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The Invention of Curried Sausage

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3.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,260 Ratings  ·  122 Reviews
The Invention of Curried Sausage is an ingenious, revealing, and delightful novel about the invention of a popular German sidewalk food. Uwe Timm has heard claims that currywurst first appeared in Berlin in the 1950s, but he seems to recall having eaten it much earlier, as a boy in his native Hamburg, at a stand owned and operated by Lena Brücker. He decides to check it ou ...more
Paperback, 218 pages
Published October 17th 1997 by New Directions (first published 1993)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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K.D. Absolutely
Aug 10, 2014 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2008-2012)
Shelves: 1001-core, war, german
Curried sausage, anyone? I like chicken curry be it Indian curry or Thai curry. I especially like it when it is served with nan that Indian unleavened bread and eaten by hands. A gastronomical delight: with the red and green pepper, the aroma of coconut and the thick yellowish sauce... chicken curry is definitely a mouth- or even soul-satisfying food!

But German curry? Curried sausage, invented in German? That's news to me.

This 1001 book, The Invention of Curried Sausage tells the story of how c
...more
Friederike Knabe
Feb 19, 2014 Friederike Knabe rated it really liked it
Shelves: german-lit
Lena Brücker is the heroine of Uwe Timm's 1993 novella, The Invention of Curried Sausage or Die Entdeckung der Currywurst in German. A kind of sausage any German has enjoyed in their youth and beyond. Now old and blind, living in a nursing home, Lena shares her memories of the last weeks in Hamburg in April/early May 1945 with the much younger narrator. For decades, Lena owned one of the food stalls in downtown Hamburg, and her specialty was "curried sausage". One of the many customers was young ...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
Curried sausage was accidentally invented when love had at last brought the pain it had promised. It was salvation disguised as food. Who knows where she would have ended up, dead maybe, had she not stumbled, eyes blinded by tears, spilling the curry powder? Against the backdrop of an ending war they found each other. Their love was illicit, but true nonetheless. Years after, eyes blinded by old age, she remembers everything. A man in search of the inventor of curried sausage finds her in a nurs ...more
Jan-Maat
I haven't read the translation but I do feel the need to make absolutely clear that Currywurst is not curried sausage. The Wurst is never curried, it may be served in a curried tomato sauce, or in tomato sauce with a dusting of curry powder on top but the Wurst is uncurried, a plain, traditional Wurst chopped into slices. I know that translation is the art of failure, but the translator went too far in this case.
Edwin Priest
Firstly, the invention of curried sausage is not at all what The Invention of Curried Sausage is about.

Well OK, it is about that, sort of. In this book, the narrator/author, Uwe Timm goes on a search for the culinary origins of this reputedly famous German street food. He does so by tracking down the owner of a food stall from his childhood, Lena Brückner, now old, blind and living in a nursing home. She will not answer his curry question directly, and instead tells Timm of her time in Hamburg a
...more
Scot
Jun 12, 2011 Scot rated it it was amazing
Although fairly unknown and relatively obscure in the United States, this novella by Uwe Timm was a best-seller in Germany in the mid 1990s, and it is a remarkable piece of literature. The translator, Leila Vennewitz, deserves a word of praise too--even in translation this story unfolds in a lyrical, captivating manner.

A fellow living in Munich sometimes debates with friends where his favorite German specialty snack, curried sausage, originated, and he maintains it began with a woman who lived i
...more
Thing Two
This novella snuck up on me. Uwe Timm writes a story about an old woman recalling a wartime relationship and how it lead to the invention of the German take-out dish curried sausage. This story sucked me in until I got to the point I couldn't put it down -- not even for a currywurst! Beautiful, poignant, and powerfully written, this story begs to be heard -- I may read it aloud next time.
Julia
Jul 07, 2008 Julia rated it really liked it
An odd, charming little German novella. Can't say what made me pick it up, but it was a tasty morsel.
Kristel
The story within the story (double narrator device) is set in Hamburg, Germany at the end of WWII. The protagonist, a young man who used to eat curried sausage at Mrs. Brücker’s stand sets out to find out how she came to invent curried sausage. Mrs. Brücker begins a long story which really is the story of her life at the end of WWII. A young naval officer, Bremer, is assigned to go to the front line to stop British tanks instead of returning to his map room in Oslo. He spends the night with Lena ...more
Sara
Die Entdeckung der Currywurst is a book that, as a teacher of German, I feel I should have read long ago since it shows up on so many people's syllabi in upper-level content courses. It has never really seemed interesting to me (a story of an older woman who takes in a soldier hiding from being sent to the front and tricks him into staying in hiding with her even after the war ends), but after reading Uwe Timm's novel Vogelweide: Roman and loving it so much, I finally decided to read this book. ...more
Bjorn
Apr 23, 2013 Bjorn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: germany
Currywurst is one of those weird results of the post-war era: the most teutonic of foods, the sausage, fried up in Indian curry (or rather a European version of it). As Timm puts it, it's the sort of food that could only be a hit in a country where grey must occasionally be offset by splats of red. It started turning up in hot dog stands in the 50s and became a staple of German fast food. Trying to pinpoint exactly when and by whom it was invented is like trying to decide who invented the hambur ...more
Bobby
Dec 04, 2008 Bobby rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
A short fictional story set in post-WWII Germany about how curried sausage was invented. Though initially the subject didn't seem all that interesting to me frankly, I ended up being charmed by the technical merits of this book (as well as the sense of nostalgia it evokes). This is one of the rare books I've read that successfully manages to leave the war in the background, and instead focus on the story it sets out to tell, while never letting the reader forget the post-war context that clearly ...more
Kris McCracken
Jan 06, 2011 Kris McCracken rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A cracking little book by Uwe Timm. It’s a beautiful mediation on women, men, circumstances, knitting and curried sausage.

It’s a lovely capture of a specific time and place, and reflection on what are really universal human relations. As the title indicates, at its heart is the search for the inventor of the Currywurst, a popular German fast-food consisting of hot pork sausage (cut into slices and seasoned with curry sauce (regularly consisting of tomato paste blended with curry) and generous am
...more
Jennifer
Mar 17, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: lapl, 1001-bymr
Some of the greatest things are discovered by accident and by simple twists of fate. Well, that's this book in a nutshell. Sorry foodie fans of curried sausage, but this book isn't really about the invention of spicy meat in tube form. Not specifically anyways. It's really about living in Nazi Germany as the war ends and the influence of paths that cross unexpectedly in dire situations. I absolutely loved the pages were the curried sausage inventor, Lena Brücker, was forced by the constraints of ...more
Jim Coughenour
Jul 16, 2008 Jim Coughenour rated it liked it
Shelves: greatfiction
As its title suggests, this is a tasty morsel of a book, a quick read with a twist of piquant melancholy. Set in Hamburg in 1989, where the narrator interviews an old neighbor who claims to have invented curried sausage (only a German could make this sound good), most of the story actually takes place at the very end of WWII. Unlike most European novels set at that time, Timm's novella is light – the word "droll" comes to mind. Recommended as a snack.

Anita
Feb 20, 2016 Anita rated it it was ok
Finally, I managed to finish this book (because my exam is on Tuesday about it :D). It was really about the invention of Curried Sausage and it was so boring. It wasn't that difficult to understand but it was confusing because the book had 4 different times(periods) and it changed many times (also in the middle of the sentence). I can't understand my German teacher why she picked this book out for us.
Nitthita
Sep 02, 2014 Nitthita rated it really liked it
เราคงขอใหคุณบรึคเคอรเลารวบรัดตัดความแคเฉพาะวินาทีทีเธอคนพบไสกรอกทอดผงกะหรีได ถาทีมาทีไปของการคนพบนันไมไดผูกพันแนบแนนอยูกับความรักของเธอกับทหารหนุมหนีทัพคนหนึงทีเกิดขึนและจบลงในชวงเวลาสัน ๆ กอนสงครามจะสินสุด ดังนันแลวเธอจึงตังใจเลามันออกมาอยางหมดจดตังแตตนจนจบ ราวกับวามันเปนเรืองทีเธอรอจะเลาใหใครสักคนทีพรอมจะฟัง กอนทีมันจะตายจากไปพรอมกับตัวเธอ

จริงอยูวาแกนหลักของเรืองอยูทีความรักระหวางเธอกับทหารหนุมคนนัน ความรักระหวางมายสาวใหญกับเดกหนุม แตกแปลกดีทีคนเขียนไมยอมขยีจุดนี (อานไปนีผมยังแอบคิดเลยวามันจะ
...more
Beatrice
Aug 05, 2015 Beatrice rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
There's something about "The Invention of Curried Sausage." It's a short novel that I've read many times. A book like no other.
Jeffrey
Jan 10, 2016 Jeffrey rated it did not like it
The style of writing the author used for this book didn't quite work for me.
lanius_minor
Apr 08, 2016 lanius_minor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: d-a-ch
Ty čtyři hvězdy jsou hodně velké, možná je to dokonce pět malých ;) Dokonale vyprávěný děj s nosnou zápletkou, bez na odiv stavěných slovních fines, přesto dovedně pracující s gramatickými a stylovými možnostmi jazyka (střídání vypravěčů a tudíž objektivního popisu, vnitřního hlasu a nepřímé řeči). Z každé stránky voní nejen curry, ale především talent autora. Vypráví, ale neříká vše. Drží tempo, ale nebojí se zastavit čas. A zanechává ve mně kromě hlubokého čtenářského zážitku též hluboký obdiv ...more
Robert
Jun 17, 2016 Robert rated it it was amazing
Although I’m not one to judge a book by its cover or title even, I couldn’t help feeling very excited when I was going to start The Invention of… One has to admit that it is a peculiar title and its cultish pocket sized shape made me feel that I was on to something special.

It is!

The narrator (I’m assuming it is the author) frequents a curried sausage stand all throughout his youth and part of his adult life. When the stand is taken over he decides to investigate and see if the curried sausage la
...more
Sally
I really enjoyed this book. It was entertaining and informative, and it is a treat to find a book that provides a perspective on the life in Germany of the German population in the time around the Second World War. This aspect of the book 'colours in' the stark outline of assumption and judgment that exists around Germans and German society in the Nazi era. History proves to be complex, gritty and never completely as clear cut as neat minds would want it to be.
Meaghan
Having not looked this up I'm honestly not sure whether to call this a "fiction," "non-fiction," or "creative non-fiction." The author claims to be telling a true story that's (ultimately) about curried sausage, as told to him by the woman who invented the stuff. Certainly he could be. But how could he know everything that was going on, what the characters were thinking, etc.? Hmm.

Yet I don't really have to know.

In any case, it's a compelling story: a short, sweet love affair in Hamburg in 1945,
...more
María (del Mar!) Bernal
Dec 18, 2015 María (del Mar!) Bernal rated it it was amazing
Me lo pasó una amiga porque este libro es conocidísimo en Alemania... y es increíble. Muy itneresante.

Although fairly unknown and relatively obscure in the United States, this novella by Uwe Timm was a best-seller in Germany in the mid 1990s, and it is a remarkable piece of literature. The translator, Leila Vennewitz, deserves a word of praise too--even in translation this story unfolds in a lyrical, captivating manner.
David
Sep 27, 2014 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
No question that this is a fascinating novella about the interlocking movements of individual stories that make up the grand scheme of history. Sharply drawn characters swing between passivity and commotion.

I haven't seen the English translation, but I find it dubious just on the basis of the title. The obvious translation of the German title is "The Discovery of Curried Sausage". And this slightly absurd designation is crucial to the spirit of the book, the way it balances the sense of fate in
...more
Giovaennchen Lozano
Este libro también tiene una versión en español, se llama "el descubrimiento de la salchica al curry". Hay una serie de leyendas acerca del origen de esta forma tan singular de preparar las salchichas en Alemania, y su autor, Uwe Timm explora una de ellas. A partir de ahí escribe una historia de amor y dolor, de desesperanza y solidaridad. Un soldado deserta del ejército y se esconde, anda a "salto de mata", hasta que llega a donde una mujer le da refugio y lo esconde. Ella tiene que luchar muy ...more
Wendy Carlyle
Jan 01, 2015 Wendy Carlyle rated it really liked it
Now that is spooky! I've just started to write my review with exactly the opening sentence my daughter has used about it! I guess that means it must be 100% appropriate so I will use it again - this is a little joy of a book! The story is quirky and original in the way it unfolds set against the end of the Second World War and describing an ordinary life touched by those events and totally believable.
Puppybluesea
หยิบมาอาน เพราะนานๆ ไดอานวรรณกรรมเยอรมันสักที เปนเรืองเลาของทีมาของไสกรอกกะหรี ณ เมืองฮัมบวรก เหตุการณในชวงสงครามโลกครังที 2 เปนเรืองเลา ซอนเรืองเลาอีกที ไดมุมมองในมุมของคนเยอรมันทีไมไดชอบสงคราม ไมไดฝักไฝในฮิตเลอร แตอยูในฐานะนำทวมปาก เทานันเอง

หนังสือดำเนินเรืองเรียบงาย ตังแตตนจนจบ ไวอานเบาๆ คลายเครียดได
...more
Ying
Apr 24, 2014 Ying rated it really liked it
เรืองเลาหรือเรืองจริง บางทีกสลับไปสลับมา และสงสัย
จากไสกรอกกะหรี ยอนหวนกลับไปชวงปลายสงครามโลกครังที 2
คืนวันทีผูคนไมรูสึกรูสากับความตาย เสียงระเบิด ชาชินกับการเดินไปลงหลุมหลบภัย
หญิงทีสามีไปออกรบ ลูกชายไปเปนทหาร ลูกสาวอยูเมืองอืน
ทหารเรืออายุคราวลูก เขามาในชีวิตโดยบังเอิญ
ติดกับ หนีทหาร หวาดระแวง
นาซี ทหาร สงคราม
...more
13th
Sep 25, 2014 13th rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just think it's quite good.
I normally dislike the books which written around with no end and I group this type of books together, so I gathered Murakami Haruki in this too.
However, I think this book is better than the famous Murakami. I think this book gave more emotional depth and smoother written and not too long for no-end book.
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Not as good as MidSummer's Night 2 15 Dec 30, 2008 03:04PM  
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163604
Uwe Timm was the youngest son in his family. His brother, 16 years his senior, was a soldier in the Waffen SS and died in Ukraine in 1943. Decades later, Uwe Timm approached his relationship with his father and brother in the critically acclaimed novel In my brother's shadow.

After working as a furrier, Timm studied Philosophy and German in Munich and Paris, achieving a PhD in German literature in
...more
More about Uwe Timm...

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“That even in the dark times there are bright moments, and that the darker the times are the brighter those moments seem.” 0 likes
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