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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  17,413 ratings  ·  1,145 reviews
Mutter in der Entzugsklinik, Vater mit Assistentin auf Geschäftsreise: Maik Klingenberg wird die großen Ferien allein am Pool der elterlichen Villa verbringen. Doch dann kreuzt Tschick auf. Tschick, eigentlich Andrej Tschichatschow, kommt aus einem der Asi-Hochhäuser in Hellersdorf, hat es von der Förderschule irgendwie bis aufs Gymnasium geschafft und wirkt doch nicht ger ...more
Hardcover, 254 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Rowohlt (first published 2010)
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Alina The answer may well be: because lots of people haven't read anything better like "The Catcher in the Rhye" which is far, far superior due to several r…moreThe answer may well be: because lots of people haven't read anything better like "The Catcher in the Rhye" which is far, far superior due to several reasons, two of them being the more developed timeless characters and the more interesting timeless storyline. (less)
NoraS No, it isn't. Gayness is shortly discussed in the dialogue, but the story does not focus on it in any way. …moreNo, it isn't. Gayness is shortly discussed in the dialogue, but the story does not focus on it in any way. (less)

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Average rating 3.78  · 
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Amalia Gkavea
‘’Ever since I was a little boy my father had told me that the world was a bad place. The world is bad and people are bad. Don’t trust anyone, don’t talk to strangers, all of that. My parents drilled that into me. When you watched the local news - people were bad. When you saw primetime investigative shows - people were bad. And maybe it was true, maybe ninety-nine percent of people were bad.’’

The story starts in the police station with a frightened boy, a battered leg and quite a lot of diz
jv poore
Outwardly, I tout “girl power”. I tell my nieces, and other young ladies, that girls can do anything that boys can do. There is equality. In truth though, I’ve always been a bit jealous of boys. Growing up, it seemed that boys just had it easier, specifically in their friendships. Guys appear to be so comfortable with one and other, in a very real way. Buddies may disagree, argue, and even throw down; but, at the end of the day, the rapport is still strong. I don’t know how realistic my vision o ...more
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Two windmill fighters set out to find Don Quixote's idealistic spirit, and underneath a heap of outlandishly real crap, they find it!

Well, not quite. But almost. Maik has been taught by his parents that 99% of humanity is bad. And considering his mum is an alcoholic who needs to leave her 14-year-old son for a detox clinic over summer, and that his dad is a bankrupt business man who uses the occasion to leave as well, with his young assistant, they have a point. His teachers have been saying the
Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
A road-trip tale that's high on crazy, testosterone, and juvenile delinquency, and low on passing judgement.

The prose is sometimes stilted (possibly a flaw in translation), and the pacing is sometimes slow, but the climax is beautiful and I'm always going to champion for celebrations of oddity.

Give a copy to a teenager and then hide your car keys well.
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I dont really know if 4 or 5 stars. the story was great, the narrative also. But the end somehow dissapointed me...i wanted something more powerful but...anyhow, i am now to Kasabian concert. i liked it. big recommendation. Jack Kerouc for 14 year olds. Carpe diem
"i looked up at the stars extending out into incomprehensible infinity and was somehow frightened."

I read a lot of books, especially teen fiction (if there's roadtrip novel out there, I will find it and I will read it) but no novel has wrapped itself around my heart just as much as 'Why We Took The Car' has. I'll admit, it's half past nine at night and I started reading a mere few hours ago, and I've been a sobbing mess for about twenty minutes now.

To be honest, I don't know how exactly to
Apr 05, 2012 added it
Until not all that long ago, there were basically only two kinds of German-language fiction being published – prettty much every released book fell either into the category of very cerebral, highly modernistic literary fiction, or that of trashy, iredeemably bad pulp, with all the huge middle ground between the two extremes being covered by translated books, mostly (and rather unsurprisingly) from the United States. This has somewhat changed over recent years, and these days you can find German ...more
Oct 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This was so great a book. I especially liked the Finnish translation though it had some odd moments, but overall - wonderful! Herrndorf writes his main characters so unbelievably real, sarcastically funny and believable as (pre)teens. In a way I saw myself in Maik at that age and I had many hilarious moments with the book because of it.

I wanted to give the book five stars, but to that I would've wanted to know more about Tschick. I think Herrndorf pulled the gay part well, but I just wish he wou
Sep 16, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Mike Klingenberg and Andrej Tschichatschow a.k.a. Tschick are very unpopular and considered by their peers to be rather weird. When neither is invited to the fabulously popular girl’s birthday party, who Mike is seriously crushing on, both boys decide to forget it all and go on a wild road trip across Germany. They make bad decisions, meet interesting people, and are eventually arrested. What seems like a great story actually falls very short. Though this book won the German Youth Literature Awa ...more
Jan 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this German coming of age story - it's well written and Mike the 14-year-old narrator is a really nice guy and totally enjoyable to listen too. I've read a number of these kinds of books as part of my job, and usually enjoy the young persons story about their life, insufferable parents/school/teachers/friends etc, but they are have all been from NZ, Australia, England or the USA, so nice to get an idea of life for European teens. Not a lot different from others - but enough inter ...more
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was looking for a contemporary German book to read and I was thinking about it when I discovered Wolfgang Herrndorf's 'Tschick'. I got it and read the first page and then I couldn't stop reading.

The story told in 'Tschick' goes like this. Mike Klingenberg is fourteen years old and he is the narrator of the story. At the beginning of the story we find Mike in the hospital. There seem to be police with him too. We wonder why. Mike tells us what happened. Mike is a loner at school and doesn't ha
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really disliked the opening. So much so that I didn't bother continuing with the book for about six months. But this week I picked it up again and pushed through the first 10 pages or so and from then on I LOVED it. I was laughing out loud at so many points. Again, I wasn't too keen on the ending as a whole, but the actual final scene I thought was really touching and definitely suited the whole mood of the book ...more
Marta Mlinac
Aug 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book was required reading for my German class, which means I had to read it in German.
Thankfully, I only had to read 100 pages of this monstrosity.
The thing is, I don't know enough German to understand whatever the frick is written in this book.
The fact that it was in German made me absolutely despise it and not want to read it even if I was being held at gunpoint.
I'm sure that I wouldn't hate it as much had it been in English. But it wasn't. And I hate this book's guts.

Also, what's the d
Jan 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
My younger sister and my cousin both had to read this in school and they hated it. The more they complained the more I wanted to read this. I enjoyed it and I laughed out loud several times. I think that‘s just the problem with books you read in school, you HAVE to read them.
Other than that I can’t think of a reason why they disliked it so much..”Why we took the car” is a short and easy feel-good read.
Constanze Zietz
Dec 08, 2015 rated it liked it
After reading different reviews and hearing a lot of good remarks on this novel, I had high expectations which, unfortunately, in my opinion could not be reached. Sure, it was an easy read and the story about two german boys spending their summer holidays driving around eastern germany had its funny moments but for me, there was nothing more to it. For me, the real purpose of the story was not clear, therefore a rating of 3.
Vita Mia
Dec 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Kind of a strange story and I don‘t really see why the writer might have felt compelled to write it. I‘m quite curious though.
Stephanie Griffin
WHY WE TOOK THE CAR is a great story about two fourteen year old loner-type boys who take a road trip in a stolen car. It’s written by Wolfgang Hernndorf, who prematurely passed away in 2013 at only 48. The book won multiple German writing awards.
The main character, Mike Klingenberg, lives in a well-to-do house with all the nice things but behind the scenes his family is very dysfunctional. Tschick, another loner, has a background that is murkier although if he knows how to steal cars at his age
Pop Bop
Oct 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Smart, Funny, Touching and Refreshing

There are a lot of books out there that are written to sound like they are being narrated by fourteen year olds. When the narrator is a boy the books are often funny stories of school daze pranks, or yearning puppy dog tales of first love, or sports themed. (I'm putting aside fantasy/adventure books or goony farces.) Many of those books are entertaining, and even in some ways instructive, and I'll be happy to keep reading them as long as ambitious and creativ
Nov 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: germany
I hate that the publisher makes sure I know the circumstances this book was written under; if I dislike a book written by a dying author, that makes me feel like an asshole. If I like it, I'm forever (or at least for a while) going to wonder how much of that is me projecting what I know of the author onto the text.

That said, I definitely wound up liking this a lot more than I expected. It looks really clichéd - two bored young teenage outsiders from Berlin, a rich dork and a dirt-poor immigrant,
Robin Zöllner
Dec 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
Worst book i ever read. not read it!
You are wasting your time. It's boring, the characters are stupid!
I can't believe the other reviews.
Tschick a book written by Wolfgang Herrendorf. It tells the story of Maik Klingenberg and Andrej „Tschick“ Tschichatschow, who embark on a car tour through Germany.

Maik does not have friends, girls are not interested in him, you could (as he does himself) call him boring. His parents are richt, but they have other things in mind. His mother is in rehab, because she's an alcoholic, and his father is on holiday with his very young secreatry.
At the beginning of the book, Tschick is transfer
Daisy May Johnson
After spending time as a writer in residence for a road, I've been increasingly interested in the role of 'roads' in children's and young adult literature. Young adult literature, in fact, has a perfect sort of marriage with the metaphor of the road, where the open road promises freedom, independence and self-determination, and it's a sense of liberty which is always in sharp contrast to that which exists at home. Furiously well known in its original German, Why We Took The Car is a translated n ...more
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was wonderful. Flat out, hands down. It's a coming of age adventure, a couple of teenagers who haven't really found their place in the world, who are still trying to navigate the social intricacies of school, teenagedom, unrequited love, and trying to learn to grow into their own identities. The adults in their lives are largely absent. But they find one another, get hold of a beat-up old car, and set out on an adventure that takes them roaming across east Germany on country roads, col ...more
Parva Chhantyal
A very pleasant and fast-paced book.
I must admit, however, that I found the film version better (usually it’s opposite).
Maik, a very unpopular boy in his school is very unhappy because he does not get an invitation to Tatjana's birthday party (his secret crush). His new friend at school, Tschick, motivates him to confront her. To recover from this uncomfortable experience and also because there is literally nothing to do during summer holiday, these two 14-year-old boys decide to ta
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a fabulous ‘Bildungsroman ‘ inclusive of a road trip. Those happen to be my favorite story genres and I’m lucky to have found both in one book.

The narrator is fourteen year old Mike from Berlin with an upper middle class upbringing , who makes friends with a Russian migrant kid named ‘Tschick’.
The story revolves around an incident that occurred during a summer break.

Mike’s narration is witty and extremely engaging. Both him and Tschick takes the reader along the autobahn on a crazy adven
Izabella (Pages Full of Stars)
This was a big disappointment for me. I initially picked up this book because of its pretty cover but bought it because the story sounded interesting, however it fell completely flat. It's supposed to be a coming of age story about two 14-year olds taking a road trip across Germany but the plot is very messy, I had a hard time finding any sense or purpose in it. It already started of ridiculous when the author wanted the reader to believe that 14-year old boys could drive around without getting ...more
Karen Barber
Honestly, a little unsure of the purpose of this book.
Mike, something of a non-entity among his year group, is fascinated by the appearance of a new boy in school, Tschick. For no obvious reason, they steal a Lada and go on a road trip across Germany. Odd events abound, they survive and end up slightly different characters to those they were when they left.
It may be some of the nuance was lost in translation, but I wasn't sure why this happened and they funny even really seem to learn much from
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book! I read it for the Uni. Althought I didn't enjoy really much the first half because I thought it was a little too pushed and unusual (two fourteen y/o kids stole a car and go where they want... mmmh), the second half is pure gold, perfect, awesome! I loved so much the different questions and problems they talk about.
The ending was perfect, I loved it, I could read it everyday, becausa it's beautiful.
I would suggest this book to anyone, mostly to the young adult ones!
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was probably the funniest book I've ever read. Loved the story, loved the characters, and Wolfgang Herrndorf's writing is so quirky (in a good way!), it had me laughing out loud constantly; a beautiful story about the thin line between good and bad. ...more
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: german-books
This book definitely has the potential to appeal many age groups even though it’s really a young adult story about friendship and growing up. The language is very youthful and it just cracked me up so many times... is this how kids talk these days??? 🤪🤪🤪🤪
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Wolfgang Herrndorf studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, Nuremberg. After graduating, he moved to Berlin, where he worked as a magazine illustrator and posted frequently on the Internet forum Wir höflichen Paparazzi (We Polite Paparazzi). In 2001, Herrndorf joined the art and writing collective Zentrale Intelligenz Agentur, eventually contributing to their blog, Riesenmaschine (Giant Machi ...more

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When it comes to the romance genre, second books can be a bit like second dates, can't they? You've had that great initial meet-cute with...
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“Seit ich klein war, hatte mein Vater mir beigebracht, dass die Welt schlecht ist. Die Welt ist schlecht, und der Mensch ist auch schlecht. Trau keinem, geh nicht mit Fremden und so weiter. Das hatten mir meine Eltern erzählt, das hatten mir meine Lehrer erzählt, und das Fernsehen erzählte es auch. Wenn man Nachrichten guckt: Der Mensch ist schlecht. Wenn man Spiegel TV guckt: Der Mensch ist schlecht. Und vielleicht stimmte das ja auch, und der Mensch war zu 99 Prozent schlecht. Aber das Seltsame war, dass Tschick und ich auf unserer Reise fast ausschließlich dem einen Prozent begegneten, das nicht schlecht war. Da klingelt man nachts um vier irgendwen aus dem Bett, weil man gar nichts von ihm will, und er ist superfreundlich und bietet auch noch seine Hilfe an. Auf so was sollte man in der Schule vielleicht auch mal hinweisen, damit man nicht völlig davon überrascht wird.” 42 likes
“Du kannst nicht viel von deiner Mutter lernen. Aber das kannst du von deiner Mutter lernen. Erstens, man kann über alles reden. Und zweitens, was die Leute denken, ist scheißegal.” 30 likes
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