Set in the closing days of the Weimar Republic, German author Schenkel’s second novel (after The Murder Farm) provides shattering glimpses into the mind of a sexual predator, Josef Kalteis (German for ice cold), and into the abyss lurking beneath the veneer of civilization. Pretty young Kathie wishes to leave her dreary village for Munich, where she will find a job, a lover, and a life of luxury—the devil in the mirror, her mother calls these desires, which are sure to lead Kathie, like Faust’s Gretchen and so many other girls, to ruin. In the very ordinariness of Kathie’s sorry fate after only a week in Munich, and in the plausibility of Kalteis’s self-justifications, Schenkel illustrates one of the bleakest tragedies of modern times: that so many saw what was happening, yet no one really reacted—a metaphor for the Holocaust to come. Agent: Tanja Howarth, Tanja Howarth Literary Agency (U.K.). (June)
Reviewed on: 04/20/2015 Release date: 01/01/2010 Genre: Fiction
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