Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Was man von hier aus sehen kann” as Want to Read:
Was man von hier aus sehen kann
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Was man von hier aus sehen kann

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  13,458 ratings  ·  1,575 reviews
Selma, eine alte Westerwälderin, kann den Tod voraussehen. Immer, wenn ihr im Traum ein Okapi erscheint, stirbt am nächsten Tag jemand im Dorf. Unklar ist allerdings, wen es treffen wird. Davon, was die Bewohner in den folgenden Stunden fürchten, was sie blindlings wagen, gestehen oder verschwinden lassen, erzählt Mariana Leky in ihrem Roman.
›Was man von hier aus sehen kan
Hardcover, 319 pages
Published July 18th 2017 by Dumont
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Was man von hier aus sehen kann, please sign up.
Recent Questions
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,458 ratings  ·  1,575 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Was man von hier aus sehen kann
Jun 22, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If books wore shoes, What You Can See from Here would wear slippers. It plods along so softly that you barely notice its forward movement. Then it kicks you gently in the shin to say, pay attention, I’m here and something just happened.

Originally published in German in 2017, it is primarily the story of young Luisa and her grandmother, Selma, living life in small town Germany. Whenever Selma dreams of an okapi, someone always seems to die. (Get your fingers ready to google… an okapi is a real a
This is a beautiful coming of age story, a magical and offbeat German translated novel from Mariana Leky set in a small village in the Westerwald in West Germany that illustrates the joy of small place living, the supportive aspects, the superstitions but also the constraints. It is 1983, 10 year old Luise has a close bond with her grandmother, Selma, closer to her than her parents. Selma dreams of the okapi, which carries ominous overtones as every time she had dreamt of it previously, it has r ...more
What you can see from here by Mariana Leky is a 2021 Farrar, Straus and Giroux publication.

A quaint, touching story-

Luise, due to the rather unusual situation with her parents, is mostly raised by her grandmother, Selma. Selma has the rather strange strait of dreaming about Okapi, an animal that closely resembles a Zebra. When Selma has one of these dreams, it unfortunately signals pending death -within a 24 hour time span.

When Luise was ten years old, Selma has one of her dreams, which puts t
Ms. Smartarse
Translated into English as What You Can See From Here

In my ongoing search for suitable German reading material I somehow stumbled on the one book that everyone agrees is totally brilliant and impossible to summarize. Book store owner/author Petra Hartlieb puts it most eloquently: "if we tried to [summarize the story], no one would want to buy it. ". Sure enough, as soon as I laid eyes on the back cover advertising: the "portrait of a village, where everything is connected in the most wondrous of
Aug 11, 2022 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ebook giveaway from NetGalley

Perhaps something was lost in translation, or this was not the right book for me at this time, but I didn’t connect to this. Finally looked up what an okapi was. Didn’t realize it was an animal.
Eric Anderson
Feb 28, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been a while since a novel has consistently made me smile. “What You Can See From Here” has a wonderful lightness of touch to it while also being an emotional story which considers larger philosophical issues about the human condition. It follows Luisa who, at the start of the novel, is an adolescent girl and we follow her into adulthood. Moreover, it's the tale of the small West-German village Luisa has grown up in and the idiosyncratic members of this community as seen through her perspec ...more
May 25, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This story was much different than I expected. It’s a translation from German and I’m not sure if that played into it, but it’s got a very disjointed feel to it. A GR friend had reviewed this before me and advised people to stick with it. So, I did. In fact, this is the sort of book that you just have to roll with. Given that Buddhism is a theme within the book, it’s appropriate to just be present with the book.
Selma wakes up from a dream about an okapi. Now, I don’t know about you, but I had t
Ellie Spencer
Sep 11, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderfully charming and beautiful book!

What you can see from here follows the life of Luise and the wonderfully quirky friends and family surrounding her in their small village. Every time Selma (Luise’s grandmother) dreams of an okapi, someone dies. The book starts shortly after one of these dreams.

I absolutely fell in love with this wonderfully unusual tale. I loved the unusual characters that I was able to meet; by the end of the novel they felt like my own family and friends, and I a
An English teacher 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

A tale, a fable, and some bangin’ good literature… 🔥

⏰ 𝐒𝐡𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐒𝐮𝐦𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐄𝐯𝐞𝐫: Luise lives in a small town in Germany with her parents, friends, and a grandmother who dreams of an okapi right before someone dies. There’s love and loss and scads of lessons that are human. It’s a tale of simple life, a view into Luise’s world as she grows up.

💡𝐓𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐬💡: There’s a fairy-tale, “other world”, almost pagan quality to this novel. A dash of Mysticism. A pinch of Magic. It feels so
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
this is a book I will recommend and give to everyone in my life! Got my birthday presents sorted for the whole year now. No matter the gender, the age or the taste - I'm sure everyone will love this book.

I'm usually not a big fan of adult literary fiction so this wasn't even on my to-read list but I picked it up on a whim via audiobook and I couldn't be more happy I did. The synopsis of this book is painfully wrong and I can only urge you to read it despite it not sounding that great plot-wise.
Apr 18, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, netgalley
In a small village in western Germany, a 60-year-old grandmother dreams of an okapi, and the next day, the entire village is up in arms. What is an okapi, and why is everyone so upset? An okapi is a mammal that was discovered in the Congo in the early 20th Century. It is also known as the forest giraffe or zebra giraffe, because it rather looks like a cross between a zebra and a giraffe. Selma had never seen an opaki, except in her dreams. Three times previously when she had dreamed of opakis, s ...more
Apr 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book surprised me so much - in a good way! After reading the prologue and the first chapter I was thinking "uh oh, I don't know if I'm going to like this one". I'm glad I kept reading because this was a really good read.

Themes of love and loss, denial, community, and life and death are addressed through the interaction and speech of a group of quirky characters who are delightful. The setting is a small village in Germany. The central plot is Luisa's life growing up in the village where sh
Theresa Alan
May 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such cute feel-good story. I chuckled out loud several times even though this isn’t a comedy. Luisa is the primary narrator of the novel, which begins when she is 10 years old and her grandmother dreams of an okapi, a strange animal that when Selma dreams about it means a death is coming to the village in real life. After word of Selma’s secret dream gets out, the villagers “remembered that a heart attack is accompanied by a tingling in the arm, but couldn’t remember which arm, so the vi ...more
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
what a quirky lovable bunch of characters.
Lou (nonfiction fiend)
What You Can See From Here is the heartwarming international bestselling novel, in which a small village helps a young woman reckon with loss and love, by the award-winning writer Mariana Leky. On a beautiful spring day, a small village in Western Germany wakes up to an omen: Selma has dreamed of an okapi. Someone is about to die. Everybody in the area knows that the old woman can seemingly foresee death. Luise, Selma’s ten-year-old granddaughter, looks on as the predictable characters of her sm ...more
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
The better a book is the more difficult it is to write an adequate review. This is undoubtedly one of the better books I've read this year, full of heart, depth, wisdom and beautiful sentences that made me laugh out loud in delight and reduced me to snot and tears. ...more
I know everybody else loves this. Everybody in my book club loves this. But ..... no.

A small village somewhere in Germany (Thüringen? Honestly I forgot and don't really care), where Selma, her granddaughter Luise and their quirky friends live. Sometimes Selma sees an okapi in her dreams, and that's a sign that someone in the village is going to die. The entire village knows this and spends the 24 hours after an okapi dream panicking that they might be about to die.

There's also two love stories,
Jul 12, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What You Can See From Here is a novel by German author, Mariana Leky. It is translated from German by Tess Lewis. Selma has once again dreamt of an okapi and that means someone is going to die. Selma’s ten-year-old granddaughter Luisa has permission to tell only her best friend, Martin, but word gets around anyway. While the villagers claim they don’t believe it, they are all unsettled, because that’s what has happened previously.

The idea that someone is going to die stimulates a rash of r
Auntie Terror
Aug 25, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
I'll have to think about this for a bit. (Rtc) ...more
Jul 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, arc
In brief - If you are patient with this it may reward you - it's an usual book to my mind. Don't try and see things - they are easier to find that way... In the end I'm calling this 3.5/5 and rounding it up.

In full
Luisa lives in a small town in Germany. One day when she is ten she finds out that her Grandmother, Selma, has dreamed about an Okapi during the night. Based on previous experience that means that someone in the village will die within the next day. This leaves each of the villagers wo
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just wish this book was a person so I could wrap my arms around it, cuddle it and tell it how much I love it.

This is so beautifully written, simple yet elegant, brimming with kindness and truth. I encountered so many sentences that I wanted to copy down, frame and hang on the wall.

In the Dutch version, the blurb is actually one big spoiler, it practically tells you the entire storyline, but once you are reading, it really doesn't matter. The cover of the Dutch version also features a review sa
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book about death, life and love. It sounds far from original but Mariana Leky manages to weave these themes together lightheartedly, without losing any of the depth or resorting to clichés.

It’s 1985 and in a village in the German Westerwald, 60-year-old Selma wakes up with a start at 3am. She has dreamt of an okapi, the fantastical-looking animal that could be described as a combination of a giraffe, a zebra, a tapir and a mouse. It’s the fourth time she has had this dream and every previous
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Best book I have read since Station Eleven. Absolutely wonderful. So good that I want to start it all over again, just to savour all those lovely images, turns of phrase, characters all over again. Wish I had copies to hand out to everyone I know.
Aoife Cassidy McM
Oct 17, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m not usually a fan of whimsy in books. The rational, logical way my brain works means that it doesn’t usually hold great appeal for me. However, this offbeat German novel translated beautifully into English by Tess Lewis wormed its whimsical way into my heart where it will stay.

Luisa lives in a small village in West Germany. It’s the early 80s, and Luisa’s grandmother Selma, with whom she has a close relationship, has dreamt of an okapi. This doesn’t bode well for the village - when Selma dr
Aug 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, pansing
A coming-of-age narrative revolves on a story of Luisa and her family, especially her grandmother; Selma and also the people around her neighbourhood. It started when one day Selma waking up to an omen of dreaming about an okapi. Everyone knows that when Selma dreams of an okapi someone will dies soon after. Luisa thought she should skip school, the optician became unusually quiet and all day long the residents started to eye their lives suspiciously, taking care of their hearts so not to race a ...more
May 31, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this author’s writing style. It’s a little more difficult to read because she doesn't spoon-feed you. You’re not given a solid background of each character, you’re simply dropped into their homes and lives to either run along beside or get left behind. One character is only referred to by his occupation, and he holds a very major role in the book.
Selma dreams of an okapi (go ahead, look it up, I had to). The town interprets this as an omen because in the past someone has died when Salma h
Mar 06, 2022 rated it it was amazing
This is the sort of book you can recommend to anyone. I loved it very much. It is warm, funny and sweet, but also quite moving and emotional. A unique and original German fairytale which drew me in from the start. The story is told by the young Luise and starts when her grandmother, Selma, has just dreamt of an okapi and whenever she dreams of an okapi someone in the village dies…
I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!! The story has me by not just the eyes, ears and grey cells - it has me by the core of my soul. . .it is enchanting, engaging, haunting and compelling. It sat in my TBR list forever until I opened it and then had to be consumed. I had to know what was going to happen next in this little German village, to Luisa, Selma, the Optician, Elsbeth and all those in their community. This is a delightfully regional, fantastical combination of the village tales I love: Miss Read villa ...more
Nina ( picturetalk321 )
I have no words for the phenomenalism of this book. Mariana Leky is the queen of the sardonic sentence, the terse scene, the repetition of phrases, the unsaidness of feelings, the weirdness of life, the richness of the banal, and the deep, deep, deep emotions that swell underneath it all and make reading this novel a trance-like ride on the edge of reality.

I want to live in Leky's brain. I want to breathe Leky's prose.

Format: German hardback with the fab line drawing of an okapi. Smooth nice pa
What You Can See From Here
By Mariana Leky

A beautifully told story of a modern classic tale set in a small village in Germany. This gem of a read is a treasure I have discovered and feel so much joy to have read such a delightful and charming novel. This story is about a community, its characters told in a unique and special voice that is utterly entertaining and heartwarming.

Originally written in German, the English translation brought the book to life for me in a very impressive way. A coming
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Alte Sorten
  • Der große Sommer
  • Vom Ende der Einsamkeit
  • Marianengraben
  • Untenrum frei
  • Hard Land
  • Altes Land
  • Miroloi
  • Die Wut, die bleibt
  • Dschinns
  • Über Menschen
  • Die Wahrheit über das Lügen: Zehn Geschichten
  • Stay Away from Gretchen: Eine unmögliche Liebe
  • Unterleuten
  • Licht bricht, bevor es strahlt
  • Sieben Richtige
  • 180 Grad Meer
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Mariana Leky studierte nach einer Buchhandelslehre Kulturjournalismus an der Universität Hildesheim. 2004 erschien ihr erster Roman Erste Hilfe. 2017 erschien ihr Roman Was man von hier aus sehen kann, der wochenlang auf der Spiegel-Bestsellerliste stand und in über vierzehn Sprachen übersetzt wird.

News & Interviews

The internet, on balance, has been something of a mixed-blessing for our species. But one thing everyone agrees on: It’s a great place to watch...
12 likes · 1 comments
“Man kann sich die Abenteuer, für die man gemacht ist, nicht immer aussuchen.” 14 likes
“Hier steht, dass jede Erleuchtung mit dem Putzen des Bodens beginnt und endet", sagte er, "wusstest du das?"
"Das wusste ich nicht", sagte Selma, "aber ich hatte es gehofft.”
More quotes…