Guilt by Ferdinand von Schirach

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“Guilt” suffers a little when compared with its predecessor, which was richer and less schematic...
-NY Times


On a sweltering day in August, a small town drunkenly celebrates its six-hundredth anniversary with a funfair when an anonymous tip leads police to find a young woman brutally beaten, raped, and thrown under the floorboards of the very stage on which her attackers had just played a polka. An eight-member brass band composed of respectable family men with respectable day jobs is charged with the crime. A neophyte defense lawyer, still wet behind the ears and breaking in his attaché case, takes on the trial, only to lose his innocence in the process.
So begins Guilt, Ferdinand von Schirach’s tense, riveting collection of stories based on real crimes he has known. In these brief, succinct tales, von Schirach calls into question the nature of guilt and the toll it takes—or fails to take—on ordinary people. In “The Illuminati,” the popular mean crowd at an all-boys’ boarding school wages a vicious attack against an outsider schoolmate, and ends up accidentally killing the boy’s beloved teacher. Attempting to hurdle through a midlife crisis, a housewife begins to steal trivial things no one will miss, an act that gives her a rush and staves off depression in “Desire.” And in “Snow,” an old man whose home is used as a way station for a heroin ring agrees to protect the identity of the lead drug runner, who receives his comeuppance in due course.
Compassionate and seen with the same cool, controlled eye that propelled Ferdinand von Schirach’s debut collection, Crime, onto best-seller lists, Guilt is a stunning follow-up from one of Germany’s finest new writers.

About Ferdinand von Schirach

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Ferdinand Von Schirach is one of Germany’s most prominent defense lawyers and a prolific author. His short story collections, Crime and Guilt, were instant bestsellers in Germany and have been translated in more than thirty territories. He lives in Berlin.
Published January 31, 2012 by Knopf. 162 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction
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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Adam Liptak on Apr 06 2012

“Guilt” suffers a little when compared with its predecessor, which was richer and less schematic...

Read Full Review of Guilt: Stories | See more reviews from NY Times

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