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Crazy in Berlin: An novel Paperback – 1982


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 438 pages
  • Publisher: Delta/S. Lawrence; Edition Unstated edition (1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440510856
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440510857
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,395,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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12 1.5-hour cassettes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 27, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I am amazed that "Crazy in Berlin", "Reinhart in Love" etc. are not in print even in a trade paperback edition. We need to show more respect for the works of our talented authors. As I remember "Crazy in Berlin", it was a comedic look at postwar Berlin and its denizens. "Reinhart in Love" and "Reinhart's Women" continue the life story of the main character in "Crazy in Berlin". Those who appreciate John Updike and John Irving owe it to themselves to read some of Thomas Berger.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bomojaz on March 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
Thomas Berger's first novel and the first in The Reinhart Trilogy, its main theme is contradictions: between appearances and reality, honesty and betrayal, guilt and innocence. Carlo Reinhart is an army medic serving in post-WW II Germany, of German descent, he feels guilty for what just happened in Germany, but at the same time isn't sure why he should be. He meets others caught in similar contradictory binds: an anti-Semite who protected his Jewish wife from the Nazis; a Russian army deserter who becomes a capitalist and is protected by an idealistic communist; a Russian intellectual, tortured by Stalin, who is now a fascist. Even at the end of the book, after Reinhart has killed a man to protect another man (the man he's protecting is killed anyway), Reinhart enters a mental hospital - where he contemplates becoming a psychiatrist (another contradiction). The book is not an easy read as the characters engage in much dialogue regarding politics, philosophy, and nationality. Reinhart untangles himself from the contrariety he experiences and goes home to America. Berger established himself as an important writer with this first novel; though it's not my favorite of his (LITTLE BIG MAN is), it's obviously a major achievement.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By wayKool on October 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Don't know what to make of this book. After the first two chapters I was beginning to wonder if I had gone nuts. Seemed like total gibberish to me but nobody else had rated it below four stars so I thought I must be missing something. I've read other books by Thomas Berger and found all to be brilliantly written and quite readable but this one really seemed beyond me. I even tried listening to the audio but the narration was totally devoid of inflection and oblivious to punctuation marks. After moving on to a different book, I decided to give this one another shot. I'm not sure if the syntax cleaned itself up or if I just learned the language, but it did become a little easier. The story is actually a good one. If you're thinking of reading your first Thomas Berger novel, I would start with Little Big Man or Neighbors. Save this one for later. Or at least read the sample provided before you make a purchase. Don't know what kind of a rating to give this but I have to give it something.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Kleinfeld on May 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
I agree that the Reinhart series should be in print. I have read all of the Reinhart series and most of the rest of Thomas Berger's novels. Inspired by the Oprah Magazine section "Books That Made a Difference to ---", I am compiling a short list. "Crazy in Berlin" was in the top 5, with two other Thomas Berger novels and two volumes of "The Diary of Anais Nin". The Rienhart series compares very favorably to Updike's "Rabbit" series, and is similar. The other two Berger novels in my top 5 are "Little Big Man" and the neglected "Regiment of Women", a terrific science fiction of a society with gender role reversal. Women rule. If I am not mistaken, this book predates the women's liberation movement of the 60's.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 22, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This out-of-print novel is almost impossible to read, with its academic style and endless German syntax. In fact, I had to listen to it (Books on Tape) because I frequently lost interest. Only the tape player kept it alive.
Nevertheless, little parts of this novel stand out as some of the most powerful images I've ever read. The setting of post-WW2 Berlin has always fascinated me, and Berger speaks with great authority. Seemingly anachronistic references ("famous German blonde pussy") ring true. They talked like that in the 40s. Trudchen is convinving and erotic as a whore. Schatzie's execution by firing squad is too real and too detailed to be imaginary; I reember it at odd times, like when I'm falling asleep, and it still disturbs me.
I think that this book accurately reports postt-WW2 Berlin, which is a lot more than you can say about most WW2 books. History is written by the victor. Berger's novel is history written from the conquered's point of view. It is depressing but I recomend it for its veracity and its occasional powereful writing, well worth the time.
CDS
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jason M. on August 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I think other reviewers have summarized the plot and the value in reading this book better than I could. E-books are great for helping us discover books that are out of print, so thank you Amazon!

A few words of caution to those (like me) that read Berger for the first time. It can be a little challenging to read his writing style; not for lack of interest, but because there are many compound sentences, complex characters, and subtle nuances throughout the book. In order to get the most out of this, I suggest reading it with your undivided attention. It is definitely a worthwhile read!
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More About the Author

Thomas Berger (1924-2014) was the bestselling author of novels, short stories, and plays, including the Old West classic Little Big Man (1964) and the Pulitzer Prize-nominated novel The Feud (1983). Berger was born in Cincinnati and served with a medical unit in World War II, an experience that provided the inspiration for his first novel, Crazy in Berlin (1958). Berger found widespread success with his third novel, Little Big Man, and has maintained a steady output of critically acclaimed work since then. Several of his novels have been adapted into film, including a celebrated version of Little Big Man. His short fiction has appeared in Harper's Magazine, Esquire, and Playboy.

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