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The Invention of Curried Sausage
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The Invention of Curried Sausage

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  1,668 Ratings  ·  159 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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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. For added annoyance towards the end of the novel the author describes the invention ...more
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
واقعا بعضی از قسمتهای کتاب به حدی حفرههای غیر منطقی داشت که باورم نمیشد این کتاب رو یه اثر قوی بشه دونست!
همین طور خیلی از قسمتها احتمالا فقط برای کسایی که توی شرایط جنگی بودن قابل درک بود، نویسنده نتونست اون حس رو به درستی به مخاطب منتقل کنه.
Hamed Rahimi
Mar 20, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
کتاب شاهکاره
اما ترجمه به شدت افتضاحه
ترجمه نشر چشمه رو اصلا نخونید
K.D. Absolutely
Aug 09, 2011 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
Friederike Knabe
Feb 12, 2014 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
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Di La volatilità dell'amore -altro romanzo di Timm- m'era piaciuto lo stile economico, mentre m'aveva annoiato il tema: il protagonista che ripensa alle sue vicende sentimentali. Il giudizio finale era sospeso tra l'apprezzamento della scrittura e la noia per il contenuto intimistico.

Naturalmente anche in questo romanzo c'è una vicenda sentimentale, ma occupa uno spazio marginale nell'economia del racconto. La vita è un puzzle, l'amore un tassello e l'autore, pur nella brevità della novella, ri
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
May 24, 2008 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
Gisela Hafezparast
May 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Excellent description of not only a very touching romance between an older woman and a young soldier but what the last days of the war and the first few months of peace were like for normal people. Lena by chance meets a young soldier destined for the last "push" of the war, which inevitably would cost him his life as it did so many others. She hides him in her flat and they have a short romance. Neither is quite honest, he forgets to mention his wife and child and she - that the war is over wit ...more
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
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
Sepideh Salarvand
در مورد جنگ جهانی دوم کتابهای زیادی نوشته شده و سخته که کتاب نکتهی جدیدی داشته باشه این کتاب اما به نظرم ماجراهای جدیدی داشت که حداقل من نخونده بودم پیشتر. کتاب ماجرای کسانیه که نه یهودیان و نه دست اندر کار کشتار یهودیها و نه حتا سرباز جدی اما دارن در آلمان هیتلری زندگی میکنن. خطر مرگ تهدیدشون نمی کنه اما برای زندگی باید بجنگن. داستان عاشقانهای که بیان میشد برای من دوست داشتنی بود و با وجود نامعمول بودنش لنای داستان رو درک می کردم. از طرفی اینکه تاریخ کشف یک غذا اصل ماجراست خیلی جذاب بود به نظرم ...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.
Jul 07, 2008 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.
Apr 23, 2013 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
Kris McCracken
Dec 15, 2010 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
Mar 06, 2013 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
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical-novel
Der Ich-Erzähler erinnert sich an die leckere Currywurst an der Imbissbude von Lena Drücker in der Nähe des Hauses seiner Tante in Hamburg. Es heißt, Lena Drücker habe die Currywurst entdeckt. Er versucht dieser Behauptung nachzuspüren und findet Frau Drücker im Altenheim, wo sie ihm Torte essend und strickend die Geschichte erzählt, die ins Jahr 1945 zurückreicht.
Lena Drücker versteckt in den letzten Kriegswochen einen jungen Marinesoldaten in ihrer Wohnung. Er rettet sich dadurch vor dem siche
Roger Brunyate
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ww2
A Shaggy Dog Story With Bite

Uwe Timm calls this charming book a novella. At over 200 pages, it might seem long for this description, but the book's format is scarcely larger than the palm of my hand, and the story itself is a simple one, without complications or subplots. Curried sausage apparently—sliced sausage with curry sauce, Currywurst—is a German food truck specialty. The author knows the woman who claims to have invented it, a Frau Lena Brücker, whose stall he used to visit on his occasi
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Libro molto piacevole che racconta la storia di Lena Brücker, personaggio di fantasia che inventa il Currywurst, figura che nelle intenzioni di Timm rappresenta tutte quelle donne di Amburgo che hanno contribuito a far rinascere la città dopo la guerra.
Timm entra a gamba tesa sulle intenzioni di Berlino di farsi patria di questo fortunato piatto della cucina della Germania del nord. Lì, infatti, l'invenzione è datata al 1949 mentre Timm ricorda di aver mangiato il currywurst ad Amburgo, sua citt
Jul 26, 2011 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
Sara Budarz
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
Dec 04, 2008 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
Jim Coughenour
Jul 16, 2008 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.

Jan 04, 2016 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.
หยิบมาอาน เพราะนานๆ ไดอานวรรณกรรมเยอรมันสักที เปนเรืองเลาของทีมาของไสกรอกกะหรี ณ เมืองฮัมบวรก เหตุการณในชวงสงครามโลกครังที 2 เปนเรืองเลา ซอนเรืองเลาอีกที ไดมุมมองในมุมของคนเยอรมันทีไมไดชอบสงคราม ไมไดฝักไฝในฮิตเลอร แตอยูในฐานะนำทวมปาก เทานันเอง

หนังสือดำเนินเรืองเรียบงาย ตังแตตนจนจบ ไวอานเบาๆ คลายเครียดได
The style of writing the author used for this book didn't quite work for me.
Oct 09, 2013 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.
Anastassia Dyubkova
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
История вроде и небольшая, но из-за формы подачи не очень лёгкая для восприятия - повествование очень текучее и местами сильно напоминает поток сознания, при этом мысль скачет, меняется нарратор, словом, читать эту книгу лучше в спокойной обстановке, когда есть возможность сосредоточиться и нормально воспринимать текст, неторопливо, не на бегу. И вместе с тем история очень красивая. Она, конечно, на самом деле ни о каких не о колбасках и вообще не о готовке. Она о любви, человеческих взаимоотнош ...more
Susan Chow-Dukhan
May 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
A fictional account of the origin of currywurst in post war Germany. The narrator tracks down Lena Brucker and talks to her over several weeks regarding the origin of currywurst, which was supposed to have been created by Lena in Hamburg, prior to the commonly acceptable origin story of Herta Heuwer in Berlin in 1949.
This book is more about the relationship between middle aged Lena and Werner Bremer, a young, married naval petty officer. Bremer becomes a deserter and hides out in Lena's apartmen
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Not as good as MidSummer's Night 2 15 Dec 30, 2008 03:04PM  
  • Patterns of Childhood
  • The Blindness of the Heart
  • The German Lesson
  • Der Nazi & der Friseur
  • The Safety Net
  • Transit
  • Looking for the Possible Dance
  • Little Man, What Now?
  • Disappearance
  • Death in Rome
  • Herr Lehmann
  • The Parable Of The Blind
  • Life Is a Caravanserai
  • Portrait of the Mother as a Young Woman
  • Jahrestage
  • The Talk of the Town
  • All Souls' Day
  • The Oppermanns
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 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
“Эту историю могу поведать только я.
Собственно, в ней нет героев.”
More quotes…