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The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum

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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  5,770 ratings  ·  245 reviews
In an era in which journalists will stop at nothing to break a story, Henrich Böll's The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum has taken on heightened relevance.

A young woman's association with a hunted man makes her the target of a journalist determined to grab headlines by portraying her as an evil woman. As the attacks on her escalate and she becomes the victim of anonymous thre
...more
Paperback, 140 pages
Published June 1st 1994 by Penguin Classics (first published 1974)
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Community Reviews

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Ema
The voice of this novel was something new to me: it is written in the form of a report, apparently reserved and unbiased, which presents the slow but effective process of Katharina Blum's public humiliation by police and press.

It all begins with a murder (I'm not sure this may be considered a spoiler, because it comes in the first pages of the novel):
On Sunday evening at almost the same hour (to be precise, at about 7:04 P.M.) she rings the front door bell at the home of Walter Moeding, Crime
...more
·Karen·
This is an astonishing little novella. The most striking contrast to the Flanagan The Unknown Terrorist which treats the same subject of a woman exposed to the savagery of the media after it turns out that the man she spent the night with is a wanted criminal, is the tone. Flanagan wrote a competent thriller, but Böll uses the reports of the state prosecution, the police and Katharina's defence lawyers to create a dry, meticulous, straight narrative of the events of four days. But despite this s ...more
K.D. Absolutely
May 22, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
Shelves: 1001-core
My first book by the 1972 Nobel Prize for Literature, Heinrich Boll (1917-1985). I am extremely impressed.

This tells the story of a 22-y/o household help and a divorcee, Katharina Blum who at the start of the 4-day Carnival asks her employer for a leave. On the first day, she goes to her friend's party and there meets a mysterious man Ludwig Gotten and falls in love with him. They spend a night in Katharina's apartment and early in the morning Ludwig leaves. Later in the morning, police authorit
...more
Mummy
Irresponsible journalism turns a maid into a murderer. Shock! Horror! It would have been much better written by a 'source' from the National Enquirer. As it is Heinrich Boll is too dry and literary and all the shock and horror is sucked out of it leaving just a competently-written, slightly disturbing story.
Khatereh
گرچه همونطور که پیشتر هم گفته بودم، از نثر نویسندههایی که خودشون رو جای خواننده میذارن و ثانیه به ثانیهی داستان رو از ابعاد و نظرگاههای مختلف تحلیل میکنند خوشم نمییاد، اما کتاب «آبروی از دست رفتهی کاترینا بلوم» با وجود سبک مشابه، همچین حسی رو بهم نداد. یعنی بهواقع انقدر در کنه داستان فرو رفته بودم که فرصت فکر کردن به این مسائل رو نداشتم. هنوز که هنوزه تحت تاثیر ماجرای کتاب، عصبانی ام و اگه اغراق نباشه به اندازهی خود کاترینا مشتاق انتقام! البته گمونم شبیه همچین حسی به همهی کسانی که در فضایی مثل آ ...more
David
Over the past year, I have developed a disturbing addiction to one of America's most popular TV shows. Not American Idol. No, it's NCIS . Nothing pleases me more than when Channel 42 runs one of their sporadic Saturday NCIS marathons, because I've come late to a series that's about to finish its seventh season, so there's a heap of old episodes I have yet to see.

There are aspects of this new enthusiasm that I prefer not to analyze too closely, because every addiction has its dark side. With NC
...more
Laura
From BBc Radio 4 - 15 Minute Drama:
A brilliant exploration of the corrosive impact of tabloid journalism on one young woman. The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum is dissects the power of the press and it's impact on individual freedom. Told in the form of an unofficial report, this intelligent and pacy story from the 1970s tackles issues of press freedom, responsibility and police tactics.

It's based on a real incident in the author's own life, when he was publicly accused of being a terrorist sympa
...more
Philippe Malzieu
This book of Böll created sensation. How oldest, the most respected (Nobel Prize), more venerated German authors wrote a novel talking on the same subjects than his turbulents youngs colleagues. Germany of Années de Plomb was one period extraordinary culturally in literature, cinema and music. Böll is the statute of the commander. He delivers a wild portrait of the media. An young woman binds with suspect. She becomes also suspected and the press breaks out against her.
There is a dimensioned vis
...more
Andrew
Of course Heinrich Böll wrote The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum in 1974, right as the ramifications of a media-saturated society were becoming apparent-- the great one-two-three of movies about mediated society, Network, Being There, and Videodrome would follow shortly thereafter. In fact, this really is a cinematic sort of novel about how media circuses form and eventually destroy people. Watch as Katharina Blum is slowly Lindsay Lohan'd into violence and insanity, and bitterly laugh along. Also ...more
Bethan
Quite a 'black' story and I get how it's a more intellectualised form of a detective or mystery story. The predominant thing I notice is that there's little of the interior life and descriptive prose here, so it's quite bare bones, and the aim is to present it in a documentary style.

It's about a young woman who is suspected of harbouring a criminal and about what happens then as detectives and a reporter try to unpick the story. Her life and associations are gone into - the family she works wit
...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
Believe, believe, believe. This seemed to me was the constant silent refrain in this novel while I was reading it, half-expecting that Heinrich Boll would stumble some place and be waylaid by a non-credible twist in his plot and make me gleefully tick the paragraph, or page, with an x-mark, the novel's Waterloo, the justification for my 1-star rating.

But I didn't find any. Here is the innocent Katharina Blum confessing to a crime she didn't commit, a falsehood created by a relentless pursuit of
...more
Iblena
Alemania Occidental principios de la década de los 70’s, Katharina Blum, joven independiente que a sus 27 años posee piso propio, coche y un trabajo estable. Responsable y eficiente se ha ganado el aprecio de sus jefes, quienes la consideran imprescindible. De la señorita Blum también puede decirse que además de pagar sus impuestos puntualmente, por su personalidad reservada y mojigata sus amistades la apodan “la monja”. No queda ninguna duda de que se trata de un modelo de buena conducta y mora ...more
Ryan
Someone must have slandered Katharina Blum for, one morning, without having done anything wrong, she was brought in for questioning by the police. But no, it appeared the police are questioning Miss Blum for her involvement with a man who stayed in her place the previous night. The man was accused of murder, most wanted by the authorities, and by all indications, it looked like she helped him escape the police stakeout around her place.

At the outset this looked like a simple crime investigation,
...more
Julia
As I had nothing else to read back home at my parent's place, I decided to reread this slim volume I found on my brother's shelves. I had to read this back at school and I remember I was rather bored by it back then and not seduced to read any more Böll.

Some years older, I could appreciate "Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum" much better. Heinrich Böll acts as always as sharp critics of society and politics in Germany, and here attacks the powerful "Bild"-Zeitung, one of the worst tabloids t
...more
KJ
Lost in translation? Too much like listening to my father's side of the family? Too "German"? Mayhap. Or it may be that this annoying dude next to me at the gym kept trying to talk to me when I was reading the section that kind of explained a lot of the background. It's hard to put in to words what I mean by "too German." Only another person who is a surviving and socially functioning descendant of a German family in America (and trust me, there aren't many of us) may be able to understand what ...more
Yousra

وعند الصفحة تنتهي رحلتي مع كاتارينا بلوم ... بطلة الرواية اللعينة - اللعينة هنا وصف من الممكن أن يسري على كل من بطلة الرواية والرواية ككل- وسبب التوقف عن القراءة - التي كانت تتم بدافع الفضول لا اكثر- هو عدم وجود الصفحات من إلى من النسخة التي في يدي

تبدأ الرواية بحادث انتقام تقوم بها بطلة الرواية اللعينة ... وبالقراءة يتضح أن تلك البطلة قد أسيء إليها بشكل ما عندما تورطت في علاقة مع مجرم ومن ثم فقد دخلت دائرة الاتهام وكذلك دائرة الاهتمام الشعبي وأصبحت حياتها محل تناول إعلامي ظالم وفاسد في جزء ك
...more
Mohammed Twair
حقيقة كنت أحدث نفسي قائلاً كيف إلى الآن لم تقرأ شيئاً من الأدب الألماني وأنت تدرس اللغة الألمانية منذ فترة طويلة ..
فقررت أن أبدأ ب هيرمليش بول وهو أحد أهم الكتاب ألمانيا الغربية في فترة ما بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية هو و غونتر غراس ..
المهم في الوضوع أن المترجم -سامحه الله- كانت ترجمته كانت سيئة للغاية مما أرهقني أثناء القراءة سأعطي الرواية نجمتين لسوء الترجمة ..
القصة بشكل عام كانت فكرتها جيدة ..
Lazarus P Badpenny Esq
Blackly comic novella about the power of language. The equating of innocence with a certain precision of lexical choice and tone is sharply contrasted with the supposedly dispassionate yet nonetheless insinuating language of police investigations and newspaper reports thereby demonstrating how words and their meanings can be subverted to protect vested interest and cause much harm.
Amir
Dec 08, 2014 Amir rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: novel
چند سال پیش که برای اولین بار کتاب را خواندم به ترجمهٔ شریف لنکرانی دسترسی نداشتم و ترجمهٔ تازه منتشر شدهٔ حسن نقرهچی را خواندم. بعدها نسخهٔ چاپ اول خوارزمی گیرم آمد ولی فرصت بازخوانی دست نداده بود. دریدگی زبانی لازم برای بعضی جملات کتاب ـ طبعاً ــ از ترجمهٔ نقرهچی غایب بود، اما لنکرانی آنها را به بهترین شکل ترجمه کرده. ...more
Francesco Fantuzzi
Un libro emblematico, scritto in modo eccellente. Mi piacerebbe conoscere molto bene il tedesco per poter apprezzare la sua prosa più da vicino. Peccato. :-(
Matt
The day I write this review, coincides with two events: Five years ago, on 3/3/2009 the Historical Archive of the City of Cologne collapsed, two people died and many historical treasures kept in the building are believed to be destroyed forever. Today is also Rosenmontag, the highlight of the German carnival season and Cologne being one of the carnival hot spots in Germany.

So, why am I telling you this?

First of all, Heinrich Böll was born in Cologne and lived there or nearby his whole life. Afte
...more
Katsumi
This powerfully affecting short novel was written in 1974
and is a searching but bitter analysis of urban German
society. Katharina is young, sensitive, competent and
hard-working. She is scrupulously honest, she keeps herself
to herself, she is well respected. There is a chance
meeting with an exciting young man, dancing, a night
together. Then her world is shattered. She turns herself in
- confesses to the murder of a journalist. She is
convicted.

This is her story, told in the form of an arid
...more
Ksusha Tokareva
A mi parecer lo que le falta a esta historia es un final. Llegando a la última página te quedas con la impresión de "¿y qué pasa, cómo ha terminado todo para la protagonista?" Sin embargo, el libro me ha gustado. Me gusta la forma de narración y me gusta la estructura que le ha dado el autor.

Son muy buenos los temas en las que centra su atención Heinrich Böll: 1) periodismo e medios de información, ¿hasta qué punto nos cuentan la verdad? si, en general, lo hacen... ¿Por qué se lo creemos todo l
...more
Charlotte
I had to read this for a course. Otherwise I would never have read it. I thought it was boring.
Vera
The pamphlet - as the Heinrich Böll defines his work in the epilogue - is about how defamations and lies of the tabloid press can destroy the lives of ordinary citizens and drive them to acts of desperation and violence. To blame is not only the tabloid press, but also the people who buy the so-called newspapers and help spreading false information. This work was written as a reaction to the attacks of the tabloid newspaper "Bild" against the Red Army Fraction in Western Germany at the beginning ...more
Ayman  Agour
كارتينا بلوم تكره صفاقات الرجال، تقع فى ورطة. الفارق بيننا وبين الغرب أن الشرف عندهم هو الصدق، الأمانة، الإنسانية، بينما الشرف عندنا نراه فقط فى قطعة قماش على جسد الأنثى، وغشاء العذرية. تتعرض كاترينا لأزمة عنيفة، تنتقم فى النهاية لشرفها.

الرواية أفسدها المترجم الذى لا يفقه أى شئ فى فنون الترجمة، مترجم متواضع جداً اعتمد على ترجمة الكلمات فقط ورصها بجانب بعضها البعض.

Esraa Kamal
Jul 01, 2014 Esraa Kamal marked it as gave-up-reading
اسلوب المترجم غير شيق بالمره .. الروايه مزدحمه بالشخصيات ..الكاتب يقفز من موضوع الى اخر بهمجيه مما ادى بى الى ذهن مشتت .. يميل الى استخدام الالفاظ بطريقه سيئه بغرض الامتاع ولكنه فشل فى تحقيق مراده
.. كذلك الخوض فى بعض التفاصيل التافهة مما ينسينى الموضوع الاساسى الذى تدور حوله الروايه
قررت التوقف عن القراءه...
FeReSHte
کتابی بود جمع و جور و خوشخوان که قدرت رسانه های جمعی را در متفاوت نشان دادن اخبار و وقایع از انچه که واقعا بوده و رخ داده در قالب اتفاقاتی که برای کاترینا بلوم قهرمان داستان اتفاق میفتد به تصویر می کشد.
Andrew
This interesting short novel is perhaps too clinical and unemotive for my tastes. Katharina Blum - a hitherto hardworking, bright young girl - finds herself caught up in scandal when she falls in love with a man on the run from the police. They meet just the once, but this proves to be the catalyst for a witch hunt from the police and press alike, the novel showing how the disparate threads of various innocuous relationships can be attributed unexpected meanings once someone is determined to fin ...more
علی
این اثر با عنوان "آبروی از دست رفته ی کاترینا بلوم" توسط شریف لنکرانی ترجمه شده و انتشارات خوارزمی در 1357 آن را چاپ و منتشر کرده است.
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یه کم دقت کنید لطفاً 1 48 Jun 30, 2007 05:21AM  
boll! 1 27 Jun 30, 2007 02:06AM  
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Heinrich Böll became a full-time writer at the age of 30. His first novel, Der Zug war pünktlich (The Train Was on Time), was published in 1949. Many other novels, short stories, radio plays and essay collections followed, and in 1972 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature "for his writing which through its combination of a broad perspective on his time and a sensitive skill in characterizatio ...more
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The Clown Billiards at Half-Past Nine Group Portrait with Lady The Train Was on Time نان سال‌های جوانی

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“One would like to know, for most people, being denied reliable telepathic communication, reach for the phone, which they feel is more reliable.” 5 likes
“... she said she would not sign any deposition containing the word "amorous" instead of "advances". For her the difference was of crucial significance, and one of the reasons she had separated from her husband was that he had never been amorous but had consistently made advances.” 2 likes
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