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Fast ein bißchen Frühling: Roman…

Fast ein bißchen Frühling: Roman (original 2002; edition 2004)

by Alex Capus

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585204,058 (3.33)12
Title:Fast ein bißchen Frühling: Roman
Authors:Alex Capus
Info:Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag (2004), Taschenbuch, 160 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:fiction, Germany, historical fiction, 1930s, Switzerland, Basel, crime

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Fast ein bißchen Frühling by Alex Capus (2002)



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Showing 4 of 4
In Almost Like Spring, Capus tells the riveting story of a series of bank robberies in Switzerland in the mid-1930s. He begins the book like this:

This is the true story of Kurt Sandweg and Waldemar Velte, two bank robbers who set off for India from Wuppertal in the winter of 1933/34, intending to travel there by sea. They only got as far as Basel, where they fell in love with a shop assistant who sold gramophone records and bought a tango disc from her every day. My maternal grandmother went for a walk with the bank robbers on two occasions. A police squad almost shot my grandfather in open countryside because he vaguely resembled one of them.

This is the fourth novel I’ve read and enjoyed written by Capus who writes in a kind of oral storytelling tradition and with an irresistible “charm” (someone else’s word, not mine). He often writes about real people or events in history but when rendered in his style, the stories seem almost-but-not-quite legend or folktale-like, the effect lends us the space to see something…well…different. Reading his short novels, the four that are available in translation, has been pure pleasure and I look forward to reading more. ( )
  avaland | Feb 1, 2016 |
Slightly disappointing: it looked like an interestingly quirky hook for an historical novel, but Capus doesn't really manage to do anything very special with this rather sordid story of two 1930s bank robbers from Wuppertal. Part of the problem is that Sandemann and Velte were evidently not very sympathetic characters: incompetent robbers with a tendency to panic and shoot people. The fact that they were well brought-up young men who didn't approve of the Nazis doesn't really cancel out their unfortunate habit of murdering bank clerks, Swiss policemen and random passers-by. Capus tries to hang his story mostly on the men's friendship with (or courtship of) a Basel shop assistant, but that doesn't give him enough to build a novel on, so we get an awful lot of padding of one sort or another. The only bit of this peripheral stuff that really works is his account of his own grandparents' brief involvement with the robbers. ( )
  thorold | Jan 1, 2013 |
... ( )
  Clairinne |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alex Capusprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brownjohn, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Das ist die wahre Geschichte der Bankräuber Kurt Sandweg und Waldemar Velte, die im Winter 1933/34 den Seeweg von Wuppertal nach Indien suchten.
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Contemporary fiction. Translated from German. With brilliantly vivid irony, a mosaic of voices tells the true story of Switzerland's most notorious bank robbers: Kurt Sandweg and Waldemar Velte. As 1933 draws to a close, the pair arrive in Basel from Wuppertal, Germany. Rebels on the run, they are searching for an escape from the confines of a callously regimented society left impoverished by the Depression and the onset of Nazi power.… (more)

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