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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Crime and Guilt
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on 13 January 2013
I discovered von Schirach through 'The Cassini Case,' and the spare, taut character of that book is carried through in this collection. The book brings together in English translation two separate titles first published in German. In total there are perhaps 30 short accounts, some very short, of cases with which von Schirach has dealt (names and details changed, of course). You will need a strong stomach to read some of these tales. Not because they are gory: very few are. However, the sheer misery and brutality of some people's lives, and what they do in response to their circumstances will, I think, sometimes take your breath away. This is von Schirach's achievement: to present, candidly and without the slightest patronising note, the utter hell which some people (perhaps very many) endure day after day, and what happens when finally they can take no more.
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on 18 September 2012
Here are two collections of short stories Guilt and Crime, narratives linked by the presence of the lawyer in each of the tales, collected together in one edition. Von Schirach's personal experiences as a lawyer provide the raw material for the book. He fleshes out the stories of the individuals and the organisations, good and bad, behind the crimes committed and the course the law takes, exploring the why? the frailty, brutality and humanity of the characters. Sometimes surprising but always enlightening these stories are compassionate but critical. This was a joy to read, simply written but intelligent. highly recommended. Reminded me of The Reader - schlink. Von Schirach's new novel The Collini Case has just been published and I will be getting it soon.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 April 2011
11 short stories all involving a crime and (in a minor way) a defence barrister - the book is written by a defence barrister and it has a strong sense of realism - although it's also clear most of these stories can't quite be true just as narrated.

The stories are widely varied in tone and content, the characters all living life on the edge in different ways (however rich they are), and all either seriously unhappy or at risk of becoming so. The events are vivid, the story telling simple and direct, final twists in the narratives where they occur highly inventive.

I look forward to the next instalment, described as forthcoming in translation on the book's jacket. Strongly recommended.
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on 19 January 2014
A German friend of mine recommended this book to me on the strength of his inability to put down. Every morning he couldn't wait to tell me a few of the short stories he had read the night before. I'd never seen someone tell me of a book before that caused such deep emotion and character to spill out before.

Without further ado I bought the kindle edition and haven't stopped reading.

I find it very difficult not to spoil the book for others, it's just madness some of the things that the human mind can push us to do!
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on 8 January 2013
I was recommended this by a fellow reader whose opinion I value and I'm so pleased I bought this. I'm not usually a fan of short stories, preferring instead to spend more indepth time with characters but boy this shattered my perception of short stories. I've never connected so deeply with characters in just a few short pages. I was hooked fro the first story Fahner right through to the end. And once id finished the collection I went back to the beginning and started again. More than just a series of heinous deeds - this is an insight into lives. Loved it
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on 18 October 2016
This is an amazing book on the vagaries of humanity, a real slice of life, of many lives. Excellent book, a superb writer, a new one on me. I found this author as I read a review of 'The Collini Case' which is a gripping novel and so thought provoking, I can't recommend him highly enough
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on 3 October 2012
Really fascinating collection of short stories. I was totally captivated.
I heard Von Schirach on the radio talking about his latest book, the Collini Case and I bought Guilt and Crime to 'sample' his work.
The stories are told in a spare and simple way yet really pack a punch. I am sorry I have finished reading them!
I am ordering the Collini Case today
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on 15 April 2015
Not the same riveting pleasure as the novels, but fascinating and rewarding nevertheless for those who wish there was more available from this author.
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on 14 July 2015
I'm not usually a short story person but I found this book incredibly hard to put down. A fantastic read
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on 8 August 2015
An interesting insight into the German psyche a d a particular time and how the actors in a system work to distort the legacy of history. As the recent programmes into what happened to the British slave owners reveals we are even better at it ( sic)
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