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Why We Took the Car by [Herrndorf, Wolfgang]
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Why We Took the Car Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Length: 261 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Review

"Kirkus" Starred Review
Social misfits hit the Autobahn.

Mike Klingenberg has just finished another boring, socially awkward year in middle school and is staring down a solitary two-week stint at home, thanks to his mother's latest round of rehab and his father's "business trip" with a suspiciously attractive personal assistant. Just as he's watering the lawn, imagining himself lord of a very small manor in suburban Berlin, class reject Tschick shows up in a "borrowed" old Soviet-era car, and the boys hatch a plan to hit the road. Mike's rich interior life--he meditates on beauty and the meaning of life and spins self-mocking fantasies of himself as a great essayist--hasn't translated well to the flirtatious physical swagger required by 8th grade. Tschick, meanwhile, is a badly dressed Russian immigrant who often shows up to school reeking of alcohol and who is also given to profound leaps of psychological insight. Their road trip (destination: Wallachia, a German euphemism for "the middle of nowhere"; also a region of Romania) is peopled by unexpected, often bizarre, largely benign characters who deepen Mike's appreciation for humanity and life. Each episode in the boys' journey grows more outrageous, leading readers to wonder how far they'll go before coming to a literal screeching (and squealing) halt.In his first novel translated into English, Herrndorf sits squarely and triumphantly at the intersection of literary tall tale and coming-of-age picaresque.

"Publishers Weekly "Starred Review
German novelist Herrndorf makes his YA (and U.S.) debut with this action- and emotion-packed story of surprise summer adventure. When German eighth-grader Mike Klingenberg discovers that he's among the few "Boring kids and losers... Russians, Nazis and idiots" who are not invited to his crush Tatiana's birthday party, he is devastated. Mike is facing a miserable summer, with his mother in rehab and father away at a "business meeting" with his sexy assistant, when his new Russian classmate, Tschick (whom Mike considers "trash"), arrives at his house in a stolen car. An unlikely compatibility leads to a candy-fueled road trip, complicated by their lack of a map or cell phone. Driving all over Germany, the boys face conundrums like avoiding the police, buying gas and food when clearly underage, and vaguely seeking Tschick's grandfather. Prepared by life to expect ill will, Mike and Tschick instead meet "almost only people from the one percent who weren't bad." Beginning at the end, with Mike narrating the explanation suggested by the title, this alternately wild, sad, hilarious, and tender tale chronicles the development of a strange and beautiful friendship.

"Publishers Weekly "Starred Review
German novelist Herrndorf makes his YA (and U.S.) debut with this action- and emotion-packed story of surprise summer adventure. When German eighth-grader Mike Klingenberg discovers that he's among the few "Boring kids and losers... Russians, Nazis and idiots" who are not invited to his crush Tatiana's birthday party, he is devastated. Mike is facing a miserable summer, with his mother in rehab and father away at a "business meeting" with his sexy assistant, when his new Russian classmate, Tschick (whom Mike considers "trash"), arrives at his house in a stolen car. An unlikely compatibility leads to a candy-fueled road trip, complicated by their lack of a map or cell phone. Driving all over Germany, the boys face conundrums like avoiding the police, buying gas and food when clearly underage, and vaguely seeking Tschick's grandfather. Prepared by life to expect ill will, Mike and Tschick instead meet "almost only people from the one percent who weren't bad." Beginning at the end, with Mike narrating the explanation suggested by the title, this alternately wild, sad, hilarious, and tender tale chronicles the development of a strange and beautiful friendship.

A "Kirkus" Best Book of the Year

Kirkus Starred Review
Social misfits hit the Autobahn.

Mike Klingenberg has just finished another boring, socially awkward year in middle school and is staring down a solitary two-week stint at home, thanks to his mother s latest round of rehab and his father s business trip with a suspiciously attractive personal assistant. Just as he s watering the lawn, imagining himself lord of a very small manor in suburban Berlin, class reject Tschick shows up in a borrowed old Soviet-era car, and the boys hatch a plan to hit the road. Mike s rich interior life he meditates on beauty and the meaning of life and spins self-mocking fantasies of himself as a great essayist hasn t translated well to the flirtatious physical swagger required by 8th grade. Tschick, meanwhile, is a badly dressed Russian immigrant who often shows up to school reeking of alcohol and who is also given to profound leaps of psychological insight. Their road trip (destination: Wallachia, a German euphemism for the middle of nowhere; also a region of Romania) is peopled by unexpected, often bizarre, largely benign characters who deepen Mike s appreciation for humanity and life. Each episode in the boys journey grows more outrageous, leading readers to wonder how far they ll go before coming to a literal screeching (and squealing) halt.

In his first novel translated into English, Herrndorf sits squarely and triumphantly at the intersection of literary tall tale and coming-of-age picaresque."

Publishers Weekly Starred Review
German novelist Herrndorf makes his YA (and U.S.) debut with this action- and emotion-packed story of surprise summer adventure. When German eighth-grader Mike Klingenberg discovers that he s among the few Boring kids and losers... Russians, Nazis and idiots who are not invited to his crush Tatiana s birthday party, he is devastated. Mike is facing a miserable summer, with his mother in rehab and father away at a business meeting with his sexy assistant, when his new Russian classmate, Tschick (whom Mike considers trash ), arrives at his house in a stolen car. An unlikely compatibility leads to a candy-fueled road trip, complicated by their lack of a map or cell phone. Driving all over Germany, the boys face conundrums like avoiding the police, buying gas and food when clearly underage, and vaguely seeking Tschick s grandfather. Prepared by life to expect ill will, Mike and Tschick instead meet almost only people from the one percent who weren t bad. Beginning at the end, with Mike narrating the explanation suggested by the title, this alternately wild, sad, hilarious, and tender tale chronicles the development of a strange and beautiful friendship.

A Kirkus Best Book of the Year"

Book Description

Becoming an international sensation! This is the ultimate teenage road trip novel.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1102 KB
  • Print Length: 261 pages
  • Publisher: Andersen Digital (6 Feb. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00G5IXWCO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #75,884 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A kind of road movie featuring two lads not leagally old enough to drive, who are drawn together by their outsider status one summer.
The pacy narrative is engaging as it includes plenty of incident and convincing adolescent reflections. A quick, satisfying read.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I read a review of SAND Herrndorf's one thriller for adults and the reviewer mentioned his children's book 'Tschick' translated from the German as 'Why We Took The Car' - I loved it from the first pages when we meet the character Tschick (the new boy at school) - when his teacher asks him if he would like to introduce himself to the class as an 'icebreaker' Tschick just answers 'No!' Gradually the reader begins to understand this strange character and his effect on one other pupil - but in no way did this reader guess what was going to happen - I am not young but I was excited at this teenage 'Catcher in the Rye' anarchic humour and laughed out loud a number of times. As soon as I had finished I gave it to my grand daughter to read (20 years old) and she read it in a day and now it is being passed to other grand children and my daughter who is 45. I cannot wait to recommend it to the school library where I volunteer. A brilliant book for any boy but really for anyone!!
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Format: Paperback
There are a lot of books out there that are written to sound like they are being narrated by fourteen year olds. When the narrator is a boy the books are often funny stories of school daze pranks, or yearning puppy dog tales of first love, or sports themed. (I'm putting aside fantasy/adventure books or goony farces.) Many of those books are entertaining, and even in some ways instructive, and I'll be happy to keep reading them as long as ambitious and creative authors keep writing them.

But very few of the books can hit the rueful, acerbic, innocently world weary, and yet subtly optimistic tone that lies somewhere between funny/antic and dramatic/serious. This book does. Over and over again. Sure, it can be honestly and deeply funny and it can be amusing in a knowing and off hand way. And, it has its share of serious and dramatic moments. But mostly it hews to the middle ground between the two - showing heart, sadness, energy, melancholy, and all of the confused and conflicting feelings and emotions that can flash through a fourteener's mind. (It never "goes big", but that means it never feels phony or manipulative either.)

Our narrator, Mike, is a fourteen year old from a pretty dysfunctional family who has had an antic adventure that has more or less run him off the rails. That we start in a police station and that our hero/narrator is in custody, sets the right tone for the reflective monologue that is about to follow. Because the narrative is a monologue, sometimes feeling like it is addressed to us and sometimes feeling more like it is addressed by the speaker to himself, we get an intimate and quicksilver look into the mind of this kid. And he's smart and observant and funny and self-aware in the same measure that he is awkward, dense and oblivious.
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Format: Paperback
A bit of a 'Stand By Me' coming-of-age that wanders.

In Stand by Me, boys on the cusp of adolescence take a trip to see a dead body. In this German story, two boys of 14 steal a car and take a trip... For no real reason.

Mike doesn't have any friends. He's not a victim, but he feels apart from his classmates.
Russian boy Tschick, new to the school, also doesn't fit in, being regularly drunk and ostracised. Mike's mum enters rehab, his father goes off for a fortnight long 'business meeting' with his secretary. And Tschick appears with a stolen Lada... What is Mike going to do?

Their adventure takes them on the autobahn, into accidents, stealing petrol, meeting a girl, into a hospital, into custody...

There's soul-searching, engaging escapades, and adolescent angst.

It's hard as a parent to read about children driving cars around the country, but this pair are resourceful and smart, and you do get caught up in the thrill of the journey.

This won a major Teen Literature Prize in Germany, and is definitely worth recommending to 12-16 year olds. It's a very good translation and has lots to say about family, friends, loyalty and responsibility.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A side-splitting, jaw-dropping, amaze-balls read from a wonderful, interesting, human,sympathetic , moral, fun writer who will be sorely and greatly missed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great condition of the book as it was described. If be honest I thought that condition would be worse.

Thank you.
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