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Zoo Station: The Story of Christiane F.

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  29,094 ratings  ·  1,077 reviews
This book is a modern classic, finally available in English again—in a new translation—for a new generation of readers. This is a chronicle of Christiane’s life as she and other teenagers from West Berlin experienced it in the late 1970s. Her rapid descent into heroin abuse and prostitution is shocking, but the boredom, the longing for acceptance, the thrilling risks, and ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published January 2nd 2013 by Zest Books (first published 1978)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  29,094 ratings  ·  1,077 reviews

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Grada (BoekenTrol)
Aug 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all parents with children around 14 years of age
Recommended to Grada (BoekenTrol) by: my parents
The most impressive book I've read before I was twenty years old. My parents made me read it whe I was 13 or 14 years old and it made ​​a VERY deep impression on me.
It is the story of an ordinary girl that ends up due to circumstances in a group of friends who smoke pot and are drinking. After a while of sticking to these two, she slips further and further down.
Especially the nearly clinical description of her life and the things that happen has always stayed with me.

Since then I've always be
Jul 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brixton by: Beth McMillan
Shelves: binoculars, cameras
What I learned from this book: How to shoot dope. Also: that 1) seeing David Bowie live; 2) in Berlin in the late 1970's; 3) while high on dope; is the ultimate trifecta and would have been my really, really awesome dream come true. In contrast, by the time I saw David Bowie live (and more than middle-aged), it was: 1) in the Midwestern United States; 2) while in college; 3) sober. So, so wrong. I read Christiane F. when I was 11- or 12-years old, I wanted to grow up and be like her. I thought i ...more
Nov 30, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Living in Rudow and commuting to work through Gropiusstadt, it struck me that I should know the memoir that the neighbourhoods are famous for.

The book, put together from interviews with Christiane F., a teenaged heroin addict, her mother, and authorities working to fight drug use in West Berlin in the 1970s, follows Christiane from her early childhood, when she was abused by her father, who was an alcoholic, to her teenage years, when, desperately hoping for acceptance and love, she sank deeper
Snow White
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Harsh, compelling, brutally honest. The true story of a young girl addicted to heroin in the 70's. Love books that grant me a glimpse into a completely different world. Read this!
Jul 07, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
''We Children from train station Zoo'' were children hooked on heroine in West Berlin during the 70s. They used to 'mingle' on the Zoo station to sell sex to buy heroine. This book is based on a true story of 14 years old Christine F., prostitute and a junkie.

As kids, my friends and I were dealing this book like a drug. It was shocking and spectacular, as Christine didn't tell us (imitating Mr. Mackey from South Park): ''Don't use drugs, drugs are bad, mmm kay.'', but she really poured things l
Elliot A
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had to prepare a presentation on Bydlowska’s Drunk Mom in my creative non-fiction course and this book (titled Station Zoo in English) was mentioned by the author. I was curious about it, since growing up in Berlin I kept hearing it mentioned, yet I never knew what it was really about.

Whatever somebody could have told me about it would not have been enough to caution me on the journey I was about to embark upon.

The book resonated with me on a very personal note, because part of Christiane F.’s
Constanze Zietz
Dec 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The last time I read this book I was probably 15 years old and very much impressed by the protagonists story - and not to get me wrong: I was shocked by her experiences. Meanwhile, 15 years older I just had to reread this classic from my youth and was still moved by it. In my opinion, everyone should read it at least once!
Jun 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Having never read a book about any type of addiction before, I have to say this book was pretty hard to read, but in a good way. At times Christiane F.'s story feels like a train wreck, I didn't want to watch but I couldn't tear my eyes away.

I should start off saying that the fact that this story, this girls life, is influenced by drugs so early in life is heart wrenching and at several moments very frustrating. Despite the time gap, it is set in 1970's Berlin, Christiane F. is very descriptive
Tanja Berg
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography-memoir
I read this book in the original Norwegian 1982 release, recommended and lent me by an acquaintance. It is falling apart. The fragrance of the disintegrating glue had the aroma that book lovers get high on. This book is about other, more harmful highs. I had no idea that it was such a thing until I looked it up on goodreads. Although the events described here are 40 years old, this book is still available in print.

Having now read it, I understand why. It's a rather unique account of the young Ge
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this is becoming a classic nowadays.
It has an important message that all teenagers should hear and that is-DRUGS ARE BAD FOR YOU!
It's just written in a style that I don't like and at some parts I found it disgusting but I guess it couldn't been written any other way.
Anyways, there aren't many things that should be said about this book except that you SHOULD read it.
Oct 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, God!
Reading this book was a terrible experience, but I don't regret it. Every kid should read it.
Luckily, I never felt the need to try drugs, and I never knew anybody who used hard drugs. Some of the people I know smoke weed, but as far as I know, that's all. Like I said, I never even tried anything including cigarettes, and I don't plan to. That doesn't mean that I think of myself as a better person than others. I have my reasons for staying clean, and they have their own for doing drugs.
Feb 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I read this book the first time, I was 14 and I remember that for some reason it made me want to become a drug-addict, which I don't believe is the influence that the writers where hoping to have on kids with this book. I guess i thought that there was something fascinating, almost romantic to that way of living. But from everyone I have talked to about the book I seem to have been the only one having this strange reaction, so i think it is safe to let your children read it (: It is a great ...more
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I honestly don't know what to write about this book. I had a lump in my throat throughout the entire reading experience, but most of all I held and still hold a deep gratefulness towards the authoress for her honesty and strength throughout the novel.
Probably the best drug prevention. Ever.
Brutally honest and incredibly detailed, unpolished.
I think this book should be read in every school, in every class.
Carolina Morales
Many people have complained about this book in Goodreads. Nevertheless, I have stumbled into the reason this dramatic report is often disregarded as a valuable novel and it made me appreciate it even more: it is not properly Literature, it's Sociologic/Behaviourist Studies.

I truely appreciate the effort these two journalists have made to try to convert Christiane's true history into a drama novel. But then again, life is not Art and reporters/jounalists are no writers (I'm sorry, but it's true.
In one of my many adventures (read: rummaging through the books my father brings home), I came across this curious book.

I was 14 and I never knew back then what heroin or drug addiction is. The first few paragraphs were interesting and the character in the book was almost the same age as me so I kept on reading.

It all started with an innocent activity with friends, going to places and meeting new people. I vaguely remember the details but the innocence of the girl resonates. From there, things
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Let's start by saying this book is probably the best drug prevention tool ever. As much as it is a brutal read that doesn't save the reader from any of the gruesome details, I firmly believe it should be made a mandatory read in every school and that everyone should force themselves to read every single word. I was never told to read or even recommended this book, I only picked it up when I was planning a weekend in Berlin and thought I would choose something local for the flight. As you can ima ...more
Mrs. Kenyon
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Six year hold Christiane F. learned many lessons after moving to Berlin. One – there are rules about everything. Two – kids are punished when rules are broken. Three – if you are going to get punished, you mine as well have fun along the way. This philosophy stayed with her into her pre-teen years as she acted out in school and began to hang around with older people. Although the clique was protective of their “baby,” Christiane F. continued to experiment with drugs. She started with hashish and ...more
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite its volume this was a very fast read. But it was repetitive, like all addictions are. Ripping off money, shot, going to rehab, repeat.
By the end of it the helplessness of the barely functioning juveniles really got to me. If they wanted help there wasn't any, if they tried to solve it themselves they got punished. A very vicious circle that a lot of people went through during the heroin epidemic of the 1970's Berlin scene.
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Depressing but very insightful memoir. Not just about heroin addiction, it deals with what was going on in Christane's mind - which is not that much different than any self-aware teenager. She was incredibly self-possessed and brave throughout her struggles, which are heartbreaking. I was happy to find out that she's still alive. Still struggling with addiction, though.
Jul 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is addicting. It was a chore to put it down. When I was close to the last few pages I was already feeling the symptoms of withdrawal.

This book is a very detailed account of a young girl who was addicted to Heroin and her fight to survive. I liked the fact that you also have her mother's point of view.
Jennifer Girard
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2018, 2-stars
I read this book a long time ago and I loved it. This time I found it annoying and I couldn't wait to finish it! It should have been a very interesting book with the subject and the setting but it didn't connect with me at all! I didn't have any compassion for Christiane so I didn't really care to read about her...
Nicola L
I have posted a review of this book here: ...more
Nikola Mojic
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Amazing, eye-opening experience for me. First real look into prostitution/heroin scene, true emotions, and reasons behind it.
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-story
Usually I have a bit of an aversion to non-fiction works, especially the ones based on true stories. Somehow, knowing that the story is true makes it much scarier and in the same time easier to really get into. And besides, I’m not really a fan of biographical or autobiographical works either.

That is exactly the reason why I, despite hearing a lot of positive things about it and one of my friends literally obsessing over how good it is, was quite reluctant to actually read this book. And at firs
01/23/19 [3.5-4 stars]
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very, very sad.
Ira Therebel
I first read this book in my young teenage years and it had a huge impact on me. It was one of the few books that I have packed when immigrating (not wanting to carry all the weight) and one that stayed on my mind years after I read it. It was what started my fascination with the world of drugs and a big interest in learning more about all aspects of it, as well it was also the book that always kept me from slipping down to a drug addiction where there is no way back from. Real stories like this ...more
This is one of those books that are incredibly difficult to rate. Because how do you rate a true story that sounds so unbelievable you wouldn't buy it if it were fiction? Because that is exactly how I felt reading this - that if this were fiction, I'd scoff and think the author has gone above and beyond of what is actually possible. But this is not fiction, this is real events and shocking doesn't even begin to describe the contents of this book. Shocking in so many ways - how easy the access to ...more
Well, this was certainly different from stuff I usually read. I am not a big fan of non-fiction (especially biographic) works, but this book was interesting and it made me think.

There was no particular plot, only Christiane describing her childhood and series of unfortunate events that made her start using heroin. As I read this book, I didn’t expect much – just some unhappy teenager who decided to take it on her parents, but as the story went on, I found myself shocked by the way society works
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DE: Vera Christiane Felscherinow wurde als jugendliche Drogenabhängige zu einer Symbolfigur für die Verbreitung des Drogenmissbrauchs in Deutschland und der damit verbundenen Probleme in der deutschen Gesellschaft. Bekannt wurde sie in der Öffentlichkeit gegen Ende der 1970er-Jahre durch eine Reportage und ein begleitendes Buch der Zeitschrift Stern unter der abgekürzten Namensform „Christiane F.“ ...more

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