Berlin, 1989, the German reunification. Two old men walk along the newly opened wall: one tall and lean, the other small and stocky. A funny and unequal pair: the office worker Theo Wuttke, also known as »Fonty«, and his »constant shadow« Hoftaller, the immortal spy. Both of them live up to their predecessors, and the past is as close and present to them as the rapid myriad of daily events — meanwhile a young Frenchwoman appears to provide fresh hopes for the future in her enchanting way …

This full-of-life novel by the »nation’s pessimist, or optimist respectfully« creates not only a Fontane biography full of sensuality, inconsistencies and contradictions, but also a multi-layered account of German history between the March Revolution of 1848 and today; a series of colorfully-illustrated stories of the past and present that transcends all chronology, and even more an artistic, humorous corrective to the often-harmonizing historiography: festive speeches on the »east’s revival«, ringing of bells in »flourishing countryside« and my friend is a foreigner campaign versus everyday worries, privatization scandals and xenophobia. An outstanding novel of continuing relevance to be rediscovered.

Edited by Dieter Stolz and Werner Frizen

768 pages

Hardback / Clothbound
14 x 21.3 cm


ISBN 978-3-95829-459-2

Not yet published

€ 38.00 incl. VAT
Free shipping

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