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Die neuen Leiden des jungen W.

3.30  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,218 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
Der 17-jährige Edgar Wibeau nimmt einen Streit mit seinem Vorgesetzten zum Anlass, seine Lehre in einem Metall verarbeitenden Betrieb abzubrechen und geht nach Berlin. Dort richtet er sich in einer verlassenen Gartenkolonie ein und findet ein Reclamheft. Dass es sich dabei um Goethes Roman Die Leiden des jungen Werther handelt, weiß er nicht, weil er Titelblatt und Nachwor ...more
Paperback, 148 pages
Published 2004 by Suhrkamp (first published 1972)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,769)
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Jonathan Ashleigh
Sep 04, 2015 Jonathan Ashleigh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading both parodies of The Sorrows of Young Werther, I have to say that The Sorrows of Young Mike is the better of the two. Ulrich Plenzdorf did a good job but his story doesn't take any steps forward compared with John Zelazny version, but I possibly feel this way because I read the English translation. Zelazny's version is not simply a retelling and the only thing it is lacking is a German translation, which is something that is supposedly in the works. If you want to read a parody of ...more
Aug 29, 2010 Ruby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, in-amsterdam, german
I am in love with intertexuality. I love reading a book with a lot of references and I think it's interesting to see how a story is shaped by other stories.

This novel, for me, relied on that intertexuality. I thought it was super interesting, because I have read "Die Leiden des jungen Werther" and "The Catcher in the Rye", the two most important novels for this story. So I really enjoyed reading it, looking for similarities and differences between those novels.

However, I'm left wondering if the
Sep 24, 2008 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes J.D. Salinger and specifically Holden Caulfield
A good, short and easy read on usual teenage angst and rebellion present throughout the world, however Edgar (young W) lives in the GDR. This short novel goes hand in hand with The Sufferings of Young Werther, by both paralleling it and parodying it as well. The novel centers around Goethe's aforementioned novel. Edgar reads it and is extremely taken in by it. Throughout the rest of the book he quotes Goethe's work (although he knows not what it is, having found it in a bathroom with the front p ...more
Apr 24, 2008 Suzie rated it liked it
I read this book many times. sometimes i like it, sometimes not. its a little bit weird, but also interesting. i cant really describe it better. ...more
Jan 26, 2014 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Definitely liked this one better than the original, though it's still not really my kind of book. The writing was a lot easier to understand and it wasn't as much of a torture to get through as the one written by Goethe, which is probably normal seeing as this one is written over a century later. Apart from the writing, I have to say that I liked the build up of the story, with his father trying to find out what happened and him telling the story from the great beyond, and the story itself as we ...more
Meh. It was okay, but I couldn't relate to the 17 year old male main character. Apparently this is a satire of The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goeth (I believe), which I hadn't read before this, so maybe I would have found it more enjoyable if I had. Too much teenage angst for me. And Edgar was very full of himself, which wasn't that fun to read either.
Mar 28, 2015 Jasi rated it liked it
Shelves: classic
Interessante Verknüpfung von neuem Protagonisten und der bekannten Werther-Geschichte. Mir hat das Buch gut gefallen, aber ehrlich gesagt ist es mir nicht ganz klar was der Leser mit dem Buch aussagen möchte. Da es sehr kurz und prägnant ist, lässt es sich leicht lesen und grundsätzlich hat es mir gut gefallen.
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
The New Sorrows of Young W. by Ulrich Plenzdorf is a recommended satirical novel that was originally published in 1972 in Germany. This re-released edition is translated from the German by Romy Fursland.

Edgar Wibeau, a 17 year old drop out, is found dead, electrocuted, inside a condemned building in Berlin with just a tape recorder and a battered copy of Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther. Edgar had previously sent tapes discussing his life to his friend Willi Linder. His father, hoping to fi
Jul 05, 2015 Theediscerning rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Or not so new now, as this is a reissue of an East German modern classic from the early 1970s. Edgar is a young lad, het up on reading two books – one of them, of course, ''Catcher in the Rye'' – and het up on a lovely, engaged Kindergarten teacher whose playground abuts the abandoned allotments where he's squatting. He's also dead – no spoiler – and talking to a collective readership/audience (always asking rhetorical questions of us 'guys') and answering back on the reported dialogue of his ab ...more
Feb 09, 2014 Leigh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, ya-fiction
Very funny narrative voice. A sort of mash-up of The Sorrows of Young Werther and The Catcher in the Rye, which is definitely more entertaining than the former and not quite as good as the latter.
Sep 28, 2008 Lavinia rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2007, fiction
This is a sort of mixed parody after Goethes’ Werther and Salinger’s Caulfield settled in East Germany; Berlin, to be more exact. Not bad, but I found the Romanian translation not so satisfactory.

noile suferinte ale tinarului w. se vrea a fi un mix-parodie dupa wertherul lui goethe si caulfieldul lui salinger in berlinul germaniei rdg-iste. cartea nu e rea, dar traducerea mi se pare putin metalica si fortata.
Aug 17, 2015 Mandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another interesting title from the wonderful Pushkin Press (how much we are indebted to them for bringing so many foreign titles to our notice!). This time it’s a touching coming-of-age story about a rebellious teenage dropout from East Germany, Edgar Wibeau, who recounts his story from beyond the grave, using Goethe’s classic The Sorrows of Young Werther to express himself. This is a conceit that I felt worked admirably and added to the depth of Edgar’s characterisation. We also get to hear fro ...more
Shahriar shiva
Oct 03, 2014 Shahriar shiva rated it really liked it
Plenzdorf created a brilliant novel where he utilizes the struggles of a young man living in the GDR to reflect the negatives and, to some minor extent, the positive of soviet occupied east germany. The blue jeans becomes a motif for something that "doesnt fit quite right". within the context of this book the blue jeans are symbolic of communist ideals imposed on german nationalist ideology of the time. Yet plenzdorf is not entirely cynical, he does reflect the merit of hard work and totalitaria ...more
Jun 10, 2009 Adrian rated it liked it
I would say this is an improvement over it's inspiration but the obsessive use of East German slang to make it sound "cool" and in order to appeal to young people is obnoxious. The protagonist is more likable that Werther.
Mar 26, 2008 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I translated this entire novel into English for a class at OSU...handwritten on legal pads.

Anyone want to read it, let me know, and I will type it up one of these days.
Aug 13, 2015 Deborah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, netgalley
The New Sorrows of Young W. is a modern-day (sort of) retelling of Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther, which I had not read before but have now read. Goethe's work is a classic epistolary novel in which Werther tells the tale of his unrequited love for an engaged girl, a tale which ends with Werther's suicide. Ulrich Plenzdorf's version starts with the same structure (here, a series of tape-record "letters") and basic premise (young man dies after an unsuccessful love affair) but adds a new d ...more
Jul 29, 2014 Angelakst rated it it was ok
Tja.. es handelt sich um eine typische Schullektüre eben..
Es hat nicht meinem Geschmack entsprochen, war aber dann im Nachhinein recht interessant, wenn man bedenkt was wir sonst noch in der Schule lesen mussten/dürfen..
Jul 26, 2014 Simon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german
Lustige Reaktualisierung von Goethes Werther, leider mit einer Prise zuviel Salinger-Pseudo-Rebellentum (galt damals wohl noch als hip oder "es popte", wie Edgar Wibeau sagen würde). Das beste ist die untergründige DDR-Satire
Jun 18, 2015 Sunjay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as funny as I had hoped, but still a pleasing little book. Slightly repetitive in its teenage slang (and a bit dated as well), it is nevertheless quite a charming portrait of growing up in the DDR.
Mar 17, 2015 Mr.Special rated it it was amazing
Shelves: very-good
Werther in Salinger-Sprache, gibt einen schönen Nachklang wenn man die beiden Vorgänger - die sich ja beide einbrennen - kennt.
Jul 12, 2014 Paul rated it liked it
Has dated somewhat with the passage of time, but still remains a good reworking of Goethe's classic. Lots of slang makes the work difficult to understand at times, but it is still an interesting insight into the former GDR.
Nina Bisi
May 24, 2014 Nina Bisi rated it it was ok
I didn't like it
Giovaennchen Lozano
Aug 05, 2011 Giovaennchen Lozano rated it really liked it
Está bueno. Es una manera moderna de abordar la famosa novela de Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Werther, un jóven que está enamorado y al no ser correspondido se suicida. Este libro es interesante porque fué escrito en la extinta República Democrática Alemana, bien comunista y burocrática. Un uso del lenguaje diferente y más coloquial. No es para todos los gustos, pero lo recomiendo ampliamente. En español se llamaría: Las nuevas cuitas del joven Werther, o las nuevas penas del joven Werther....
Oct 30, 2014 Willemf rated it liked it
Aardig werk.
Jan 17, 2010 Michelle rated it really liked it
This was a clever parody/modern version of Goethe's "Leiden des Jungen Werthers." But I think if you hadn't read Goethe first, many of the jokes/parallels would be missed, but the book's well-writtne enough to be enjoyable in its own right.
Nov 20, 2007 Erik rated it really liked it
Funny! And what a voice. Too bad about that little "electrical experiment." This is in my Drop Dead New York shelf because his Berlin reminds me so much of NYC. Those two cities were almost parallel worlds in the 1970s.
Dec 27, 2007 justin rated it really liked it
this was my introduction to 19th century German lit. and it has stayed with me. catcher in the rye meets perks of being a wallflower meets the story of every teenage boy coming-of-age angst/drama
Nov 14, 2011 Stefan rated it really liked it
Dieses Buch hat mir wirklich gut gefallen. Der Ansatz die Geschichte ins Jetzt zu führen hat mich außerordentlich begeistert. Viel mehr gibt es gar nicht zu sagen, einfach lesen.
Pat Shackleford
May 04, 2013 Pat Shackleford rated it liked it
Shelves: deutsch, fiction
Durch Holden Cauldfield und das Leiden de jungen Werther's inspirierter Novelle, der sich abspielt in die Deutschen Demokratische Republik. Ich bin halt kein Fiktions-leser.
Kim van Dyke
Apr 03, 2013 Kim van Dyke rated it it was ok
W was going on my nerves than no one else - hate the coward. Book is boring besides the wining pain in the ass W. Annoyance!
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Ulrich Plenzdorf was a German author and dramatist.

Born in Berlin, Plenzdorf studied Philosophy in Leipzig, but graduated with a degree in film. He found work at DEFA.

He became famous in both East and West Germany for his socially critical work titled "Die neuen Leiden des jungen W." Written in the jargon of the GDR-youth of the 1970s, it details the tragic story of a young man and his attempt to
More about Ulrich Plenzdorf...

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