Monday, 27 December 2010

No More Vorleser

There has been much gleeful crowing elsewhere - but I feel I have to out myself as a fan. I suppose it was the guy's rapier wit and intelligence, or the way he wore his suit. Or that little hint of tubby tummy, no doubt resulting indirectly from his love of cookbooks. Or in fact the downright sexy way - there, I've said it - he just went ahead and enthused about certain books, and trashed others with out-and-out contempt. No pussyfooting around; you have to be cruel to be kind, but when he liked a book he really said so. And those eyebrows.

My friends haven't stopped taking the mickey since I came out last week - But he's so short! And so opinionated! So conservative! And he looks like a Chickaboo (no, we decided that wasn't racist; although there's room for misconstruction, there is actually a certain physical resemblance around the hairline). And he's really short, you know!

I know all that. But I shall still miss watching Die Vorleser. Cancelled! How could they? I blame the other presenter - I know he would have shone like a bright star had he not been hampered by her earthy charm, her vox-populi saccharinity. And of course the format - I mean, all the other book shows on German TV are crashing and burning too right now, aren't they? He just hasn't found the right vehicle yet.

I can envisage something a little more glamorous, maybe just with his name as the title. With interviews and location shoots, maybe a visit to the sauna with Philip Roth or the racetrack with Clemens Meyer, maybe looking through Christa Wolf's stamp collection or tea and cake with Mrs. Bolano. Big-budget stuff, a primetime slot. With a live cooking section. And lots and lots of intelligent opinion. I know I'd watch it.


Michael King said...

I'm afraid this has nothing to do with your post, but as someone who is teaching himself German, I am looking for books that an adult can read, but which are not too complex.
If you have any suggestions, I would love to receive them at Vielen Dank

schultzie said...

I started with Scherbenpark by Alina Bronsky - you can read a bit from it on Perlentaucher. Actually, I use perlentaucher quite a bit that way - look at the sample chapter and if it's easy to read then it's usually a good pointer to the book. Bernhard Schlink's Der Vorleser is also an easy read that I've lent to others for their first novel in German.

Others that I think would be easy are Ingo Schultze's Adam and Evelyn, Gregor Sander's Abwesend, and Katja Lange-Müller's Böse Schafe. For short stories I'd recommend Judith Hermann's Sommerhaus, später.

kjd said...

Thank you, Schultzie - I never know what to say when people ask me this.

And good luck, Michael!