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Kino Paperback – April 17, 2012
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
''Kino is a fast, complex, exhilarating roadster ride through history and time, a mystery, a documentary, a remarkable remix of reality and imagination. It is the story of a woman who becomes obsessed with her grandfather, a visionary film director in the Germany of the nineteen-twenties through World War II. Tracing the arc of his spectacular decline, she risks a husband and her ordinary life, but uncovers the powerful bindings of family, the sweet, dark loam of loss, and the instant-on high-voltage current of pulp fascism, dirty pictures, propaganda, cultural piracy, art and money.
It's quick but complicated, feverish, trying, speculative, high-minded, and occasionally Goebbels-esque. Everything forced into close and incendiary quarters. Kino is intoxicating Euro-brew, written with enormous skill and dedication.'' -- Frederick Barthelme, author of Elroy Nights
''Jurgen Fauth's deft mashup of genre and historical period is both a full-throttle literary thriller of ideas and a contemplative examination of film and fascism. Kino is a debut of great intellectual force.'' -- Teddy Wayne, author of Kapitoil
''A delirious melange of conspiracy, magic, sex, history, bad behavior, and cinema, Kino is a stellar entertainment, and Jurgen Fauth is a writer of rare, sinister imagination.'' ---- Owen King, author of Reenactment
''A surprising alternative history. Kino brings the golden age of German cinema to light with loving, sometimes gritty, detail and great precision.'' -- Neal Pollack, author of Jewball
''A light-hearted romp that leads straight into darkness and back through the shadows on the wall.'' -- Ben Loory, author of Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day
''This is an elegant book, wrapping the core of a thriller in ideas that play with literary and semiotic conventions...Jurgen Fauth has a confident touch and is worth watching in the future.'' -- David Marshall, Thinking About Books
''Movie nuts, arise! A happy and felicitous debut.'' -- Terese Svoboda, author of Bohemian Girl
''While art may cause mental anguish and distress, ultimately it brings to light the true nature of our existence. That is the brilliance of art, and that is the brilliance of Kino.'' -- Trip Starkey, The Literary Man
''Part historical fiction, part page-turning thriller, Kino is a well-told tale written by someone who exudes confidence on every page. Readers are in good hands with Fauth as he masters his realm, creating a world that is wholly his own yet accurate of a past era. His examination of both art's role in society and the portraits of 1920s Germany is worth the read alone.'' --Patrick Trotti, jmww
About the Author
Jürgen Fauth is a writer, film critic, translator, and co- founder of the literary community Fictionaut. He was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, and received his doctorate from the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi. He lives with his wife, writer Marcy Dermansky, and their daughter Nina. KINO is his first novel.
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Underpinning all of this is the story of her grandfather, Klaus Koblitz. Rather like Germany's Orson Welles Koblitz finds himself touted as a genius of the silent cinema in the heady days of the Weimar Republic. As he recalls in his journal:
"Once upon a time, in another country, I was a young and hopeful cripple. I was a prodigy, the youngest filmmaker in Ufa's history, the toast of Berlin. I still dream of champagne picnics on the Pfaueninsel, the Zoo-Palast filled with an ocean of flowers, just for me. I dream of Studio B and the sets we built for Jagd zu den Steren.
But all of that has been lost, destroyed, buried, bombed, and burnt. I lived my life for light and love, and now the bean counters and brain shrinkers want to break me." ~Pg. 44
As his star rises, so too does the NSDAP and what will soon bring about the Third Reich in Germany. Koblitz (known as Kino) will have to decide whether to stay in Germany with Ufa, or escape to Hollywood after Goebbels is named the Reichspropogandaminister. But unlike so many of his fellow artists, Kino falls for Goebbels' flattery and attempts to flourish under the strict artistic vision for the volk.
As a cinema nerd (well, actually I have a Masters in Cinema Studies -- and I studied German in college), this book is incredibly exciting. Real life personalities like Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder, GW Pabst and Peter Lorre appear. Classic films, studio heads, and cinema history are the very rich backdrop. Thankfully, Fauth expertly inserts these references and avoids sounding pretentious or false. The focus is always on Kino and his fate.
Fauth's depiction of interwar Berlin - fleeting, sparkling and dangerous - makes one wish they'd had a chance to see it. There is also the incredible sadness among the revelers, knowing these days are numbered. Reluctance, pride, obsession, stubbornness and desperation all come to a head, in the light of a shining projector.
PLEASE read the rest of my review here: [...]