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Brenner and God (Brenner #7)

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  601 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
Introducing one of Europe's most widely popular detective series

Wanting out of high-stress detective work, Simon Brenner takes a calming job as a chauffeur, shuttling a two-year-old girl back and forth in a soothing ride along the Autobahn between her father, a construction tycoon in Munich, and her mother, an abortion doctor in Vienna.

Except then one day he stops at a g
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Melville International Crime (first published January 1st 2009)
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Chad Post
Nov 11, 2012 Chad Post rated it liked it
I don't read a lot of detective books, but picked this up based on Tom Roberge's recommendation and "The Weather Fifteen Years Ago," which is absolutely brilliant. Anyway, the book itself is totally fine and does exactly what it's supposed to do--sets forth a mystery, keeps the reader guessing a bit, includes a bit of sexy, a bit of violence, a few tight situations, all resolved in the end by our intrepid hero, Brenner.

But. Haas's writing style annoys the shit out of me. First off, there are a
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

I'm never a good person to listen to when it comes to crime novels, because I'm not really much of a fan of the genre; and then when it comes to Wolf Haas' Brenner and God, the English debut of what is apparently a hugely popular series in Europe, there's an additional problem, which is that the translatio
Nancy Oakes
Funny in a dark humor sort of way, and I really liked it; it also has one of the ickiest situations in a crime novel I've ever read.

Ex-cop Simon Brenner has finally found a profession he actually likes and someone who "understands him better that most adults he's had anything to do with in his life." Brenner works as a chauffeur for the Kressdorfs, the parents of two year-old Helena, with whom he can discuss his problems and worries while he's driving her out on the Autobahn. It's a great arrang
Aug 14, 2014 Caroline rated it really liked it
A fun break. Interesting narrator, third person but from Brenner’s point of view, primarily, and direct address from beginning to end. I like the running patter of observations about memory, desperation, cell phones, police technique, hindsight, a truth written in flames, the Zone of Transparency...all in asides with just the right amount of disjointed, simultaneous breeziness and seriousness.

In hindsight it would all be revealed eventually, or frankly, not even all of it, or else Vienna would l
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Brenner and God is the first of Wolf Haas's Detective Simon Brenner series to be translated from German to English, though it is the seventh book in the series. It seems like an odd place to begin, but I doubt any one would guess.
It was the premise that piqued my interest, introducing Brenner, once a police detective, now a personal chauffeur for a two year old girl, Helena. When Helena goes missing from the limousine while Brenner sips espresso in the service station, it is assumed that she ha
Rob Kitchin
Sep 26, 2012 Rob Kitchin rated it liked it
Brenner and God is a curious book. The story is told through an anonymous narrator who both tells the story and 'talks to' the reader, sometimes telling them what to do ('My dear Swan, pay attention, this is important'). It’s a style that I found increasingly irritating, partly because it comes across as somewhat patronising. There are also a number of what are meant to be profound digressions, providing insights into modern society, but most fall flat. As for the story, it’s a kidnapping story ...more
John Brooke
Mar 30, 2013 John Brooke rated it it was amazing
This one is beautiful. And it’s all in the VOICE.

I am always happy to find a new Euro cop I can enjoy. For me, Simon Brenner, a disaffected Austrian cop created by (Austrian writer) Wolf Haas is a delightful discovery. The unseen, unnamed narrator Haas assigns to relate this story is one of the truly funny literary voices I have read in a long while. In my opinion, “funny” is the most difficult challenge in any genre of writing. And the more so in mystery writing. Anyone who ever got hooked on
Sep 19, 2012 Amy rated it it was amazing
Translated from the German by Annie Janusch

“Personally, I prefer to look on the positive side of life these days. Not just Murder He Wrote all the time, and who-got-who with a bullet, a knife, an extension cord, or what else I don’t know. Me, I’m far more interested in the nice people now, the quiet ones, the normals, the ones who you’d say—they lead their regular lives, abide by the law, don’t mistake themselves for the good lord when they get up in the morning, just nice tidy lives.

Look at Kre
Sep 19, 2012 Tony rated it really liked it
This is the seventh book in the "Brenner" series by Austrian writer Haas, but the first to appear in English. I generally hate it when series books are translated out of order, since it always leaves me with a nagging feeling that there's a whole lot of depth and backstory to the protagonist that I'm missing out on. That was especially the case with this book, which employs an unusually intrusive omniscient narrator who offers a snarky running commentary to the proceedings.

Brenner is an antidepr
Timothy Hallinan
The seventh (I think) in a bestselling German series, here translated for the first time, and I tried to like it. I really did, in part because it was given to me by someone whose taste I admire . . . but I couldn't. It's written in a cockamamie and fiercely irritating third person in which the narrator takes a very animated (intrusive would be another way of putting it) role, continually stepping aside to tell us what he thinks about this or that, to order us to pay attention (in case what he's ...more
Paul Oliver
May 29, 2012 Paul Oliver rated it it was amazing
"BRENNER AND GOD is one of the cleverest—and most thoroughly enjoyable—mysteries that I've read in a long time. Wolf Haas is the real deal, and his arrival on the American book scene is long overdue."
—Carl Hiaasen

Think of a Cohen brothers movie adaptation of a Carl Hiaasen novel set in Germany and you're only about halfway to understanding how enjoyable Wolf Haas "Detective Brenner" books are.
Jul 28, 2012 Des rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german
What fun, what style, made me laugh out loud.
And I liked how the narrator takes the reader by the hand (leading/misleading). Will try to read the series from the beginning in German since the translation indicates a few Austrian jokes/insights worth savouring.
Orla Hegarty
Sep 30, 2012 Orla Hegarty rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, translated
A good mystery although the style reminded me of the dialect many German born Canadians seem to use when speaking English...and that made the fluidity of reading difficult but not off putting.
May 16, 2011 Katharina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic, smooth, cynical... and VERY VERY Viennese...
I very nearly gave up on this novel at page 83, going to far to shelve it, temporarily as it turned out, on my Did Not Finish shelf; but I kept going because there are so many positive reviews on here, not to mention glowing praise on the covers from people as varied as Carl Hiassen and Jonathan Demme (yes, I know, who'd have thought it?! But he did direct Silence of the Lambs after all.).

Wish I could say this is one you need to stick with and then all of a sudden you 'get it'. Not so much. Ins
Pamela Mclaren
If you're expecting the traditional American version of an ex-cop, you would be very wrong with Wolf Haas' character Brenner, in the book "Brenner and God." Brenner is a bit slow-witted, possibly slightly depressed kind of ex-cop who takes on the job of being a driver for a two-year-old child of an abortion doctor and her contractor husband. And he does it well, traveling between the two individuals and the child's daycare provider. That is, until the day that he forgets to gas up the car before ...more
Robert Carraher
Nov 03, 2012 Robert Carraher rated it really liked it
If you haven’t heard of the insanely talented and clever Wolf Haas, it’s probably because you speak English and live in America. One of the best selling crime fiction authors in Germany and other German speaking countries, as well as Europe, he is best known for his books featuring Simon Brenner – think of Brenner as the German Adrian Monk…sort of – three of which have been made into films ;Komm, süßer Tod (Come Sweet Death), Silentium! and Der Knochenmann (The Boneman). He has won several prize ...more
Nov 14, 2012 Miles rated it it was amazing
This is a very clever murder mystery, written from an unusual and witty authorial viewpoint. The semi-omniscient narrator never identifies or explains himself, yet seems to know some things, and not know other things, and becomes a character in himself. He informs us early in the book that specific terrible things will happen, and when, and they do. This in no way detracts from the pleasures of walking through the poses and plans of the evil Senator, the rich developer and the scheming thugs. Th ...more
Kathy S
May 01, 2014 Kathy S rated it really liked it
I liked this short book featuring an Austrian ex-detective turned chauffeur. It was definitely quirky and different, but that's good. The story was told by a somewhat detached narrator who is not identified, and that took some getting used to. This is the first of Haas's books to be translated, and I'm not sure if it's the first in his series or not. lists it as first, but maybe that's because it was translated first. I'll definitely try another.
Sep 03, 2009 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nach all den Jahren wieder ein Brenner! Allein schon aus Nostalgie habe ich das Lesen sehr genossen und damit die Nacht von Freitag (Erscheinungstag) auf Samstag verbracht. Stilistisch ist alles wie gehabt. Ich vermute sogar, dass kein Buch der Reihe was den Stil angeht so prototypisch ist. Auf "aber interessant" wartete ich wie bei jedem Asterix auf die Piraten und wurde nicht enttäuscht. Der Plot ist okay, kommt aber an die besten Bücher der Reihe nicht ganz heran. Nicht überzeugend ist leider ...more
Mar 30, 2015 HomeInMyShoes rated it really liked it
Bits and pieces I didn't like. I found the first bit not the most readable, but the last half of this all-too-short book was a blistering read. This seemed a much more mature read than and Resurrection and The Bone Man. After the halfway mark, I couldn't put the book down. It was that good a read.

Now I'm stuck waiting for more translations, although it looks like I could read Come, Sweet Death! now. I'm not sure if crime readers will like Brenner because almost everything I've read in Crime has
Der neue Haas ganz gut eben typisch. Bei manchen Szenen stellt man sich gleich vor wie grauslich das dann verfilmt wird.

So sehr ich vom Stilmittel des langsamen behäbigen Romans mit simpler einfältiger Sprache am Anfang begeistert war, so sehr nervt mich mit der steigenden Anzahl der gelesenen Brenner-Romane die ewig gleiche Fadesse.

Lieber Wolf Haas (ich glaub unter Auftraggeber und Mörder duzt man sich): Scheiss auf die Quoten für zukünftige Filme und murks endlich den Brenner gaanz grausllich
Aug 03, 2014 Mark rated it really liked it
my second brenner novel, and i prefer it strongly. the bone man was a good story but the narrator really held it back. this time the narrator comes out just right, a great balance of storyteller charm and earnest appreciation for the qualities of the characters. who might be his friends, certainly not his creations.

the story is good too, if sometimes a little confusing.
Rainer Berak
Apr 29, 2013 Rainer Berak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The storyteller is dead - long live the storyteller!! in the last of the 6 "Brenner" stories which are so special due to the way the lyrical I is speaking to us, he dies... Not the main character - no - the person telling is about Brenner, the ex policeman, ex detective. Now he is back and so is this "Mr. Simon" how Brenner is called in the beginning of this roller coaster of a crime story. As usual: written in an incomparable way Haas leads us through Austrian and general human absurdity - seen ...more
Dec 19, 2012 Daisy rated it really liked it
Recommended to Daisy by: Amy Henry

I read this in English. The translation is wonderful because it's such quirky, inventive language full of half-sentences and surprising quasi-sequiturs. I was completely taken in by this story for its plot, yes, since it had me baffled, but more for the telling.

"But if you're saying, that's despicable, then I unfortunately have to tell you, this was still the nice part of the story."

"midnight spaghetti"

It's number 7 in a series, I guess, and I'm going to look for number 1 to see if I might devou
Sep 18, 2012 John rated it really liked it
Another compelling and original crime novel from Melville House. "Brenner and God" will either captivate or grate on the reader; there's no middle ground due to the highly unusual narrative voice of this novel. My father didn't particularly care for it ("weird") but I found the writing original and frequently hilarious, though hilarious in a fairly dark sense. The "detective," as it were, Brenner, gets in a bit over his head, without losing it completely, as he searchers for a young child that h ...more
Aug 26, 2012 Scott rated it really liked it
My first foray into the work of Wolf Haas, and I may bump this up to 5 stars when I inevitably read it again. A murder-mystery like none-other, thanks to a snarky protagonist and perhaps the most hilarious and off-beat narrator I've ever come across. It takes a little while to get the feel of it, but once I did, I enjoyed the ride. The titular Brenner is an ex-cop in Austria, where he is now a chauffeur for a wealthy couple's little daughter. After she's abducted, Brenner goes on the case, takin ...more
First book in series to be translated into English, but seventh in the series. Quirky style with chatty first person narrative by unidentified individual. I can see this could become annoying to some, but it's a short book and it didn't bother me. I was more intrigued than annoyed. Would read more if any are ever translated.
Apr 17, 2016 Natasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
This is the 7th book in the Brenner series but the first one in the series that has been translated into english. I'm not really sure why they started at book 7, and although it would've been nice to know a bit more about the background of the character, it was still easy to follow the story without having read the previous 6 books.
Adam Swift
So I did read the English translation, not the German. Although not knowing German, I still feel like the translation might have been a little rough and this might be slightly smoother in the original language.
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WOLF HAAS was born in 1960 in the Austrian province of Salzburg. He is the author of eight books in the bestselling Detective Brenner mystery series, three volumes of which have been made into popular German-language films. Among other prizes, the Brenner books have been awarded the German thriller prize and the 2004 Literature Prize from the City of Vienna.
More about Wolf Haas...

Other Books in the Series

Brenner (8 books)
  • Auferstehung der Toten (Brenner, #1)
  • Der Knochenmann (Brenner, #2)
  • Komm, süßer Tod (Brenner, #3)
  • Silentium! (Brenner, #4)
  • Wie die Tiere (Brenner, #5)
  • Das Ewige Leben (Brenner, #6)
  • Brennerova  (Brenner, #8)

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