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4.08  ·  Rating details ·  4,032 ratings  ·  323 reviews
Ferdinand von Schirach hat es in seinem Beruf alltäglich mit Menschen zu tun, die Extremes getan oder erlebt haben. Das Ungeheuerliche ist bei ihm der Normalfall. Er vertritt Unschuldige, die mit dem Gesetz in Konflikt geraten, ebenso wie Schwerstkriminelle. Deren Geschichten erzählt er – lakonisch wie ein Raymond Carver und gerade deswegen mit unfassbarer Wucht.

Ein anges
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published August 2009 by Piper (first published 2009)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  4,032 ratings  ·  323 reviews

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Luís C.
Ferdinand von Schirach has a name difficult to bear, his grandfather Baldur von Schirach (1907-1974) was chief of the Hitler Youth and gauleiter of Vienna, but this may have made him want to become a lawyer.

In Crime, the criminal law specialist reports eleven cases in the form of novels. Cases where the perpetrators are "ordinary" people who have reacted violently by a combination of unfortunate circumstances for the victims, or for real motives which, if they do not excuse their crime, partly e
Nancy Oakes
Sorry about the waffling re genre but I had to go and read up on the writing of this book and it turns out that while the stories offered here are based on real-life cases that passed though the author's offices, the stories themselves are fictional.

These are not your standard legal defense narratives by any stretch; it is the circumstances leading up to the commission of each crime which informs the basis of each story. The book also serves as an exploration into not only what constitutes the
Jim Coughenour
Most things are complicated, and guilt always presents a bit of a problem.

These true crime stories hover somewhere between reportage and (to my American ear) an especially German style of storytelling that makes our courtroom dramas sound hyperbolic and naive. Ferdinand von Schirach is a criminal lawyer with some very peculiar clients. He's also an excellent writer. The crimes are bizarre; serving them justice requires imaginative calculations of compassion, punishment and morality. At times I w
Oliver Schnusenberg
Sep 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Although I am German, I have read the English version, so I will give my review in English.

I absolutely loved this collection. In recent years, I have become immersed and drawn in by a multitude of American authors and have only rarely read German authors. Although I have been in the U.S. for over 20 years, this book reminds me of some German characteristics I miss the most. von Schirach does an extraorindary job of injecting just the right amount of passion. I know no other culture that can be
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow ! A great collection of stories, you cannot put away this book. i cannot wait to read more from Ferdinand von Schirach. highly recommended.
Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I discovered ‘Crime’ by Ferdinand von Schirach (‘Verbrechen’ in German) recently through a wonderful review and couldn’t resist getting the book. I got it last week and finished reading it yesterday. Here is what I think about it.

‘Crime’ is a collection of eleven true-life stories. They are told by an unnamed narrator (who I assumed was Ferdinand von Schirach) who makes an appearance in each of those stories. Each of the stories touches on a distinct or interesting point of law. In some stories
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
And this is the real life - where the guilt must be truly evaluated from all perspectives as the breach of law might have a good reason, where one can foresee nothing and where some lawyers have to fight for the life of some lost (or misunderstood) souls.

4.5 stars.
The author of CRIME, Ferdinand von Schirach is a criminal lawyer in Berlin. He's also an extremely good storyteller.

The stories incorporated in CRIME (as the publicity material puts it) were specifically chosen to demonstrate the relationships between truth and reason, law and compassion. They are real-life cases from the author's own experience. The subject matter, frankly, is frequently much much easier to imagine as fictional - but they are not. Whilst it's clear they are tales chosen to trig
Jun 12, 2019 rated it liked it
I read about "Verbrechen" ("Crime") when it came out, I think. The author is mostly notable for his grandfather and I can't imagine what it must be like to always live in the shadow of the name you bear. Particularly when it is tied to an infamous time like the Third Reich.

Anyway, on to the book. I faintly remember wanting to read the book but at some point I completely forgot about it. Now I am on vacation and some previous tenant left the book here and I finally picked it up. It's very differe
Mar 18, 2019 marked it as stopped-reading-unfinished  ·  review of another edition
Recommended by a dear friend (AL), but this was much, much too dark for me. I read the first 25% and had to put it down. It would give me nightmares and mess with my mind.
Incidentally, I was reading each paragraph in German, and then reading the same paragraph in English. All in all, I didn’t strike me as a particularly strong translation. If you told me the translator was not a native English speaker, I would believe you.
Esther Ho
Many of the stories are very good. But The Ethiopian was great. The Ethiopian made me cry. It truly shows what turns can life take.
This is a book about human lives. In many of the stories you see the hopelessness of life. Yet The Ethiopian went from "what is life for" to a life worth living. It was truly touching.
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Morteza Bahrami
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How shocking it is to know we, in Iran live under such a brutal system of sentences. It's an informative and interesting read.
Apr 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-45-books
Anedoctical short stories depicting interesting cases of the german judicial system. Sometimes touching, sometimes just peculiar it will not be ever considered great literature but will do for an easy 2-day reading.

The only issue I found was more with the author's attitude as a criminal defense attorney. This was most evident in the "Love" story when a young confessed he stabbed his girlfriend because he wanted to eat her! the minor got away with it because it was an "accident" but the defense
Christian Schwoerke
This volume begins with a preface as a means to introduce an epigraph: “Most things are complicated, and guilt always introduces a bit of a problem.” Laconic and even banal, it is also pointedly ironic: not only was this a frequent utterance of Schirach’s uncle but it was also the content of the uncle’s suicide note. It is with this irony that many of the stories proceed, each unfolding in a way that reveals a good more than appears on the surface.

The narrator of these stories is a criminal defe
Aug 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pitch perfect little gem of a collection. Devoured it in one sitting. Doesn't at all feel like a translation with not one word out of place. If you like something a little on the dark side then this is for you.
Collection of short stories set in Germany featuring a defense attorney who records his observations of his clients and their crimes and motivations. The writing was rather spare though very realistic. Most of the stories were depressing but there was a bit of humor in a few.
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I read the English translated version. The english didn’t flow well, and had grammatical issues - but one could get the gist of the stories from it still. From that, the stories were spine-tingling but in terms of getting into the heads of those involved in the story? Not so much. It was very much written from Ferdinand’s perspective and his interpretation of the individuals. In that sense, it felt less bringing the reader into questioning the idea of crime but more just Ferdinand had opened up ...more
Bert van der Vaart
Oct 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Quite entertaining collection of cases by an attorney who has gotten a number of clients off various legal actions filed against them--mostly in criminal law--in Germany. The author makes a good case for the fact that a defense attorney's job is to make the prosecutor really prove that the defendant was guilty. In fact there are often many steps missing in establishing such proof, as von Schirach shows. Probably not a life-changing book, but good on an airplane.
Abby Howell
Well-written narrowly-focused, well-plotted short stories--written by a German lawyer. But I have to say the often brutal content of each short story was not for me. Five stars, for the quality of the writing, but the content was neither, let's say, light summer beach reading, nor deeply novelistic, with a compelling emotional depth. An exception was the last story--The Ethiopian.
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Crime is not clear cut. There is so much gray where the legal system claims black and white. This book effectively gave several examples of the gray. Each short story was moving and thought provoking and I spent longer reading this than most books. Simply because I needed time to process and gather my thoughts on each story. I can’t recommend it enough.
José García-Herz
Great description of human nature

A spectacular account of cases where we learn about the characters not with adjectives, but with a precise and clinical explanation by the author, a defense lawyer. A human account of how every human being taken to a limit can commit crimes.
Hanna Crisostomo
Pleasantly surprised. I had to read this for work and some of the stories were highly interesting. I didn’t love the writing style, but at the same time the fact that it was different from what I usually read made me appreciate and like it.

Summertime was probably my favorite one.
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe because of von Schirach's own dark family history he shows a remarkable deftness describing guilt in a bland businessman's life and innocence in a man who chops up another man in a bathtub. This is a great collection of stories no less thought-provoking than his play, Terror.
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
read some of the stories, then started skimming, my sense of duty (finish the book!) fast losing to the overpowering sensation of bored voyeurism; 2 emotions i like to fight whenever, whatever, wherever they present themselves to me, but more so when reading.
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Overall a nice collection, especially liked the stories that had more of a mystery included.
Felix Wu
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Janine De paiva
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good short stories. Gruesome. Do these people really exist??
Claudia Moreira Calzadilla
Jan 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: german-class
Voor Duits...niks van begrepen

I read it for my German class.... I didn't understand a thing.
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Ferdinand von Schirach (born 1964 in Munich) is a German lawyer and writer. He published his first short stories at the age of forty-five. Shortly thereafter he became one of Germany's most successful authors. His books, which have been translated into more than 35 languages, have sold millions of copies worldwide and have made him "an internationally celebrated star of German literature.
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