HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Tschick by Wolfgang Herrndorf
Loading...

Tschick (original 2010; edition 2012)

by Wolfgang Herrndorf

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4951620,650 (3.97)7
Member:BasKoeln
Title:Tschick
Authors:Wolfgang Herrndorf
Info:rororo (2012), Ausgabe: 14, Taschenbuch, 256 Seiten
Collections:Your library, 2012
Rating:****
Tags:Europa, Deutschland, Berlin, zeitgenössisch, Jugend, Abenteuer, Humor, Fiktion

Work details

Tschick by Wolfgang Herrndorf (2010)

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 7 mentions

German (11)  English (5)  All languages (16)
Showing 5 of 5
http://www.mytwostotinki.com/?p=920

Usually I am not quoting from book blurbs. But in this specific case, I'll gladly make an exception:

"Mike Klingenberg doesn't get why people think he's boring. Sure, he doesn't have
many friends. (Okay, zero friends.) And everyone laughs at him when he reads his
essays out loud in class. And he's never invited to parties - including the gorgeous Tatiana's party of the year.

Andre Tschichatschow, aka Tschick (not even the teachers can pronounce his name), is new in school, and a whole different kind of unpopular. He always looks like he's just been in a fight, his clothes are tragic, and he never talks to anyone.

But one day Tschick shows up at Mike's house out of the blue. Turns out he wasn't invited to Tatiana's party either, and he's ready to do something about it. Forget the popular kids: Together, Mike and Tschick are heading out on a road trip. No parents, no map, no destination. Will they get hopelessly lost in the middle of nowhere? Probably. Will they meet crazy people and get into serious trouble? Definitely. But will they ever be called boring again?

Not a chance."


Wolfgang Herrndorf's Young Adult novel Why We Took The Car, Winner of the German Teen Literature Prize, sold so far more than one million copies. Again, I am usually not mentioning this kind of facts, But here I had the feeling that there can be nothing wrong with the reading culture when such a well-written book attracts such a big audience of a (partly) juvenile audience.

The novel is a fast and straightforward story of two 14-year old boys that grow up in Berlin.

Mike comes from a wealthy family, although his father is recently "preparing for bankruptcy" because his real estate development project was successfully stopped by some environmentalists (or environmental fascists as Mike's father, the least endearing personnage in this book calls them.) But living in a decent neighborhood, in their own house with garden and swimming pool doesn't compensate for the downsides of this idyll: Mike's mother, although a genuinely loving and funny person, has a serious alcohol addiction that requires regular treatment, and Mike's father doesn't even hide it that he has an affair with his "assistant", a girl just a few years older than Mike.

Tschick (also the title of the novel in German) on the other hand is an immigrant from Russia of German/Russian/Jewish/Gypsy origin - but since this information comes from the notoriously ironic and unreliable Tschick, we cannot be really sure about the truth of this information. Tschick is coming from a completely different social background, although we - like Tschick's classmates or teachers are for most part left in the dark about the details.

When Tschick turns up surprisingly at Mike's home in a...ehem..."lent" Lada, a series of events is unfolding that remembered me of a road movie. First the two misfits turn up uninvited at Tatiana's birthday party, where Mike can hand over his present, a pencil portrait of the singer Beyonce on which he has worked for weeks. Then the two are off to Walachia, a region somewhere in the European periphery where Tschick has relatives - again this is his own version and we can't be sure if he is reliable here. (A short remark here: when in German someone wants to express that another person lives in the middle of nowhere, he usually says that this person lives in the "Wallachei". This coincidence is rather funny, and again we can't be sure if Tschick's quest for Wallachia wasn't meant ironically.)

Without map and with very limited knowledge regarding directions the two boys make their way to the region south of Berlin, once obviously passing by the Lausitz region - they remark street signs in another language without having crossed a border - and on their way they have all kind of odd people meeting them. One of them is Isa, a girl that is so different from the admired Tatiana, and although she is a bit strange, she leaves a lasting impression on Mike. Maybe there is more to girls than just good looks? At least with Isa it is possible to have a real and meaningful conversation and she seems much more grown up than Mike's other classmates.

Some other meetings Tschick and Mike have on the road will for sure stay also with the reader for a long time. My favorite was the funny family that didn't go shopping in the only village supermarket but who celebrated each lunch with a kind of quiz show better than in any TV channel. Also Horst Fricke, a former sharpshooter that the two encounter, is quite a number. His slightly hostile approach melts away rather quickly and he gives the two youngsters some practical wisdom about love and life:

"There's one thing you need to understand, my doves", he said, finishing up. "Everything is meaningless. Love too. Carpe diem."

Not surprisingly, the joy ride ends in quite a mess. But although the two friends have a court trial - Tschick has to do time in a youth detention center, but Mike is more lucky since he has to do some community work only - the reader gets the impression that these two boys will make their way in the future. They experienced friendship together, maybe for the first time, and they learned also an important lesson about life:

"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, even TV 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. But the strange thing was that on this trip, Tschick and I had run into almost only people from the one percent who weren't bad. And now here I was, getting a random stranger out of bed at four A.M., for no good reason, and he was super nice and even willing to help us. Maybe they should tell you things like that in school too, just so you're not totally surprised by it."

I liked particularly about the book that although it is written with a light hand and is full of dialogues that make the reader laugh or smile, it takes its two main characters so serious; there is none of the patronizing attitude and the pseudo-funniness that makes so many books written for Young Adults such a depressing read. To be young is frequently not at all funny, and these two boys are in a way terribly lonely. The good thing is that the book shows that no matter how strange you may think you are, you can still make true friends in life whom you can trust even your secrets (Tschick has such a secret and that he trusts it to Mike is a great sign of friendship).

Wolfgang Herrndorf (1965-2013) was a painter and illustrator; his writing career started late and gained only momentum when he was already terminally ill with a rare form of brain cancer (glioblastom). I intend to review his book Arbeit und Struktur (Work and Structure) soon. Those of you who read German can have a look at this text that was first published as a blog and documentation of the last months before his suicide here: http://www.wolfgang-herrndorf.de/

My reading copy was provided by Lizzy, the co-host of the German Literary Month as a giveaway of one of her Wednesdays-are-wunderbar events. I am grateful to have had a chance to review this book.
( )
  Mytwostotinki | Dec 14, 2015 |
http://www.mytwostotinki.com/?p=920

Usually I am not quoting from book blurbs. But in this specific case, I'll gladly make an exception:

"Mike Klingenberg doesn't get why people think he's boring. Sure, he doesn't have
many friends. (Okay, zero friends.) And everyone laughs at him when he reads his
essays out loud in class. And he's never invited to parties - including the gorgeous Tatiana's party of the year.

Andre Tschichatschow, aka Tschick (not even the teachers can pronounce his name), is new in school, and a whole different kind of unpopular. He always looks like he's just been in a fight, his clothes are tragic, and he never talks to anyone.

But one day Tschick shows up at Mike's house out of the blue. Turns out he wasn't invited to Tatiana's party either, and he's ready to do something about it. Forget the popular kids: Together, Mike and Tschick are heading out on a road trip. No parents, no map, no destination. Will they get hopelessly lost in the middle of nowhere? Probably. Will they meet crazy people and get into serious trouble? Definitely. But will they ever be called boring again?

Not a chance."


Wolfgang Herrndorf's Young Adult novel Why We Took The Car, Winner of the German Teen Literature Prize, sold so far more than one million copies. Again, I am usually not mentioning this kind of facts, But here I had the feeling that there can be nothing wrong with the reading culture when such a well-written book attracts such a big audience of a (partly) juvenile audience.

The novel is a fast and straightforward story of two 14-year old boys that grow up in Berlin.

Mike comes from a wealthy family, although his father is recently "preparing for bankruptcy" because his real estate development project was successfully stopped by some environmentalists (or environmental fascists as Mike's father, the least endearing personnage in this book calls them.) But living in a decent neighborhood, in their own house with garden and swimming pool doesn't compensate for the downsides of this idyll: Mike's mother, although a genuinely loving and funny person, has a serious alcohol addiction that requires regular treatment, and Mike's father doesn't even hide it that he has an affair with his "assistant", a girl just a few years older than Mike.

Tschick (also the title of the novel in German) on the other hand is an immigrant from Russia of German/Russian/Jewish/Gypsy origin - but since this information comes from the notoriously ironic and unreliable Tschick, we cannot be really sure about the truth of this information. Tschick is coming from a completely different social background, although we - like Tschick's classmates or teachers are for most part left in the dark about the details.

When Tschick turns up surprisingly at Mike's home in a...ehem..."lent" Lada, a series of events is unfolding that remembered me of a road movie. First the two misfits turn up uninvited at Tatiana's birthday party, where Mike can hand over his present, a pencil portrait of the singer Beyonce on which he has worked for weeks. Then the two are off to Walachia, a region somewhere in the European periphery where Tschick has relatives - again this is his own version and we can't be sure if he is reliable here. (A short remark here: when in German someone wants to express that another person lives in the middle of nowhere, he usually says that this person lives in the "Wallachei". This coincidence is rather funny, and again we can't be sure if Tschick's quest for Wallachia wasn't meant ironically.)

Without map and with very limited knowledge regarding directions the two boys make their way to the region south of Berlin, once obviously passing by the Lausitz region - they remark street signs in another language without having crossed a border - and on their way they have all kind of odd people meeting them. One of them is Isa, a girl that is so different from the admired Tatiana, and although she is a bit strange, she leaves a lasting impression on Mike. Maybe there is more to girls than just good looks? At least with Isa it is possible to have a real and meaningful conversation and she seems much more grown up than Mike's other classmates.

Some other meetings Tschick and Mike have on the road will for sure stay also with the reader for a long time. My favorite was the funny family that didn't go shopping in the only village supermarket but who celebrated each lunch with a kind of quiz show better than in any TV channel. Also Horst Fricke, a former sharpshooter that the two encounter, is quite a number. His slightly hostile approach melts away rather quickly and he gives the two youngsters some practical wisdom about love and life:

"There's one thing you need to understand, my doves", he said, finishing up. "Everything is meaningless. Love too. Carpe diem."

Not surprisingly, the joy ride ends in quite a mess. But although the two friends have a court trial - Tschick has to do time in a youth detention center, but Mike is more lucky since he has to do some community work only - the reader gets the impression that these two boys will make their way in the future. They experienced friendship together, maybe for the first time, and they learned also an important lesson about life:

"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, even TV 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. But the strange thing was that on this trip, Tschick and I had run into almost only people from the one percent who weren't bad. And now here I was, getting a random stranger out of bed at four A.M., for no good reason, and he was super nice and even willing to help us. Maybe they should tell you things like that in school too, just so you're not totally surprised by it."

I liked particularly about the book that although it is written with a light hand and is full of dialogues that make the reader laugh or smile, it takes its two main characters so serious; there is none of the patronizing attitude and the pseudo-funniness that makes so many books written for Young Adults such a depressing read. To be young is frequently not at all funny, and these two boys are in a way terribly lonely. The good thing is that the book shows that no matter how strange you may think you are, you can still make true friends in life whom you can trust even your secrets (Tschick has such a secret and that he trusts it to Mike is a great sign of friendship).

Wolfgang Herrndorf (1965-2013) was a painter and illustrator; his writing career started late and gained only momentum when he was already terminally ill with a rare form of brain cancer (glioblastom). I intend to review his book Arbeit und Struktur (Work and Structure) soon. Those of you who read German can have a look at this text that was first published as a blog and documentation of the last months before his suicide here: http://www.wolfgang-herrndorf.de/

My reading copy was provided by Lizzy, the co-host of the German Literary Month as a giveaway of one of her Wednesdays-are-wunderbar events. I am grateful to have had a chance to review this book.
( )
  Mytwostotinki | Dec 14, 2015 |
This book is great fun! The fourteen-year-old protagonist, Maik, has the time of his life with "Tschick," the new Russian kid from school, when the latter convinces him to take a real summer vacation with him in a stolen car while Maik's parents are away. At first, Tschick is just a silent individual, who brings an unconventional element to the classroom, and no one manages to get to know him. Maik is more concerned with his utter disappointment that the girl he has a crush on didn’t invite him to her birthday party after he’d spent weeks drawing a picture of Beyoncé to give her. He believes he wasn’t invited because he’s just too boring. But, on the day summer vacation begins, Tschick seeks out Maik, and then keeps turning up, first on a dilapidated women’s bike and then in a stolen Lada. Tschick and Maik embark on an adventure that is anything but boring. This coming-of-age novel has lots of twists and turns, and lot lots of hilarity. I highly recommend it. ( )
  Coffeehag | Nov 17, 2014 |
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 genre authors who write for readers with more than the minimum intelligence required to decipher a text, and litfic authors to whom the concept of reading for enjoyment is not utterly alien. And sometimes you get a novel like Tschick (which would have been impossible thirty years ago) that is undoubtedly literary fiction but also is insanely fun to read, enjoyable on all kinds of levels, whether it’s analysis of structure and imagery or or whether it’s being swept away by a ripping good yarn.

The main reason for Tschick’s success (artistically as well as commercially – the novel was a bestseller in Germany) lies, I think, in its narrative voice, that of fourteen year old Maik who relates events from a first person view. Maik is your average awkward teenager, thinks of himself as boring and is in love with a girl from his class who barely knows that he exists. But then a new guy is introduced, Tschick, the son of Russian immigrants and very much a social outsider. Rather without intending to, Maik slides into a friendship with Tschick who one day stands at his door with a stolen car, and before Maik quite knows what is happening, the two of them are on their towards Wallachia where supposedly Tschick’s grandfather lives.

What then follows is a riff on simultaneously road movie, Bildungsroman and quest romance, a wild and hugely entertaining ride through Eastern Germany in the course of which encounter all sorts of bizarre characters while discovering both themselves and each other. It is a very hard thing to do, but Wolfgang Herrndorf manages to exactly hit the note of a fourteen-year old’s voice, giving his narrator just enough jargon and attitude to make him sound his age, but never so much as to make it come across as obtrusive and unconvincing. The novel is funny without being forced, touching without being sentimental, and while the story unfolds in what is quite recognisably present-day Germany it is never simply realistic (at least not in the sense of depicting things “just as they are” as realism is still most commonly understood). The narrative often has a dreamlike feel about it, sometimes peaking into the outright surreal, but it is always somewhat larger than life, as if common reality was not quite sufficient to hold Maik, Tschick and the people they encounter on their trip.

And while Wolfgang Herrndorf does not gloss over the bleakness of the East German Maik and Tschick travers in their stolen car, and does not serve the reader a facile happy ending, when all is said done, Tschick is not only a very funy and highly entertaining novel, but also a rather hopeful one; summarised neatly by the narrator at the end when he reflects that he has always been told how people are bad, and even though this might be true of 99% of everyone, he and Tschick on their journey enountered almost exclusively the one percent that was not bad. There is some melancholy in this, but also no small amount of optimism and I’d wager most readers will close this novel with a smile on their face and think back on it fondly.
  Larou | May 16, 2012 |
Showing 5 of 5

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wolfgang Herrndorfprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bok, Pauline deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mohr, TimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Important places
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Als Erstes ist da der Geruch von Blut und Kaffee.
Quotations
Last words
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

Mike Klingenberg is a troubled fourteen-year-old from a disfunctional family in Berlin who thinks of himself as boring, so when a Russian juvenile delinquent called Tschick begins to pay attention to him and include Mike in his criminal activities, he is excited--until those activities lead to disaster on the autobahn.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
8 wanted
5 pay6 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.97)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 10
2.5 2
3 35
3.5 15
4 64
4.5 15
5 55

Audible.com

An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 108,334,667 books! | Top bar: Always visible