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I'm Not Stiller

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  2,672 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews
Arrested and imprisoned in a small Swiss town, a prisoner begins this book with an exclamation: "I'm not Stiller!" He claims that his name is Jim White, that he has been jailed under false charges and under the wrong identity. To prove he is who he claims to be, he confesses to three unsolved murders and recalls in great detail an adventuresome life in America and Mexico ...more
Paperback, 377 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Dalkey Archive Press (first published 1954)
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The Metamorphosis by Franz KafkaThe Man Without Qualities by Robert MusilSteppenwolf by Hermann HesseThe Trial by Franz KafkaFaust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Best German/Austrian Literature
80th out of 618 books — 793 voters
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerCharlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteLord of the Flies by William GoldingThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Best Books of the Decade: 1950's
104th out of 696 books — 1,026 voters

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Community Reviews

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J.L.   Sutton
Jun 13, 2016 J.L. Sutton rated it really liked it
Max Frisch’s I’m Not Stiller begins with the protagonist’s (White/Stiller’s) declaration that he is not Stiller. Then to prove his point, he begins confessing to unsolved murders. He is not trying to escape justice or take the blame for someone else’s crimes; he is trying to escape his former self. The fact that no one believes him—including Stiller’s wife, brother and friends—only spurs the protagonist to weave more elaborate tales.

Following Nietzsche’s dictate to become who you are doesn’t ne
Apr 02, 2016 Ilse rated it it was amazing
Many know themselves, only a few also manage to accept themselves. Nothing is harder than to accept oneself!

To which degree can we master and reconstruct our own identity? Can we deliberately shed off a undesirable, hardly bearable identity like a snake’s skin and choose to restage another one to change our life? This is one of the central themes of I am not Stiller, the third novel published by the Swiss author Max Frisch which eventually got him general international acclaim.

A man, arrested an
Kat Engh
Jan 25, 2010 Kat Engh rated it it was amazing
If you ever want to have a conversation with a clerk at City Lights bookstore in San Francisco (yes, home of Ginsberg, Kerouac, and so on) that doesn't leave you feeling frustrated, tell him/her that you are a big fan of Max Frisch. Their response will turn from, "Modern fiction? I am bored with modern fiction," to "I LOVE Frisch, have you read..."

Picture this: a man lands himself in jail, far from his supposed home, accused of being someone else. People from this man's past begin showing up to
مروان البلوشي
تاريخ القراءة الأصلي :
مجتمع لا يزال يعاني من الهزيمة ولكنه بدأ يتخلص (ويعاني خلال حدوث ذلك) من أكبر أمراضه النفسية والأجتماعية وهي الانغماس في الكذب على الذات جماعيا وفرديا
Jun 19, 2015 Steffi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Großartiger Roman über Selbst- und Fremdbild, wie wir selbst diesem eigenen Bild zu entkommen versuchen und andere uns mit ihrem Bild von uns beeinflussen. Die Schweiz der 50er Jahre, die hier als besonders verklemmt und ordnungsliebend beschrieben wird ist dabei den 50er Jahren in Deutschland, ja in mancher Hinsicht auch der Gegenwart gar nicht so unähnlich.
Sadaf Matinkhoo
Mar 17, 2015 Sadaf Matinkhoo rated it really liked it
"I'm not Stiller" says the man arrested in Zurich and accused of being the missing Mr. Stiller. He denies being Stiller at nay cost, yet there is undeniable evidence against his denial! So, is he or is he not Stiller? I can't say I know the answer to this question even now that I've finished the book, and that is the beauty of it. (view spoiler) ...more
Yashar Yashmi
Aug 31, 2013 Yashar Yashmi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, review
ستاره (از پنج ستاره): دو و نیم ستاره

من اشتیلر نیستم.

عنوان کتاب نامی است که در اولین جمله ی کتاب توسط نویسنده انکار می شود: من اشتیلر نیستم. اشتیلر در تمام یا حداقل عمده ی کتاب انکار می شود. با این حال اصلی ترین و تعیین کننده ترین شخصیت کتاب را شکل می دهد. اشتیلر شخصیتی است که ما نباید آن را قبول داشته باشیم و به عنوان یک ضد قهرمان تقریباً از او متنفر می گردیم. اشتیلر همیشه وقتی خودش است تنفر برانگیز است.شخصیت ِ جالب و بسیار خوبی از اشتیلر روایت می گردد. آن هم تا حدود بسیار زیادی با روش های کلا
Feb 23, 2013 Melusina rated it it was amazing
Maybe I have waited so long to read this book because I was afraid how much I'd identify (ah, the irony) with this novel. When reading it, I felt myself analysed and understood on every single page: to be someone you are not, to be someone you think you are not, to murder the identity others had of you, to accept who you are and stop struggling against yourself, but to ultimately fail in letting others accept who you really are because they had a different idea of you are/were before you started ...more
Dec 12, 2015 Myriam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'Het is moeilijk niet moe te worden tegenover de wereld, tegenover de meerderheid, tegenover hun superioriteit, die ik moet erkennen. Het is moeilijk om alleen en zonder getuigen te weten wat je in eenzame uren denkt te hebben ervaren, moeilijk om iets te weten dat ik nooit bewijzen of ook maar zeggen kan. Ik weet dat ik niet de verdwenen Stiller ben. En ik ben het ook nooit geweest. Ik zweer het, ook al weet ik niet wie ik wel ben. Misschien ben ik niemand. En al kunnen ze me zwart op wit ...more
Jan 19, 2015 B rated it really liked it
Frisch is a master of philosophical conflicts such as identity-crisis and self-exploration. I'm Not Stiller closely examines the downward spiral of a self-victimizing protagonist, and subtly underlines the nature of accepting, and fighting the self. Although the story gets blurry and murky at some parts, especially when Frisch dives into the fictions and fantasies of Anatol, I always had a sense of personal connection to the story that presented the mind of a conflicted man, and the love ...more
Oct 02, 2013 Hoezodanbooks rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: novels, german, 1950s
2.2 / 5
It starts out as an interesting combination of Under the Volcano and The Trial, moves into Thomas Mann territory after a page of 80 and ends in a Hermann Hesse vehicle. Books and authors mentioned before have shown (much) more quality than Frisch did in Stiller. It's a classic meaning-of-life tale with the theory of Hesse (but way too constructed), the grandeur of Mann (but poorly told) and attempts to captivate the reader in a Lowry, Kafka way (in which it's failing). The construction w
Ömer Akın
Jan 02, 2013 Ömer Akın rated it really liked it
"Neden bana hiç yazmadın?"
"Hayatta olup olmadığını bile bilmiyordum."
"Yıllardır nerelerdeydin?"
Susuyorum. Syf. 56
İnat gerçek bağımsızlığın tam tersidir. Syf. 79
" Evet; bu defterlere yazdığım şeyleri kim okuyacak? Yine de şuna inanıyorum ki, insan yazdıklarını birinin okuyacağını düşünmeden birşey yazmaz, bu kişi yazanın kendisi olsa bile. " Syf. 315
Jan 03, 2008 Jason rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
One of these days I'll finish this damn book. I'm about halfway in and just spinning my tires in all of the detail that comes with German-ish postwar writing. I love the idea of mistaken identity and the whole discussion of the sin of projecting identities, false or otherwise, upon a person or thing. I'm interested to know how this ends...if I ever get there!
Aug 24, 2011 Swissmiss rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Title: Stiller (English title: I'm Not Stiller)
Author: Max Frisch
First published: Suhrkamp-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, 1954
Edition I read: Suhrkamp-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, 1963
Page count: 518 pages

Summary (from Google books): The unabridged version of a haunting story of a man in prison. His wife, brother, and mistress recognize him and call him by his name, Anatol Ludwig Stiller. But he rejects them, repeatedly insisting that he's not Stiller. Could he possibly be right--or is he deliberately
Lea Ann
Jan 25, 2016 Lea Ann rated it really liked it
This book took a long time for me to finish. And I want to start by saying I thought it was going to be part mystery. I'm not Stiller? So who are you? And where is the real Stiller. Going into the book with this mindset really hurt my early reading of the novel.

Later, I realized the book was a detailed and thoroughly thought-provoking dissection of self-deception and self-acceptance. And this made the entire book come into focus. So reader, I'm giving you a heads up, and it's not a spoiler, it
Deniz Balcı
Feb 21, 2016 Deniz Balcı rated it it was amazing
"Ich bin nicht Stiller!"(Ben Stiller değilim)

Almanca kavramsal açıdan o kadar engin ve zengin bir dil ki, kitabı Almanca okusam alabileceğim hazzı tahmin bile edemiyorum. Max Frisch birey, kimlik ve benlik konularında çokça düşünmüş, hatta meşhur "Kendine bir kimlik çizmemelisin." cümlesi ile bu konuda tescillenmiş bir yazar. Fitsch'in aynı zamanda çarpıcı bir hayat akışı da olmuş. Farklı kültürler, fikirler, kararlar ve kadınlar arasında geçen 79 yıldan bahsediyoruz. Bu noktada eserin bazı nok
I was unsure as I started reading I'm Not Stiller as to just what sort of book it was--the beginning, with its odd air of unreality and absurdity, reminded me more than a little of Kafka's The Trial, though through the middle of the book, it seemed less about alienation and more about examining different facets of personality and identity. A man with an American passport is detained at the Swiss border after an altercation with an official; the man, claiming to be Mr. White, is subsequently iden ...more
May 10, 2016 Isabella rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Worum geht’s?

Bei einer Passkontrolle wird Mister White festgenommen, weil die Polizei überzeugt ist, dass er der seit Jahren verschollene Künstler Anatol Ludwig Stiller ist. Unerbittlich reden Behördenvertreter auf ihn ein, um ihn dazu zu bringen, seine „Selbstverleugnung“ aufzugeben. Verwandte, Ehefrau Julika und frühere Freunde, die ihn im Gefängnis besuchen, glauben ebenfalls, dass er der Verschwundene ist. Trotzdem beteuert White in seinen Aufzeichnungen aus der Untersuchungshaft es immer wi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 15, 2016 Marc rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heel af en toe doet een mens nog eens een aangename ontdekking. Bij Max Frisch en Stiller is dat zeker het geval. Dit is het verhaal van een man die aan de Zwitserse grens wordt aangehouden omdat hij zich voordoet als een Amerikaan, maar eigenlijk de voortvluchtige Stiller zou zijn. In de cel houdt hij notities bij waardoor we geleidelijk, broksgewijs en vanuit verschillende standpunten, ingewijd worden in zijn verleden, zijn worsteling met zijn identiteit, zijn gecomplexeerde relatie tot zijn ...more
Oct 15, 2009 Jakub rated it it was ok
This book seems to be playing on Sartre´s assumption that an imprisoned man could be the freest man in the world. That is: tons of existentialism and an analysis of how mediated reality affects people. The only problem is that this book is kind of old, and the themes it deals with have developed quite a lot since I´m not Stiller was written. It´s slightly out-dated, though well-written and witty. I just wasn't that interested.
Martinus Benders
Jun 19, 2015 Martinus Benders rated it it was amazing

Eloquent, conceptual and full of keen observations: while less wild than some of the work in his dairies, this is probably the best book to start with if you want to read Frisch. I love it. Sometimes the pace is a bit slow, but that's usually compensated by the amazingly clever details Frisch manages to implement into his story.
Jul 02, 2015 Austenlove rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Hat mir leider nicht so gut gefallen, was ich wirklich schade finde, weil ich Homo Faber von Frisch geliebt habe. Irgendwie musste ich mich regelrecht durch das Buch quälen, ich fand es einfach nicht interessant, weder die Figuren noch die Handlung.
Ben Winch
Aug 26, 2012 Ben Winch rated it did not like it
Dull, obvious, dead-seeming, saturated with irrelevant detail.
lyell bark
May 02, 2011 lyell bark rated it it was amazing
spoilers he might be still yall
Christine Bonheure
Is Max Stiller Max Stiller of is hij het niet? Dat is wat Rolf, officier van justitie, moet uitzoeken. Is Max Stiller de mislukte beeldhouwer die zes jaar geleden zijn ziekelijke vrouw Julika heeft verlaten, nadat zijn minnares Sibylle, toevallig ook Rolfs vrouw, hun relatie had stopgezet. Zes jaar lang heeft niemand Max gezien, hij lijkt wel van de aardbodem verdwenen. Tot opeens de Amerikaan James White opduikt die als twee druppels water op hem lijkt. Hij wordt gearresteerd omdat hij wordt ...more
Nov 17, 2016 Role rated it did not like it
Langgezogene, ins kleinste Detail gehende Beschreibungen verschiedenster Charaktere, die in teils Skurrilen Beziehungen zueinander stehen. Dann Seitenlange Verherrlichungen, Verniedlichungen der armen, leidenden Jurika, um dann, wiederum in Seitenlangen Erklärungen auf das kompliziert Leben des Staatsanwaltes einzugehen. So zieht sich das durchs ganze Buch. Durchschnittliche Erzählung, eher auf der kitschigen Seite, weder Spannend noch Lustig, packend oder herausfordernd.
Langweilig, eintönig, we
Nov 14, 2016 Fides rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gute Geschichte, zum Teil etwas anstrengend zu lesen.
Stiller, die Hauptperson, vergißt man nicht wieder, er ist keine Romanfigur, sondern ein Individuum, ein in jedem Zug erlebter und überzeugender Charakter.
- Hermann Hesse

So steht es als Klappentext auf meiner abgegriffenen Taschenbuchausgabe von Max Frischs "Stiller".

Diesen modernen Klassiker, eine Charakterstudie mit Plotelementen, könnte man sagen, habe ich als fünftes Lieblingsbuch für die Jahreschallenge bei der Bücherphilosophin gelesen.

Die Geschichte einer gescheiterten Existenz, eines Man
Keili Rae
Apr 11, 2016 Keili Rae rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Max Rudolph Frisch was born in 1911 in Zurich; the son of Franz Bruno Frisch (an architect) and Karolina Bettina Frisch (née Wildermuth). After studying at the Realgymnasium in Zurich, he enrolled at the University of Zurich in 1930 and began studying German literature, but had to abandon due to financial problems after the death of his father in 1932. Instead, he started working as a journalist ...more
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“We live in an age of reproduction. Most of what makes up our personal picture of the world we have never seen with our own eyes--or rather, we've seen it with our own eyes, but not on the spot: our knowledge comes to us from a distance, we are televiewers, telehearers, teleknowers.” 21 likes
“Freunde müssen einander verstehen um Freunde zu bleiben. Brüder sind immer Brüder.” 14 likes
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