Jim Coughenour's Reviews > Crime

Crime by Ferdinand von Schirach
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's review
May 08, 11

really liked it
bookshelves: bleakfiction, experimental, crime4connoisseurs, true-crime, german-literature
Read in May, 2011

Most things are complicated, and guilt always presents a bit of a problem.

These true crime stories hover somewhere between reportage and (to my American ear) an especially German style of storytelling that makes our courtroom dramas sound hyperbolic and naive. Ferdinand von Schirach is a criminal lawyer with some very peculiar clients. He's also an excellent writer. The crimes are bizarre; serving them justice requires imaginative calculations of compassion, punishment and morality. At times I was reminded of the essayistic short stories of John Berger or Paul Auster, but von Schirach's tales are grim originals, quietly shocking, tied together with a twisted humor too dark for laughs.
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03/31 marked as: read

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