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3.68  ·  Rating details ·  172 ratings  ·  50 reviews
When Charles and Tony's mother dies the estranged brothers must struggle to pick up the pieces, particularly so given that one of them is mentally challenged and the other bitter about his place within the family.

The conflict is drawn out over materialistic issues, but there are other underlying problems which go to the heart of what it means to be part of a family which,
Paperback, 217 pages
Published October 15th 2014 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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Katy O'Dowd
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Human Condition

Author Christoph Fischer has done it again with his latest book, Conditions. As the reader has come to expect from him, the story is excellent, the dialogue snappy, cast of characters wholly believable, the pages turning at a rate of knots.

What Christoph Fischer also does so well is to not shy away from writing of difficult subjects, and delving into humanity. For this, he is to be applauded, for handing such subjects with amazing gentleness and insight doubly so. Conditions i
Max Power
Oct 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the third book by Christoph Fischer that I have read. The Healer and more recently The Gamblers were both works of such quality that I had to go back to the well for more. There is one very special thing about all of his books and that is his very unique voice. Here is a writer who knows who he is and I have to say I am a big fan. There is style and flair in even the simplest of passages. In extensive passages of dialogue, he maintains the quality and texture of real conversation without ...more
Celia Kennedy
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Christopher Fischer creates a cast of emotionally charged quirky characters to pull us into a very well-crafted and complex tale on accepting the human condition.

Brothers Tony and Charles have never been close. At best they have been distant housemates. Tony, the oldest son, as a teen is a well-rounded, gifted athlete, who has dreams of becoming a professional football (soccer) player. His parents focus their time and funds helping their other child, Charles. He has a condition. He's bi-polar.

Judith Lucci
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
We try, as humans, living in an information society, to organize our lives via thought processes, norms, culture and physical parameters. It just doesn't always happen. Our world, society and even family are diverse entities that guarantee tough sailing at varying points in our lives. At the blink of an eye, things change and meaning and bond of family is challenged. Conditions is the story of Tony and Charles, two very differently wired brothers who are experiencing life after the death of thei ...more
Cindy Smith
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a remarkable story. The mental condition of one family member has an effect on all family members. I love the way the author uses meeting people through social media to introduce the fact that we all have "conditions". Though some are given names and so put people in a special class, others are just as real. Charles has found friends by realizing everyone has issues and does not let them interfere with his opinions about them. His brother Tony has lived his life resentful of Charles and the ...more
Sharon Brownlie
Mar 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very well written and detailed. Fischer doesn't come across as promoting awareness of mental health (that's what I thought it was going to be) but he does show, through his characters, the uphill struggle of a sufferer and other people's prejudices.
My first impression was that Charles and Tony reminded me of Rainman. However, I changed this view as the story progressed.
He handles the complexity of his characters beautifully. We all, as humans, have flaws and Fischer makes us realise this. If any
Dean C. Moore
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If someone asked me to write a book like this, honestly, I’d go running for the hills. It’s one of the hardest things to do. No special effects. No big explosions. No fast-paced action and chapters ending with our hero a hair’s breadth from death. Though you might think I’m talking about the movies, formula fiction novels too rely on an A-story that’s fast moving and knuckle biting with a B-story romance that honestly is just there so the reader can catch his breath before returning to the excit ...more
Victoria Dougherty
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Christoph Fischer has become one of my favorite authors. I was first attracted to his Three Nations Trilogy because of the subject matter - it deals with war and Central European families, which is something I have an affinity for. But his last two books - A Time To Let Go and now Conditions are a bit of a departure for him and I'm happy to say that I enjoy his contemporary dramas as much as his historical ones. This author writes about families in a lucid and complex manner. He doesn't over-sen ...more
Anna Burke
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Things aren’t always as they seem...

We humans seem to love to name things, sort and tuck them neatly into categories. I get it. It’s a way for a busy, crowded brain to sift through and assimilate massive amounts of information in a reasonable amount of time. Can you imagine a world where every situation or event is taken on the face of it as a completely new and original one? It’s a kind of shorthand we use, an important and very basic capacity that lays the foundation for language and history a
Jay Howard
Dec 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
This story grabbed my interest from the start. There is an excellent cast of mostly well portrayed characters, and good pacing kept me guessing about them. I was persuaded to think deeply about these people and about our own tendency towards pigeon-holing, often based on misconceptions and prejudice. We are all guilty of it to some extent and it is good to be reminded in a non-judgmental way that we should care more for each other, whatever our faults.

I mentally removed a half star from the rati
Wanda Hartzenberg
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
**************** Spoiler alert*****************
Lets start at the very beginning. I hate spoilers. I truly do. So if like me you think spoilers are evil please take my * rating as an indicator and STOP reading now!

We have two brothers. Tony who is blessed with a steady income his wife and two boys. Charles has a condition. A mental condition that makes it very hard for him to fit in anywhere. Tony and Charles does not see eye to eye and upon the death of their mother this situation much like the
Kirstin Pulioff
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drama, reviewed, family
I have read several of Christoph Fischer’s novels now, and one of the things that I love them most, is that I can trust him to portray the reality of life. I used to not be a fan on contemporary fiction, until I met this author. He has single handily changed my perception of it. He’s able to take slivers of life, and portray them with the richness and rawness of reality. Often the bitter reality or ugly truths of situations are glossed over… not with him. He portrays every aspect, every characte ...more
S. Rose
Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Like a lighthouse beacon on a treacherous coast, Christoph Fischer’s novel illuminates the darkness of man living with a mental disorder.

Charles has a noticeably atypical mind, perhaps mild autism and most certainly bipolar disorder. Since childhood, he has struggled to exist in a world created by and for “normal”, or what some call neuro-typical people, a world he cannot always understand and which most people take for granted.

The strain on his family has left its mark; his own brother doubts
M.C.V. Egan
Oct 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Delves into the Fragility of the Human Spirit
This is the kind of book that one reads in two or three sittings at most, it flows with ease and as a reader I wanted to hold the hand of the characters, help them and see what happened.
The choice of title is very clever as the book deals with Charles and his Illness or Condition. The author is very clever and uses in his storyline every form of condition except for weather conditions, anyone could imagine.
I had fun looking up synonyms of the word bec
Diana Febry
Aug 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this read and have to say the blurb above does not do the book sufficient justice. I found this a remarkable piece of contemporary drama. It is a book where little happens on the surface but underneath massive shifts of understanding are taking place. The "action" takes place around Rose's funeral, mother to two sons who have not spoken for years.
Many reviewers have commented on the contribution this book makes to understanding mental health which indeed it does. Instead of repeating those
John Dolan
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let me declare at the outset, that after gobbling up Christoph Fischer's 'Three Nations Trilogy', I am a fan.

'Conditions' is another worthy addition to the collection. As in his other books, Fischer's deceptively simple prose conceals layers of meaning, and the title can be understood in a number of ways: psychiatric conditions, or the conditions we negotiate as part of our interactions with others.

At the heart of the narrative is a feud between two brothers, one of whom suffers from psychiatric
Sep 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Christoph Fischer has written another wonderful, heartfelt story. This time, he explores the effects of bipolar disorder through the eyes of a family. Charles and his illness is painful to read. You can just imagine how difficult his life is, but he somehow pushes forward through his mother's death and funeral.

Charles' brother Tony, however, chooses to think Charles is lazy because of the way their mother treated the both of them growing up. Sadly, this comes to a head with his wife being obsess
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In this story we learn about a man who has some form of mental condition (imbalance/disease). We follow him through a very sad time in his life and are shown how quickly imbalances occur. If you know anyone who is bipolar/manic you will be able to relate to this. The author did an amazing job of showing you the highs and lows and how drastically they can change. I hope there is more to the story since it ends rather quickly. Friends and family can be a major tool in battling depression if you ar ...more
Carol Balawyder
Dec 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Conditions is about the interaction of people who meet in the setting of a mother's funeral. The dialogue flows like a good glass of wine that you want to savor as you get to meet Fischer's cast of characters: people in AA, gays,a tarot card reader and the dynamics of distanced family members. Fischer's novel illustrates the complications of love, why people stay in unhealthy relationships, what makes and breaks a friendship and how funerals bring out greed. I gave the novel a 4 stars because i ...more
Richard Schwindt
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book goes where others too rarely go in this day of rampant genre fiction. It looks at mental illness, family and brotherhood in an oh so British context. I enjoyed the story, Fischer nails the setting and makes this definitely worth a look for anyone who likes dramatic fiction, family stories and perspectives on mental health.
Lorna Lee
Nov 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Never afraid to explore the most difficult of challenges facing mere mortals, Christoph Fischer is a reader's writer.

This book, like all of his books immediately draws you into the lives of Charles and Tony--two brothers seemingly irreparably split apart by past grudges, Charles' "condition", and present resentments about inheritances due to their mother's death.

The story Fischer weaves is rife with colorful characters with their own "conditions" making the reader question "What is 'normal' an
Wendy Unsworth
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The wonderful privilege we have as readers is to step into any kind of world of our choosing. There are no boundaries, as in the real world; we can go backward or forward in time, be amongst aliens or zombies. We can be in war or on a desert island or in a world of high finance.
Then there are stories like 'Conditions'. This book is simply about family in all its diversity and how the death of a mother brings together people bound by birth and family ties but burdened by prejudgment and misunde
Jo Robinson
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While Charles does have a mental condition in this story, the story itself is more about the human condition. So true to life Conditions is an intricately woven tale that shows how we often see the opposite of what is true, and how whole lives can be destroyed by believing only what we see on the surface of things. I love Christoph Fischer’s warm and easy style – he brings to my mind Joanna Trollope whose tales of real life issues and the things people do to each other without meaning to are fav ...more
Lana Axe
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've been a fan of Mr. Fischer since stumbling on his historical fiction, so I was eager to grab this one when I heard it was available. As usual, this book drew me in with the profound depth of emotion experienced by the characters. They are honest and relatable, and their situations are true to life. Anyone who hasn't grown up an only child will understand full well the frustrations of sibling rivalry, and the feeling that your brother or sisters always got treated better than you did.

Lilian Roberts
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant!! I am a huge fan of this so talented and so gifted author. "Conditions" is about two estranged brothers Tony and Charles who are the main characters of the story. The death of their mother brings the two middle age men back in each other's life. Though brothers they are quite different. Tony is married with responsibilities, children and a good job. Charles on the other hand is single man that struggles with a serious mental illness.Christoph Fischer Is brilliant and once again he dea ...more
Inge Borg
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Empathy. Would I have it in me?

Only too often, readers seem to insist on a neat package to put a book to rest. Give them murder, car chases, gun fights, and sickly-sweet endings. Then they can forget the name of the author, forget the title…they’re done. Next!
Luckily, there are writers who won’t let us off the hook so easily. I have followed Christoph Fischer’s writing for some time now, so I am already a fan. But with Conditions, he truly challenged me. It wasn’t a question of IF I would like i
David Fisher
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Spellbinding Story

A funeral is the centrepiece of this family drama. It is a very human story about a family and their close friends dealing with a funeral and its disturbing aftermath. It begins with Tony, the central character, being faced with the death of his mother and the consequences for him and the family, and with the animosity between him and his brother, Charles. Later, after the funeral, a letter will change everything for him and his clan.

The author leads the reader through a plet
Simon Okill
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drama, mystery
Conditions By Christoph Fischer is a powerful family drama full of strong emotions ripped apart by misunderstandings. This reader immediately empathised with the characters in this superb novel as he has ben through much the same. Funerals and weddings bring out the worst in family quarrels.
When Charles and Tony's mother dies the estranged brothers must struggle to pick up the pieces, particularly so given that one of them is mentally challenged and the other bitter about his place within the fa
Devinder Dhiman
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
About two years back I happened to see a TV serial on autism and I was so moved with the condition of the child in that serial that I made it a point to watch every episode. I felt the same after reading this book where Charles, though a grown up man, had a mental condition similar to that.
The story is about a family where elder son has this condition and younger one is normal. In dealing with this situation what mistakes the family makes and how that causes a rift between two brothers is depic
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Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a smal ...more
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“Each and every one of us has their own weirdness, it’s just that it’s more obvious with some people than others.” 9 likes
“Madness is a completely undervalued quality and I don’t understand why people should hide it to conform to some boring version of themselves.” 4 likes
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