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Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin
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Berlin Alexanderplatz (1929)

by Alfred Döblin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,770255,734 (3.78)105
  1. 20
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» See also 105 mentions

English (15)  Dutch (4)  German (2)  French (1)  Danish (1)  All (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (25)
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
The translation by Michael Hoffman brings refreshment to this tale of low life Weimar Berlin. I compared it to dos Passos’ U.S.A. but it deserves to be hailed in its own right as a study of the individual embattled in the war to make good one’s place in an indifferent twentieth century.
  ivanfranko | Aug 7, 2018 |
I have to admit, it was actually the part where the main dude comes back from the dead and turns out to be a kind of grace-lobotomized angel or bodhisattva that made me fully embrace this gritty, hilarious (I love when Germans are funny because no one else's humour has that manic edge of malice) story of human damage in 1920s Berlin. Let me say again: the part that makes the book is where the protagonist turns out to be an angel. How fucking good a writer do you have to be to pull that off? Also, the gusto with which the dialogue is Englished and Twentiesed by Jolas is a major accomplishment on its own, good job Jolas. ( )
1 vote MeditationesMartini | Jan 11, 2017 |
I made the mistake of reading the book in english, whereas it would have been much more lively in german trough the use of Berlin dialect.

You need to survive to approx. page 150 to have the book get traction.

( )
  Kindnist85 | May 25, 2016 |
The story of a small time criminal in the Weimar Republic is fairly interesting, but the slog through the many pages is not too rewarding. Still, it can be read in its historical context. I wonder if Hitler had it burned because it was outside the mainstream of literature at the time. ( )
1 vote JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
Read this book in German for my literature list. Liked it, and that's where the 4 stars came from.
That is so many years ago now, that I've gotten a Dutch translation a few years back. Since then it is waiting to be read again. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (173 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Döblin, Alfredprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Althen, Christinasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Benjamin, WalterContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Driessen, HansTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gini, EnzaContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hofmann, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jolas, EugèneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Le Lay, OlivierTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muschg, WalterAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orlan, Pierre MacPréfacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peromies, AarnoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Piatti, CelestinoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rost, NicoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spaini, AlbertoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
van Paassen, WillemTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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He stood in front of the Tegel Prison gate and was free now.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Berlin in the 1920s. Franz Biberkopf has just been released from prison after serving four years for violence that resulted in the death of a girlfriend. He returns to his old neighborhood -- Alexanderplatz -- vowing to live a decent life. What he finds are unemployment lines, gangsters, prostitutes, petty thieves, and neophyte Nazis. In this sordid world there are new women -- devoted Eva, vulnerable young Mieze -- and the dangerous, near-psychotic Reinhold, who befriends him. As Franz struggles to survive, fate teases him with a little luck, a little pleasure, then cruelly turns on him.
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"The inspiration for Rainer Werner Fassbinder's epic film and that The Guardian named one of the "Top 100 Books of All Time," Berlin Alexanderplatz is considered one of the most important works of the Weimar Republic and twentieth century literature. Franz Biberkopf, pimp and petty thief, has just finished serving a term in prison for murdering his girlfriend. He's on his own in Weimar Berlin with its lousy economy and frontier morality, but Franz is determined to turn over new leaf, get ahead, make an honest man of himself, and so on and so forth. He hawks papers, chases girls, needs and bleeds money, gets mixed up in spite of himself in various criminal and political schemes, and when he tries to back out of them, it's at the cost of an arm. This is only the beginning of our modern everyman's multiplying misfortunes, but though Franz is more dupe than hustler, in the end, well, persistence is rewarded and things might be said to work out. Just like in a novel. Lucky Franz.Berlin, Alexanderplatz is one of great twentieth-century novels. Taking off from the work of Dos Passos and Joyce, Doblin depicts modern life in all its shocking violence, corruption, splendor, and horror. Michael Hofmann, celebrated for his translations of Joseph Roth and Franz Kafka, has prepared a new version, the first in over 75 years, in which Doblin's sublime and scurrilous masterpiece comes alive in English as never before"--|cProvided by publisher."Franz Biberkopf, pimp and petty thief, has just finished serving a term in prison for murdering his girlfriend. He's on his own in Weimar Berlin with its lousy economy and frontier morality, but Franz is determined to turn over new leaf, get ahead, make an honest man of himself, and so on and so forth. He hawks papers, chases girls, needs and bleeds money, gets mixed up in various criminal and political schemes in spite of himself, and when he tries to back out of them, it's at the cost of an arm. This is only the beginning of our modern everyman's multiplying misfortunes, but though Franz is more dupe than hustler, in the end, well, persistence is rewarded and things might be said to work out. Just like in a novel. Lucky Franz. Berlin Alexanderplatz is one of great twentieth-century novels. Taking off from the work of John Dos Passos and James Joyce, Alfred D… (more)

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