A brilliant, hilarious, tragicomic novel of life in the bars of Berlin.
The year is 1989 and Herr Lehmann lives entirely free of responsibility in a tiny flat in the bohemian Berlin district of Kreuzberg, whenever he isn't hanging out in the local bars. Through years of judicious sidestepping and heroic indolence this barman, unburdened by ambition, has successfully avoided the demands placed upon him by parents, landlords, neighbours and women. But suddenly one unforeseen incident after another seems to threaten his idyllic and rather peaceable existence. He has an encounter with a decidedly unfriendly dog, his parents threaten to descend on Berlin from the provinces to pay him a visit, and he meets a dangerously attractive woman who entices him to the swimming baths, thereby throwing his emotional life into confusion. He is even forced to go to the fashionable Kurf-rstendamm and to attempt to enter East Berlin. BERLIN BLUES is a richly entertaining evocation of life in the city and a classic of modern-day decadence.
“Regener has captured absolutely the lifestyles and conversations of a group of pre-fall-of-the-Wall Berlin friends”
“Full of Kafkaesque absurdity, Berlin Blues is as wilfully detached, witty, endearing and deadpan comic as its loafer protagonist”
“Regener captures note-perfectly the disengagement of a German generation that came of age between the crushing of the Baader-Meinhof underground and the demolition of the Wall”