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The Murder Farm Paperback – December 26, 2008


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Paperback, December 26, 2008
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus Publishing Plc (December 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847247652
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847247650
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,190,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In 1922, an entire family was murdered on their farm in Bavaria. This still-unsolved crime is the inspiration for German author Schenkel’s 2006 novel Tannod, which is seeing its first U.S. publication now under a new title. Similarities to Capote’s In Cold Blood are obvious: a rural setting, a murdered family, a novelistic approach to true events. But this is a much slimmer book than Capote’s, and structurally it’s quite different. Schenkel uses shifting points of view, first-person reminiscences (many years after the murders) of people who knew the ill-fated Danner family, intertwined with third-person narrative chronicling the events leading up to the crime. What’s especially interesting is the author’s approach to the subject: if you read between the lines of the statements made by people who knew the Danner family—sometimes not between the lines at all—you see that they weren’t especially liked in their community. Nobody really wants to talk about them, at least not for very long, and if they don’t quite believe the Danners deserved to die, it’s clear they don’t mind very much that they did. A chilling novel. --David Pitt --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

With only a limited number of ways in which violent death can be investigated, crime writers have to use considerable ingenuity to bring anything fresh to the genre. Andrea Maria Schenkel has done it in her first novel, The Murder Farm - Times Literary Supplement The Murder Farm lingers on in the memory like an old tune, long after you've turned the final page - Sunday Tribune A chilling little debut number... short, nasty and effective - Daily Mail A fascinating, refreshingly short and laudably ambitious mystery' reviewingtheevidence website.

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Customer Reviews

It's a fictional account of a real event, but it doesn't read like either a mystery novel or a true crime piece.
DanD
I had a very favorable impression about the technique, which is used to present this story, and my only criticism is that this book was over much too quickly.
Gordon
I will say that the book wasn't bad, just not at all what I was expecting given the books official description and jacket copy.
LisaD0115

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By AnnetteLouise on January 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
For whatever reason, this book has been classified as "crime fiction", or in German, a "Krimi". In fact, it won the 2007 German "Krimi" prize. Technically, it is crime fiction, in that the story involves the brutal murder of a family on an isolated farm in post-WWII Bavaria. However, it is not typical detective fiction; rather, it is an insightful portrait of a remote, rural community in southern Germany in the 1950s. I must admit that I read the book in its original German, not the English translation. It is a very short book ... only 125 pages, even shorter if you don't count the pages of interspersed prayers taken from a 1922 book "for the Christian woman", which plays tangentially into the story. I found it a fascinating and memorable book. It's written as a series of short 2-4 page chapters narrated by various characters. Some characters appear only once, others appear throughout the book, in their own and their neighbors' narratives. Many of the chapters are written as though they are transcripts of interviews taken as part of the murder investigation. The result provides insightful and often complex portraits of people, as reflected in their minds and those around them. It provides a remarkable, and not totally flattering, glimpse into an isolated, rural community in post-WWII Bavaria. Obviously I can't really judge its accuracy, but I grew up in a small rural town in Wisconsin and it rang true to me. Highly recommended.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rosa Welz on July 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
One has to wonder why this book (published 2006 under the title "Tannöd") became such a huge success, despite its shortness (barely novella size), its disappointing (fictional) resolution to the (historical) murder case, and its black-and-white characterization of the rural populace of Southern Germany.

"Murder Farm" initially was a small press publication. It was widely recommended by the German mystery scene as an unusual and original book. Only when it won the German Mystery Award did it attract the attention of the literary establishment that heralded it as "the great new German mystery". But mystery-wise, it's rather a disappointment. Genre readers in Germany were intrigued but never considered "Murder Farm" an outstanding book. As one critic phrased it, "It's thin, and I don't mean the number of pages."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mamelotti on June 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I received an electronic copy of this book to review, but in no way does that have an impact on my views and opinion.

"The Murder Farm" is a fine example of how a thriller should be. I believe that goriness, as in buckets of blood and guts, is completely unnecessary. A thriller needs to have several parts that send your heart beating, and having you glance over your shoulder once or twice.

I highly enjoyed how the novel began, even though I thought I was reading a little excerpt from the author, but in reality it was part of the story...whoops. Every so often there would be a page or two with a part of a prayer asking all the saints and God to watch over the murder victims. I thought that was a unique touch that I as a reader doesn't see that much. I don't necessarily get uncomfortable when faith or God gets brought up in a novel that I am reading, but if it's thrown and shoved down my throat I will stop reading the book. However, Schenkel weaves this prayer intricately and beautifully throughout the novel. I would forget about the prayer while I was reading, and then at the perfect moment I would turn to a page with more of the prayer.

As far as the character development goes, there wasn't too much. The chapters were set up so that part of them was a character giving their account of what happened, and the other parts of the chapters was actually what happened. I loved that set up, because usually if a question arose while reading, the second part of the chapter supplied the answer. You just find out bits and pieces of each character while they give the information about the murders that they know or witnessed. This is definitely not a novel where you can form a relationship or connection with the characters.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Toki Mike VINE VOICE on May 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This story is told through a series of interviews and a few narratives. Most of the interviews might be by the police and some might be by reporters. If the reader did not know the book’s title, the story would seem to start slowly. But, the reader who does know the title at once begins sensing clues and rising tension. It is based on an unsolved murder case from 1922 in Bavaria.

The setting is a remote farm in Bavaria with a grumpy farmer, a pious wife, their daughter, and two grandchildren. Each interview usually gives new information about the present and sometimes information about the past. At one point, murders may have already occurred, but it is not clear when they will be discovered or when the murders occurred. As the interviews and narratives continue, careful readers begin to accumulate a list of suspects. And village gossip begins to suggest some nasty secrets about the family.

The book is short, hard to put down, and none of the suspects can be definitively ruled out until the very end.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Autumn Fallen Over Book Reviews on May 28, 2014
Format: Paperback
I received this book via NetGalley to give an honest review.

What really caught me to this book was the title, and then the blurb. At first I was a bit thrown off when I started reading the book as I wasn't sure of the time frame completely. But once I realized that the story was taken place after World War 2, it all made sense. I have to say I enjoyed reading everyone else's account on what they saw, what they think happened and what not. The ending I was surprised being as I didn't see that person. I had a totally different person in mind on who committed the crimes.

This is a small mystery story, one that I will say stick with it. It is very short.
The Danner's are a I don't want to use the word different kind of family. But they are not normal in a way. There is some talk about incest, but not to the point to where you are like OMG what am I reading? Nothing like that. You get the story of why they keep to themselves in way. It is shameful in every way.
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