Guilt Hardcover – 1 Mar 2012
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"Masterful storytelling... Guilt is a significant book" (Frankfurter Allegemeine Zeitung)
The chilling new international bestseller from Ferdinand von Schirach, author of CrimeSee all Product Description
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
The stories are told with great economy, and calmly recount the life histories of some very unfortunate and some very bad people. There's a very real sense of the real world against which crimes are committed, the scenes of the crimes can be vividly rendered. So too can the psychological springs of behaviour, though some are not explicable.
The best stories here are excellent and the equal of anything in Crime. But I did not feel they all reached that same high standard.
For the reader new to von Schirach, the first impression may be that these are simply recountings of real-life legal cases fleshed out with a little journalistic reconstruction. The straightforward tone - closer to that of a policeman dispassionately documenting the facts than that of a lawyer making a case - encourages that illusion. Certainly the book might be enjoyed at that level. But rest assured: these are stories, and as they accumulate it become clear that they work together as well as in isolation.
In each tale, Von Schirach gives us a series of events that in theory lead to a clean conclusion and then pulls the rug out from under the reader's reasonable expectations. By the end of the book, one is left with a deep sense of the fragility of human lives and the limits to which other people may be known. Von Schirach is unsparing, where need be, with the forensic details, but nothing is exaggerated or forced: there is never a sense of horror indulged for its own sake. He can also be dryly funny, and on occasion - as in the story 'The Key' - a master of farce.
As a practising lawyer, von Schirach is well aware of the ambiguity of the terms of his trade - 'crime', 'guilt', 'remorse', 'punishment', and so on. The sheer messiness of life makes any simple understanding of these straightforward conceptual categories inadequate.Read more ›
This collection of cases is stunning in its diversity and impact. None of the cases is typically German. They deal with various aspects of a key judicial term, guilt. The searing opening tale "Funfair" shows how powerless judges and prosecutors can be when the accused choose to remain silent. Its longest story "The Key", the book's most violent and most hilarious tale, focuses loosely on Lebanese criminal families in Berlin. Other cases include a trio of juvenile Satanists at a boarding school, a cold case solved via DNA, a sadistic husband and a convicted paedophile.
Von Schirach expresses his admiration for Germany's code of criminal law, which dates back to the 19th century and which clearly defines deadly crimes against persons. Every murder is also a manslaughter, but how many manslaughters are murders? In one spectacular case von Schirach realizes only after the judge acquits his client that the judge was smarter than he himself and knew all along what really must have happened. A perceived weakness of German criminal justice is the size of its labyrintine apparatus in large cities: in a case of mistaken identity a man is wrongly charged with a crime he could never have committed. In another case rural judges are shown to have more leeway than their colleagues operating from within massive institutions.
Best of all, von Schirach is a gifted stylist and a born storyteller.
His writing is exquisite, dark and intense, described in a cool and collected manner, which grips the reader from the first page. Nothing is lost in the translation by Carol Brown Janeway.
It is storytelling at it best.
I am not usually attracted to short stories as I prefer to experience the journey, however reading the work of Ferdinand von Schirach has changed my view of this genre.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you are of a squeamish disposition or someone who worries late at night about all the most unlikely scenarios that could happen to you the next day (we have all done this at... Read morePublished on 7 Jun. 2012 by Simon Savidge Reads