guess. I really like this series and its ideas, its wonderful characters, the brilliant writing, etc. etc. Along came “Cibola Burn”: We find ourselves accompanying Holden and his crew through one of the rings into the great unknown – into which a band of settlers from Ganymede made it before him and pretty much started colonisin...

Hamster im hinteren Stromgebiet by Joachim Meyerhoff My rating: 4 of 5 stars Einer meiner Lieblingsschriftsteller ist von Beruf Schauspieler. Nach vier großartigen, teils autobiographischen, Romanen bedarf Joachim Meyerhoff keiner großen Vorstellung mehr. Wenn also Meyerhoff ein neues Buch geschrieben hat, dann muß bei mir literarisch alles andere hintanstehen. Das ist nichts Neues. Neu für mich persönlich ist allerdings, daß ich dieses Buc...

Abaddon’s Gate by James S.A. Corey My rating: 5 of 5 stars Wow, what a ride! After the excellent “Leviathan Wakes” and the almost equally great “Caliban’s War” here I’m sitting and wondering what to write about this more than worthy successor… When I first encountered the “The Expanse” series, I was sceptical: – I do not like science fiction literature.– I do not like soap operas (so why would I lik...

Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey My rating: 5 of 5 stars This was a tricky one for me… I have tried reading science fiction before and (usually) didn’t like it. It was all too often dark, gritty and bleak, set in a dystopian universe in which pretty much everyone acts completely self-absorbed. Thus, I disavowed science fiction in books because I’m a closet optimist: I’ve subscribed early on to the philosophy, the idealism and optimisti...

Black Bear Alibi by J.C. Fuller My rating: 4 of 5 stars I have no idea how this book actually made it onto my to-read list. Anyway, it was a quick and sufficiently satisfying read. It’s a rather simple mystery with an interesting premise: A ranger, our local hero Philip, finds the mangled corpse of a young local woman. Together with the new sheriff, Lane, he tries to find out what happened. This is a topic we’ve often read about before but th...

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager My rating: 3 of 5 stars I came to this book immediately after having read Sager’s “Home Before Dark” which I devoured breathlessly. Sadly, “Lock Every Door” didn’t live up to my expectations. It starts out interesting enough: Jules, 25, has lost her parents some years ago, now she has just lost her job and left her boyfriend because he cheated. While she tries to put her life back together, she sleep...

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager My rating: 4 of 5 stars “I freeze, my sense of relief gone in an instant. Because although their words differ, my parents’ message is the same. Never go back there. It’s not safe there. Not for you.” Damn, this was good! I knew Riley Sager from his second book, “The Last Time I Lied”, which I really liked. This one is even better! “Home Before Dark” tells the story of the Holt family who moved into ...

Peace Talks by Jim Butcher My rating: 4 of 5 stars Here we go again… Yet another Harry Dresden and yet it’s both more of the same as well as different. The first nine books were all mediocre to me – three stars because I felt generous – and ridiculously stupid for reading nine ok’ish books in a row till the Stockholm Syndrome set fully in with book 10. So, we’re at number 16 (!) now and most series have become bland, boring an...

Fox 8, by George Saunders
Book Review / September 25, 2020

Fox 8 by George Saunders My rating: 2 of 5 stars For Fox’ Sake – what a disaster! What an unholy mess of a novella! Our protagonist, Fox 8, who is, you guessed it, a fox, gets a quick glance of what humanity is capable of.This is a promising premise and, if excitedly well, could lead to an interesting story. Unfortunately, it turns out foxes don’t “speak” English very well and I don’t have much patience for sentences lik...

Die Bagage, von Monika Helfer
Book Review / September 24, 2020

Die Bagage by Monika Helfer My rating: 3 of 5 stars Der Literaturkritiker Denis Scheck hat dieses Buch empfohlen (“Auf nur 160 Seiten entfaltet die Autorin Monika Helfer eine beeindruckende und gehaltvolle Geschichte über Familienstrukturen und Beziehungen.”) und sein Wort hat für mich Gewicht. Wie so oft, wenn’s dem Esel zu wohl wird, naja, Ihr wißt schon… Das Problem dieses kurzen Büchleins ist, daß es die einerseits sehr...

Cibola Burn (The Expanse #4), by James S.A. Corey
Book Review / September 21, 2020

Cibola Burn by James S.A. Corey My rating: 3 of 5 stars Oh, well, this will be a difficult review to write, I guess. I really like this series and its ideas, its wonderful characters, the brilliant writing, etc. etc. Along came “Cibola Burn”: We find ourselves accompanying Holden and his crew through one of the rings into the great unknown – into which a band of settlers from Ganymede made it before him and pretty much started...

Danke, liebes Universum!
Personal / September 13, 2020

Ich bin gebürtiger Niedersachse – sturmfest und erdverwachsen. Vor über 20 Jahren verschlug es mich hierher – und ich verfluchte mein Schicksal! Ausgerechnet die Pfalz! Mein “südliches Exil”, wie ich es jahrelang nannte. (Wobei “der Süden” bekanntlich südlich von Göttingen beginnt!) Die Menschen in der Pfalz sprechen seltsam. Jahrelang habe ich sie bitten müssen, langsam und deutlich zu sprechen. Denn “Pälz...

Hamster im hinteren Stromgebiet (Alle Toten fliegen hoch #5), von Joachim Meyerhoff
Advance Review Copy (ARC) , Book Review / September 10, 2020

Hamster im hinteren Stromgebiet by Joachim Meyerhoff My rating: 4 of 5 stars Einer meiner Lieblingsschriftsteller ist von Beruf Schauspieler. Nach vier großartigen, teils autobiographischen, Romanen bedarf Joachim Meyerhoff keiner großen Vorstellung mehr. Wenn also Meyerhoff ein neues Buch geschrieben hat, dann muß bei mir literarisch alles andere hintanstehen. Das ist nichts Neues. Neu für mich persönlich ist allerdings, daß ich ...

Abaddon’s Gate (The Expanse #3), by James S.A. Corey
Book Review / August 26, 2020

Abaddon’s Gate by James S.A. Corey My rating: 5 of 5 stars Wow, what a ride! After the excellent “Leviathan Wakes” and the almost equally great “Caliban’s War” here I’m sitting and wondering what to write about this more than worthy successor… When I first encountered the “The Expanse” series, I was sceptical: – I do not like science fiction literature.– I do not like soap operas (so why w...

Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1), by James S.A. Corey
Book Review / July 31, 2020

Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey My rating: 5 of 5 stars This was a tricky one for me… I have tried reading science fiction before and (usually) didn’t like it. It was all too often dark, gritty and bleak, set in a dystopian universe in which pretty much everyone acts completely self-absorbed. Thus, I disavowed science fiction in books because I’m a closet optimist: I’ve subscribed early on to the philosophy, the idealism and...

Black Bear Alibi (A Rockfish Island Mystery, #1), by J.C. Fuller
Book Review / July 26, 2020

Black Bear Alibi by J.C. Fuller My rating: 4 of 5 stars I have no idea how this book actually made it onto my to-read list. Anyway, it was a quick and sufficiently satisfying read. It’s a rather simple mystery with an interesting premise: A ranger, our local hero Philip, finds the mangled corpse of a young local woman. Together with the new sheriff, Lane, he tries to find out what happened. This is a topic we’ve often read about bef...

Lock Every Door, by Riley Sager
Book Review / July 25, 2020

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager My rating: 3 of 5 stars I came to this book immediately after having read Sager’s “Home Before Dark” which I devoured breathlessly. Sadly, “Lock Every Door” didn’t live up to my expectations. It starts out interesting enough: Jules, 25, has lost her parents some years ago, now she has just lost her job and left her boyfriend because he cheated. While she tries to put her life back together,...

Home Before Dark, by Riley Sager
Book Review / July 23, 2020

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager My rating: 4 of 5 stars “I freeze, my sense of relief gone in an instant. Because although their words differ, my parents’ message is the same. Never go back there. It’s not safe there. Not for you.” Damn, this was good! I knew Riley Sager from his second book, “The Last Time I Lied”, which I really liked. This one is even better! “Home Before Dark” tells the story of the Holt family who m...