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The Collini Case Paperback – 4 Jul 2013
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A magnificent storyteller (Der Spiegel)
A murder trial full of political explosiveness: thrilling, clever, staggering (Focus)
Ferdinand von Schirach brilliantly draws you under his spell (Bunte)
About the Author
Ferdinand von Schirach was born in Munich in 1964. Today he works as one of Germany's most prominent defence lawyers in Berlin. His short story collections Crime and Guilt became instant bestsellers in Germany and are translated in over thirty territories.
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Top customer reviews
Well developed characterisation of the main protagonists.
The quality of the writing - plain, event driven with only minimal flashbacks. Reminded me of Stoner by John Williams. The facts and just the facts. The author is a well-known criminal lawyer in Germany. His previous efforts are based on his criminal cases and his writing has a confidence and ease that denote comfort and familiarity with the areas in which he writes. This is a not a courtroom drama as some reviewers have said. It cannot, at all, be compared with To Kill a Mockingbird or anything by John Grisham or Michael Connelly.
The book is very short; the courtroom scenes are perfunctory preliminary hearings apart from a short denouement at the end of the book. On one level this is a simple story of a murder and nemesis. On another level it is an examination of the legality of acts of war and attempts by modern Germany to come to terms with the actions of an earlier generation. The author is the great grandson of the leader of the Hitler Youth. The book is a personal and a national journey dealing with dreadful events and the long-term consequences of individual acts. The conscience of a nation versus the impossible resolution of `I was only following orders'.
My only criticism is that the denouement, which I'm bound to say was predictable, was dealt with too quickly. The final scenes could have been explored to a greater degree and with more reflection on contemporary German mores as to how and why events were allowed to be insulated from necessary justice. It is difficult to explain my point in greater detail without giving the plot away. But I highly recommend the book as a murder story and a legal drama (but not anchored in a courtroom) and I give 5 stars.
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Given the impact and significance of this novella upon release in 2011 and the discussion that it has generated it seems almost inconsequential to comment on...Read more
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