The Collini Case – Ferdinand von Schirach

If like me, you need a little push to get back on the reading and blogging saddle, then this could be the perfect book. It has 187 small pages with short chapters. The writing is understated and to the point, yet engaging, descriptive and emotive in parts. I thought initially it was a bit wooden and may not have translated well but that turned out to be one of the highlights of the book – few words, plenty of meaning.

Set in Berlin, The Collini Case is about a man charged with murder, an act he doesn’t deny and the attempts of a young lawyer to defend a client who will give him no information or clues as to motive. A client who on the surface appears to be an ordinary and respectable man, employed for the past 34 years by Mercedes Benz before committng a clinical and brutal murder. It’s such a small book that to write much more would spoil it I think. The fact that Ferdinand von Schirach is an experienced criminal lawyer himself brings credibility to the court room scenes, especially as the German legal system seems a little different from the UK at least.

The Collini Case covers a lot of ground, the characters are sensitively portrayed and well developed even though the book is short and the pace never seems hurried.

Very enjoyable and tempting to curl up with and finish in one sitting but I managed to stretch it out over three days on the train.

Translated from the German by Anthea Bell

2011 (English 2012), 187 pages

7 responses to “The Collini Case – Ferdinand von Schirach

  1. Pingback: German Literature Month – Week II Links « Beauty is a Sleeping Cat

  2. I ve still his first to read at some point then may get this one ,all the best stu

  3. First the cover is so intriguing and artsy. Then reading your review I know I must find this book. You’re right. Any good book under 200 pages is on my TBR list. :)

    • Arti – I’m with you on the attraction of a good book under 200 pages. I think there is real skill in using less words well. Really hope you can track it down and enjoy it.

  4. I was so thrilled to see a post from you in my Google Reader as I’m always interested in what you’re reading, and of course, what you have to say. Sounds like a great read! And short? That works, too, for these busy holidays. But, not without the quality behind it as this novel seems to have.

    • Hi Belezza! I’m thrilled also to see your comment – thank you. Yes, with the busy season looming, I think a good short book or two is perfect. I’m looking forward to popping over to see what you’ve been up to and reading.

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