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3.24  ·  Rating details ·  1,163 ratings  ·  232 reviews



Family is everything.

So what if yours was being terrorised by a neighbour – a man who doesn’t listen to reason, whose actions become more erratic and sinister with each passing day? And those you thought would help – the police, your lawyer – can’t help you.

You become afraid to leave your family at home alone. But th
Hardcover, 303 pages
Published January 25th 2018 by Orion Publishing Group (first published January 18th 2013)
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Average rating 3.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,163 ratings  ·  232 reviews

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Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
*2.5 STARS*

Having read the synopsis for 'Fear' I was expecting a tense, heart pounding read, but I'm afraid I was left feeling deeply disappointed.

The story is narrated by Randolph, (an architect) who finds that he, his wife and two children are stalked by their neighbour. The neighbour writes letters and poetry to Randolph's wife, and more worryingly, makes false accusations to the authorities saying they sexually abuse their children.

Although the story outlines a middle aged man's attempt t
First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Dirk Kurbjuweit and House of Anansi for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Having never read Kurbjuweit’s work, I was curious to see how I might enjoy something a little different. Spurred on by having it fit into a current book challenge topic (a book translated from its original language), I thought it could serve a double purpose, as I toil through the dark and anger-filled Ge
Louise Wilson
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Family is everything. So what if yours was being terrorised by a neighbour - a man who will not listen to reason. And those you thought would help you - the police, your lawyer - can't help you. You become afraid to leave your family at home. But there is nothing more you can do to help them.

Oh dear, this is a bit of a slow burner that was sometimes a bit too slow. The story switches from modern day and the past. I thought this was going to be a tense read but unfortunately it was far from it.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit is for anyone who has ever had a nightmare neighbour. Admit it, we’ve all had one! I can still remember how I went out of my way to avoid a certain neighbour who lived in the flat beneath me. I still shudder at her annoying habits. She used to bang on the ceiling at the slightest noise and whine at me. I can’t say this particular situation ever escalated to murder though.

Fear traces the impact of Dieter Tiberius on one family. It is inspired by events that actually took p
May 29, 2017 rated it did not like it
Great premise. What do you do if a neighbour becomes a slanderous stalker who intimidates you and your family. That makes up approximately 20% of this book. Themes and discussion in class, marriage, abuse, violence, law, politics, family, marriage are all here but sadly due to the narrator they're monosyllabic lectures of a privileged white middle class man with daddy issues. I wanted it to be brilliant. It just made me very cross. I didn't even read it quickly.
Joanne Harris
A cracking thriller; slow-burning, unusual and original, which delivers not only excellent character interaction, but also a hell of a tough series of insights on the psychology of menace. The fear of the title is all-consuming; finding its way into all aspects of the protagonists' lives, warping reality and affecting everything it touches. Well worth it, just for the food scenes...
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
This is the story of Randolph, who lives with his family in Berlin. Their neighbour who lives in the basement apartment, Dieter Tiberius, begins to send them letters and poems, and also calls the police regularly alleging that Randolph and his wife, Rebecca, are abusing their children. This campaign begins to have a damaging effect on Randolph and Rebecca, and also on members of Randolph's family, who are drawn into the mix.
In short, I found this book very disappointing. Randolph does come acros
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

“We grew up untouched by weapons as everyone else – but for the fact that the guns were there, which changed everything. It meant there were different possibilities – possible threats, in particular. It changed the way we thought and, looking back, sometimes inclined us towards hysteria. For me, home was a place where you could get shot”

Fear is the sixth full-length novel by German journalist and author, Dirk Kurbjuweit, and the first to be translated into English. It opens with a man visit
Crime by the Book
Q&A with Dirk Kurbjuweit:

This is a truly smart and unnerving crime novel. It's NOT your standard thriller - it's a slow-burning journey into the mind of a man whose belief in law and order is challenged when his downstairs neighbor begins harassing his family. As I learned from Dirk, this story is actually based on a real experience his family went through - you can learn more in the Q&A!
Mar 29, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This book was a real struggle, i've had the book for a long time and gone back to it more times than I usually would because I really like the idea of it. Yet the premise, the really interesting parts of the plot about a terrorising neighbour, are lost within the main character's backstory. I have nothing else to say about it, and that says it all to me....

ARC via Netgalley
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edelweiss
"I had always believed my father capable of a massacre. Whenever I heard on the news that there had been a killing spree, I would hold my breath, unable to relax until it was clear that it couldn't have been him." (Wording may not appear the same in final published edition).

Randolph Tiefenthaler grew up with a father who had an extensive gun collection. Not only were the guns loaded but Randolph’s father had a bit of a temper. Randolph always had a fear that one night his father would come upsta
Gilly Macmillan
What would you do to protect your family if the law failed to? This thriller based on Dirk Kurbjuweit’s real-life experience of his family being stalked by a neighbour is tense to its very core. It’s an intelligent page-turner but also an exploration of a marriage, family life and an intense father-son relationship. I loved it.
Gare Billings
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not only a quick, fast-paced read, but it's one that gets under the skin of the reader as we are thrust into a complicated and multi-layered plot. I devoured this one in one sitting, not because it's rather short, but because I couldn't put it down. The first chapter is addicting and confusing enough to make you devour the pages and really open your mind up to these amazing and complicated characters and the devilish things they do.

FEAR doesn't hold back on the creep-factor as we witness
Liz Barnsley
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really quite terrifying stalker story - and the lengths you might go to if the law can't or won't help. Beautifully written and immersive. Full review nearer to July publication.
Jan 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Book reviews on

This is a slow burning, atmospheric novel which I enjoyed but found a little too slow at times.

The writing itself is great; Dirk Kurbjuweit conjures up a real sense of unease around their neighbour, and the threat level is realistic enough that you can imagine it actually happening. At times the novel is really immersive and at those points I felt myself drawn into the story. Unfortunately, this didn't often last for long as the story switches between modern-d
Alex Cantone
Dec 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
At first I thought I could hear rhythms, as if someone was tapping or filing, but over time I realised that I had become the victim of my own expectations – namely, that a prison must always be filled with the sounds of thwarted conversation or attempted flight.

Fear (originally published as Angst and translated from German), opens with Berlin architect, Randolph Tiefenthaler, visiting his aging father in prison, sentenced for the manslaughter of the tenant in the apartment below the family’s, a
Jun 26, 2018 rated it liked it
After starting this book three times I finally started and finished on my third try, I don't know what it was about this book but I really struggled to find any interest in the first few chapters the first two times I tried to read it, yet the third time I finally managed to get to a point which I hadn't yet read and kept going from there, it was at times a little dull and tbh I have read many books recently which piqued my interest much more and that kept me wanting to read on and find out more ...more
Bex (Beckie Bookworm)
Sadly this one wasn't for me I found the writing itself hard to get my head around and just couldn't get to grips with it.
I believe this is a translation so maybe that was the main issue here for me.
Had to give up as it just wasn't getting any better.
I received a review copy of "Fear" from Netgalley.
All opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm
Zuky the BookBum
DNF @ 47%

Agghh, I'm so disappointed I had to put this book down as a DNF, but as I'm finding it exceedingly hard to focus on books, I really can't waste any of my time on books that aren't hooking me, and this one wasn't!

I had huge hopes for this book, featuring it in various blogs at the end of last year! I really thought this one was going to be a fast-paced thriller that would challenge our morals and opinions, but no. It wasn't like that at all.

This one started quite strong, jumping straight
Andy Weston
Apr 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: germany, crime, translated
I broke my rule for this novel, of not reading books that have a promotional subtitle in bold as if it were the title itself, The gripping thriller that has everyone talking . To start with, it’s not a thriller, and also, that inaccurate description is destined to get the book negative reviews, because it’s more of a character study. From the first pages the reader knows what crime has happened. It’s a story told backwards. Kurbjuweit builds up tension, but there isn’t much action. The writing ...more
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Must say this started off with quite a lot of promise. It had me hooked but then I felt that it kind of fizzled out. I never really became very invested in the main characters nor did they really earn my empathy. I think the climax in this novel was quite a subtle one. And the main point of the book was how fear can cause us to act irrationally and with hysteria. Over all an okay read but one that is easily forgettable. I just wonder if some of the nuances that would have perhaps made it a more ...more
Text Publishing
‘Fear shifts our moral codes. It makes us sympathetic to violent revenge, accessories to murder. Do we want the victim to survive? No, we don’t. Long after I had put this book down I still didn’t. A great achievement.’
Herman Koch

‘Dirk Kurbjuweit exposes the evil lurking just below the surface of civilised life.’

‘A subtle and engrossing psychological thriller that gives an intelligent, carefully considered response to thequestion of how much our liberal values are worth when we feel our live
Tracy Fenton
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fear is written by German Author Dirk Kurbjuweit and is loosely based on his own personal experience of being stalked by a neighbour, which makes this story all the more chilling. The protagonist Randolph narrates the entire story beginning with the fact his elderly father has just shot and killed Randolph’s neighbour.

“Fear” then takes us on a journey through Randolph’s childhood and strained relationship with his father throughout his life, often over examining his memories and recollections an
Laura Rash
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
What an interesting & different style book! Based loosely on something that happened to the author it tells the tale of a unique family dynamic & childhood. But it also tells a creepy story of a sadistic neighbor. I literally had a gasp moment at one point & thoroughly enjoyed this read!
Thanks to Orion books for a very early copy from across the pond in exchange for review.
I read this book in one sitting, I just had to keep on turning the pages.
This book is back to front, we know what happens and who was responsible. Then we go back in time Randolph has been afraid all of his life. He is the narrator of this story, his father is obsessed with guns. But he has been told that they are to protect his family, but why so many guns?
Randolph now has his own family and shares a large house with three other families. Rebecca is a stay at home mother. They have a neighbour
Nicole Sweeney
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Review originally posted on The Bibliophile Chronicles.

This was such a gripping thriller and a really unique read. The book made me feel uneasy and uncomfortable – partly because the story is somewhat based on the authors own experiences, and also because it was so believable, it could so easily happen to you or someone you know.

The book is a really interesting look at the family dynamic and the effect that a difficult situation can have on that. Randolph starts to wonder whether his wife could
Marilyn Shea
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It posed such fascinating questions about our lives as "civilized" beings. We are insulated from scrounging for our survival and from hand to hand combat and yet our existences are dependent upon having reputations as law abiding citizens. When an allegation is made against any one of us, we are thought to be responsible in some way or the allegation would never have been made. The concepts of pacificism and courage are examined and challenged, as well as the very nature of tr ...more
Melanie Garrett
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
FEAR is a tremendous novel where tension is continually ratcheted up and psychological insights are delivered like sucker punches which function in the same way as killer plot twists: changing how we view and/or feel about what has come before with just a few exquisitely chosen words.

There is an elegance to the prose, together with deft philosophical underpinnings, such that I was in mind of Bernhard Schlink and Herman Koch (who, along with Lionel Shriver, is one of the authors quoted on the bo
Julie Lacey
Jan 22, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was not what I expected.
I thought there would be more suspense and as the title suggests fear.
The book is more about memories of the past intermingled with accounts of how the neighbour who lives downstairs is making their lives a misery.
Admittedly I wouldn’t like to have experienced what this family did but as I said I did expect more from this book.
Thanks to NetGalley and Orion for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

My family is my life. I'd like to think that I'd do anything for them, particularly if their lives were threatened. But wouldn't we all? We'd all like to think that we are strong enough to stand up to a bully.

Fear isn't just about the terror inflicted on a family; it's about the family itself. This family is on the brink of destruction. Randolph and Rebecca want to appear to be a happy couple but once you scratch the surface of their relationship, there are cracks and not just hairline cracks. W
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Dirk Kurbjuweit is deputy editor-in-chief at Der Spiegel, where he has worked since 1999, and divides his time between Berlin and Hamburg. He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the Egon Erwin Kisch Prize for journalism, and is the author of seven critically acclaimed novels, many of which, including Fear, have been adapted for film, television and radio in Germany. Fear is the ...more

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“Was wäre aus mir geworden, hätte ich in dieser oder jener Situation eine andere Abzweigung genommen?” 1 likes
“Ich begann eine große Schelte gegen mein Gehirn, das einen Gedanken von solcher Abwegigkeit produziert hatte. Ich beruhigte mich damit, dass es gar keine Grundlage gibt, bodenloses Denken also.” 1 likes
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