Berlin Alexanderplatz

Narrated by: Julian Elfer
Length: 15 hrs and 31 mins
3.9 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Berlin Alexanderplatz, the great novel of Berlin and the doomed Weimar Republic, is one of the great books of the 20th century, gruesome, farcical, and appalling, word drunk, pitchdark. In Michael Hofmann's extraordinary new translation, Alfred Döblin's masterpiece lives in English for the first time.  

As Döblin writes:   

The subject of this book is the life of the former cement worker and haulier Franz Biberkopf in Berlin. As our story begins, he has just been released from prison, where he did time for some stupid stuff; now he is back in Berlin, determined to go straight.   

To begin with, he succeeds. But then, though doing all right for himself financially, he gets involved in a set-to with an unpredictable external agency that looks an awful lot like fate.   

Three times the force attacks him and disrupts his scheme. The first time it comes at him with dishonesty and deception. Our man is able to get to his feet, he is still good to stand.   

Then it strikes him a low blow. He has trouble getting up from that, he is almost counted out. And finally it hits him with monstrous and extreme violence.

©2008 S. Fischer Verlag GmbH; Translation copyright 2018 by Michael Hofmann; Afterword copyright 2018 by Michael Hofmann (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Berlin Alexanderplatz

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If you've liked The Miniseries by Fassbinder...

You'll love the book. It's much better than the film adaptations. Watch The Miniseries first and then read the book.

1 person found this helpful

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Stephen Dadelus Has Nothing on Franz Biberkopf

An absolute romp of a book with some wonderful sensory language, populated with a vast assortment of humanity to spy upon—a testament and tapestry of Weimar life. (The only thing that comes remotely close, and we are talking a distant, distant second, is Isherwood’s Berlin Stories. Don’t listen to the haters: read books that attack you. This one goes for your ear, eyes, and throat and doesn’t let go. As for the comparison to Ulysses, it’s there but Joyce’s day-in-the-life pales in comparison to this gem of a Bildungsroman, and what Walter Benjamin himself called the sentimental education of the petty thief. Doblin has written, in my poor opinion, the greatest high modernist novel of the twentieth century.

1 person found this helpful

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Unable to capture interest

Ponderous. Absolutely unable to make me care about the protagonist. Too remote. This did not make the cut.

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Avid listener

Time is the most precious thing anyone has, and listening to this book was complete waste of it. This is no masterpiece. This is crap. And don’t let any bombastic self-Delusive literary critic convince you otherwise.

2 people found this helpful