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Faserland

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Einmal durch die Republik, von Nord nach Süd: Christian Krachts namenloser Ich-Erzähler berichtet von seiner Deutschlandreise. Der kleine Bildungsroman Faserland veränderte in Deutschland die Wahrnehmung einer ganzen Generation, von der es vorher hieß, sie habe gar keine Wahrnehmung.


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Einmal durch die Republik, von Nord nach Süd: Christian Krachts namenloser Ich-Erzähler berichtet von seiner Deutschlandreise. Der kleine Bildungsroman Faserland veränderte in Deutschland die Wahrnehmung einer ganzen Generation, von der es vorher hieß, sie habe gar keine Wahrnehmung.

30 review for Faserland

  1. 4 out of 5

    Meike

    Kracht's debut is a cult classic that can be read as a novel about a road trip, a piece of decadence literature, as pop literature, as a study about the repercussions of German history or as social criticism. We are accompanying an unnamed first-person narrator on his journey through Germany, starting with an infamous first scene on the island of Sylt that opens with one the most recognizable sentences in postmodern German literature. The young narrator was born into a wealthy family, but is lim Kracht's debut is a cult classic that can be read as a novel about a road trip, a piece of decadence literature, as pop literature, as a study about the repercussions of German history or as social criticism. We are accompanying an unnamed first-person narrator on his journey through Germany, starting with an infamous first scene on the island of Sylt that opens with one the most recognizable sentences in postmodern German literature. The young narrator was born into a wealthy family, but is limited in his emotions and lacking direction. He seems to be driven by the urge to evoke inner movemement through his outward travels, trying to connect with old friends he meets and new acquaintances he makes, thus struggling to overcome his emptiness and alienation. Even to him, his soul seems to be an enigma, he is self-medicating with alcohol and drugs, and his stomach (a part of the body where we generally locate feelings) is constantly upset. The narrator's voice is very disctinct, he is frequently searching for the right words and tries very hard to verbally convey his experiences and emotions, but often fails: He cannot make sense of what he feels, and he cannot put the world into a coherent narrative. There have been many attempts to interpret this aspect of the text (Kracht himself would never explain his books): Does the narrator reflect the decadence of the rich? The alienation of postmodern youth? Does the text reflect Adorno's statement that it's barbaric to write a poem after Auschwitz? Or is the narrator Kracht's alter ego? (The author was born into a rich and influential family and attended the same boarding school as the narrator: Salem, Germany's equivalent to Eton.) Full disclosure: Kracht is one my favorite authors ever, and I also enjoy his extensive travel writing. His debut is certainly not his best book, but it is still a very, very good book if you have the guts to confront a challenging narrator.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Who wants to read about a person who is constantly throwing up? About a person who just travels around the country because he has way too much money he does not know how to use?! The protagonist, without a name, is such a person. He is throwing up, or visiting clubs or telling disgusting stories of his past. Empty book. No plot. No characters. Not even a good write style. I had to read it for school and it was a torture. This book has no message. Nothing. I am really disappointed with German aut Who wants to read about a person who is constantly throwing up? About a person who just travels around the country because he has way too much money he does not know how to use?! The protagonist, without a name, is such a person. He is throwing up, or visiting clubs or telling disgusting stories of his past. Empty book. No plot. No characters. Not even a good write style. I had to read it for school and it was a torture. This book has no message. Nothing. I am really disappointed with German authors... Don't read it. Trust me, this book is nothing but a big waste of time.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Heleen

    This was one of the most frustrating reads in a long time. It's so postmodern it's a bit sickening. You can just imagine the Lyotardian analyses of Faserland... Which would be okay if there was the least bit of contextualisation, but instead it's just an endless parade of judgmental, masturbatory and whiny observations, which, because it's written as the first-person narrative of this protagonist who is basically the culmination of every smugly complacent boy & man I have ever been bored by, YOU This was one of the most frustrating reads in a long time. It's so postmodern it's a bit sickening. You can just imagine the Lyotardian analyses of Faserland... Which would be okay if there was the least bit of contextualisation, but instead it's just an endless parade of judgmental, masturbatory and whiny observations, which, because it's written as the first-person narrative of this protagonist who is basically the culmination of every smugly complacent boy & man I have ever been bored by, YOU GET NO BREAK FROM. Don't even get me started on the limited characterisation of the female characters - in those few instances where they were actually graced with a name, their most redeeming quality is still being hübsch. It seems to me a particular arrogance is involved when an author decides to devote his time to create a platform for a protagonist who has this little to say. And then, roughly 15 pages before the end, I - weirdly, annoyingly - kind of got into it??? Which was the most frustrating bit of all. Useless. USELESS.

  4. 5 out of 5

    John Hatley

    The best description I can think of is: the 1st-person narrative of a very lonely person portraying his very lonely friends. A very interesting book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Gregg

    Great book in all of it's wry, liquor and cocaine soaked, privileged Germanic cynical glory.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kersi

    actually the story wouldn't be that bad but i didn't really like the writing style - even after reading it a second time

  7. 4 out of 5

    Philipp

    Heute kann man die Fenster natürlich nicht mehr aufmachen, da im ICE, dessen Einrichtung ganz grauenvoll ist und mich immer an irgendwelche Einkaufspassagen erinnert, gar nichts mehr schön ist und erst recht gar nichts mehr so wie früher. Heute ist alles so transparent, ich weiß nicht, ob ich mich da richtig ausdrücke, jedenfalls ist alles aus Glas und aus so durchsichtigem türkisen Plastik, und es ist irgendwie körperlich unerträglich geworden. Rough translation: Of course nowadays you can't open Heute kann man die Fenster natürlich nicht mehr aufmachen, da im ICE, dessen Einrichtung ganz grauenvoll ist und mich immer an irgendwelche Einkaufspassagen erinnert, gar nichts mehr schön ist und erst recht gar nichts mehr so wie früher. Heute ist alles so transparent, ich weiß nicht, ob ich mich da richtig ausdrücke, jedenfalls ist alles aus Glas und aus so durchsichtigem türkisen Plastik, und es ist irgendwie körperlich unerträglich geworden. Rough translation: Of course nowadays you can't open the windows anymore, there in the ICE, where the fittings are completely horrible and which remind me of some shopping centers, nothing is beautiful anymore and especially nothing is like it used to be. Nowadays everything is transparent, I don't know whether I'm saying this correctly, anyway everything is made out of glass and like transparent turquoise plastic, and it is somehow physically unbearable. This invites comparisons to Catcher In The Rye, but with Germany of the late 90s instead of the US of the 40s. A young man has been kicked out of his elite boarding school, he drifts along and uses his parents' credit card to travel the country, starting from the northern-most point on Sylt to Frankfurt, a few other places, Munich and then Switzerland. What connects Holden and this narrator is the attitude towards society - for Holden, everyone's a phony, for the narrator, everyone's either an old Nazi or an idiot. Most of the book is the narrator drifting around and ranting about various things: Dann zünde ich mir eine Zigarette an und denke daran, daß ich Partys hasse, auf denen es Prosecco gibt, weil Prosecco weder Wein ist noch Champagner, sondern nur so ein blödes Zwischending, das eigentlich gar keine Existenzberechtigung hat. Then I light a cigarette and think that I hate parties where there's Prosecco since Prosecco is neither wine nor champagne, just an idiotic in-between-thing that doesn't really have a right to exist. This can be very funny but it can also get tiresome (maybe I'm too old?), but still the tone is wonderful, not sure how to say, the correct German word would be "hingerotzt", it's just spat on the page. What's underneath all this is a feeling that started in the 80s, 90s and still hasn't really ended (for me, and I suspect for most people): a feeling that things used to be somehow better (but you cannot really describe how things used to be better), and that from now on things will only get worse, but it's unsure how or why, just anxiety, "Angst". I'm sure by now the English speaking world would have adopted "Zukunftsangst" if it could pronounce it. (Personally, his feelings about Germany on entering Switzerland mirror 100% my feelings when I left Germany roughly 5 years ago: "a big machine beyond the border, a machine that moves and produces things no-one cares about". It's uncanny, and that's what makes this book memorable.)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Astrid

    German (high) literature: No plot and depressing. Two stars because it got better at the end; the author is able to write. But the subject of this book is just: Young man, alcoholic and totally disoriented, visits friends who are equally disoriented and on drugs. Leaves them with nothing on him and goes on to the next drugged friend, leaving him behind again and so on. The thin novel gives nearly no hints to where all that emotional misery comes from. It features spoilt rich young people whose p German (high) literature: No plot and depressing. Two stars because it got better at the end; the author is able to write. But the subject of this book is just: Young man, alcoholic and totally disoriented, visits friends who are equally disoriented and on drugs. Leaves them with nothing on him and goes on to the next drugged friend, leaving him behind again and so on. The thin novel gives nearly no hints to where all that emotional misery comes from. It features spoilt rich young people whose parents don't care for their children. I think that this book would have been better if the author would have gone through some therapy before writing it. Twenty years later, I suppose some analysis could be possible. The generation Kracht describes were children of parents who have been children during the war and therefore psychologically damaged. We call it "grand-children of war" now.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sintija

    This book is very confusing. I actually enjoyed the way it was written - I'd give the writing and style full 5 stars. The Latvian adaption was great. However, - what is the story? Who is the main character? This is literally just one man's tale about various pointless people and absolutely boring alcoholic and pill addict gatherings. Throughout the whole book, I had so many questions about the main character. Is he a party bum? Is the dude poor, with moderate income, or rich and with too much mo This book is very confusing. I actually enjoyed the way it was written - I'd give the writing and style full 5 stars. The Latvian adaption was great. However, - what is the story? Who is the main character? This is literally just one man's tale about various pointless people and absolutely boring alcoholic and pill addict gatherings. Throughout the whole book, I had so many questions about the main character. Is he a party bum? Is the dude poor, with moderate income, or rich and with too much money to spend aimlessly? What is he doing? Why does he have so much free time? There is no real connection with other characters introduced throughout the book. There is no build-up, no main event, and no closure. If the author wanted to portray the aimlessness and the stories of quite ridiculous and aimless people, he did the job well. Did I enjoy it? Not so much - hence the final 3 stars. I wanted to like it, but there was no content to cause any real joy. I have enjoyed various chick flick type of books a lot more than this one. I really do like books about miserable characters. This Spring, I read Bukowski's "Women" - that was one hell of a piece! The character was even more miserable than this one, but the whole book and story made sense. A disappointment but really, it's more like a strong confusion about what to feel about this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bert van der Vaart

    Meticulously described set of experiences through Germany from Sylt to Bodensee, and ending in Zurich, by a jaded and relatively passive rich young man. His existence is materialistic but empty, and one can wonder where this will all end up. At one level, this is a German version of a slightly older Holden Caulfield, but one where alcohol, drugs and empty sexual experiences amidst brand names and other spoiled society people plays a more advanced role. Some of the images and observations are fan Meticulously described set of experiences through Germany from Sylt to Bodensee, and ending in Zurich, by a jaded and relatively passive rich young man. His existence is materialistic but empty, and one can wonder where this will all end up. At one level, this is a German version of a slightly older Holden Caulfield, but one where alcohol, drugs and empty sexual experiences amidst brand names and other spoiled society people plays a more advanced role. Some of the images and observations are fantastically well described. Probably worth reading as a marker of the limits of materialism and the transition of Germany away from the hard working "Wirtschaftswunder" to a more confused and dissipated country.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Clara

    Reading through some of the reviews other people have left on here has got me thinking that maybe to appreciate this book for what it is you have to have grown up in Germany or at least have to have lived there for some time. It's observational, it's cynical and it's funny. Of course the narrator seems to be the last kind of person you would want to hang out with but Christian Kracht narrates his travels in a way that makes you want to keep reading. At least those are the feelings I had while re Reading through some of the reviews other people have left on here has got me thinking that maybe to appreciate this book for what it is you have to have grown up in Germany or at least have to have lived there for some time. It's observational, it's cynical and it's funny. Of course the narrator seems to be the last kind of person you would want to hang out with but Christian Kracht narrates his travels in a way that makes you want to keep reading. At least those are the feelings I had while reading Faserland. Kracht wrote a great book that deserves its praise. He made me hate being German by putting his finger on all of the awkward and painful spots but he also made me miss my home country in a way I didn't expect to..

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lorella

    I guess it’s just just not what I vibe to. We had to read it for school. I did find it very boring in the beginning, however I need to say that it gets really interesting in the end. Not really plot wise but it makes you think a lot which is good in my opinion. What I found unusual was the language since it was very easy and simple.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Maria Hallberg

    Kracht writes in the way you think, switching from one thought to another while following a young man for a few days travelling through Germany. You get to know the protagonist’s raw thoughts and his surroundings, but in the end you have no clue who he is, what he does or where he came from. Absolutely brilliant literature, I’ve read it three times and will for sure read it again.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Shining

    It’s a very sad story about different super rich German young men and young women feeling lost in life and struggling to find real happiness. Based on the author’s own life before the age of 25, I am giving this book 4 stars for being honest in reflecting back on his and his friends’ lives.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Christoffer Petersen

    Had to read it for a class, was not very amused by the story because it was all over the place.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Maltoablativ

    3,5*

  17. 5 out of 5

    Eglė

    This is the type of book I call wandering book. It‘s the best companion while spending time going by bus or train. The type of book you can enjoy, comparing your with your own trip and adventures. The main hero is crossing Germany taking first class train accompanied by huge luggage of his memories as well as alcohol, woman and dugs. Quite easy and facile at the first sign, the roman unveils the now days wry society – consume oriented culture, downfall of postwar class and crisis of national and This is the type of book I call wandering book. It‘s the best companion while spending time going by bus or train. The type of book you can enjoy, comparing your with your own trip and adventures. The main hero is crossing Germany taking first class train accompanied by huge luggage of his memories as well as alcohol, woman and dugs. Quite easy and facile at the first sign, the roman unveils the now days wry society – consume oriented culture, downfall of postwar class and crisis of national and personal identity. Every place awakes warm flashback from childhood days which appears like a conspicuous contrast to the events the main hero take part today. The perturbation step by step is enhanced by endless snorts of wine, whisky or other heady drink. However the end of book keeps the feeling of bright future :) Enjoy the reading…

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mihai

    A Swiss troublemaker (writing his books in German) in the likes of Beigbeder, Houellebecq and so on. Comparing it to Bernhard, my previous attempt at reading German which took place exactly one year ago, this one was much easier accomplishment.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Britt

    I had to read this book for one of my German literature classes. I think this is the type of book you should read in just one sitting, which unfortunately I wasn't able to, but I still thouroughly enjoyed it. It felt like a time travel to mid-90s Germany. This is not the type of book that will make you feel good, but it is very raw, cynical and cleverly written and a pretty quick read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Iana

    Drugs, expensive cars, sex, techno. (West)Djermany in the 1990s. Not too bad a book actually. It is very good a conveying the sense of emtpiness of a whole generation in an indecently prosperous country.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kowalski

    This is one of the most nothing-saying books that I have ever read. The main character is highly unlikable and there isn't really a point to the story. I still had to finish reading it for school, but i can't recommend this book to anyone. 0-stars.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Advocata Diavoli

    the book that started it all... popliteratur (pop II) *and* my work.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Darklight

    Some passages really hit the spot, where the author puts a feeling into words I would've never found.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Reni

    Maybe I'm just not cut out for this type of literature. At least it was far less disgusting and annoying than Axolotl Roadkill.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Axel

    traveling through Germany ...

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ben Bergner

    This is a good youth novel from the 90s. Somehow it entertained me, but did not grab me like other books by Kracht. It's an easy read

  27. 4 out of 5

    Achim Barczok

    It might have been a good story in the 90s, it now just feels like a rather poorly written Odyssey through a young rich kids life when music tapes were cool...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Zoli

    Not as good as his novel "Imperium", Faserland was a very good debut and showed Christian Kracht's skills already in great length.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Julian Atrox

    Good fun following a misantrophic yuppie through Germany and its daily horrors.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ines Reichert

    Whow, what a book! A book against the mainstream in language and story. Both, not cultivated and uncultured. And not sure if I liked it

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