In Ghosts of Berlin, a thrilling mix of suspense and horror, Rudolph Herzog explores Berlin’s relationship with its dark history. The ghosts in this collection are a special kind of spectre, haunting present-day Berliners through the city’s troubled past – two Americans confront the ghost of an East German soldier who was shot trying to cross the Wall, a woman is driven mad by a former Stasi agent, and an undead Nazi sympathiser haunts a Greek immigrant.
With this unconventional mix of real-life horror and present-day mundanity, Herzog forces the reader to consider Berlin, past and present, in all its gloomy winter glory. The stories don’t shy away from the troubled personal history of their characters and are often most disturbing at their most mundane, when the characters simply accept their strange surroundings. Through them, Herzog evokes a strong sense of place and personality, and offers a fascinating exploration of generational trauma and public history.
The book has already garnered some serious praise in its original German (see below) and is now finally available in English. So, cosy up and let yourself be transported to one of the most turbulent cities of the 20th Century, out now from Melville House.
Herzog is fearless, not because he is unafraid of ghosts, but because he settles them all in bumptious Berlin, which would seem to reject every thought of something as romantic and antiquated as a ghost, yet contains all the historic raw materials that tend to breed ghosts like dunghill maggots.”—Die Zeit
In Herzog’s gripping stories, the artistic-wickedness of Berlin and its architectural misery flicker in the twilight.”— Süddeutsche Zeitung
Ghosts of Berlin’s explicit foregrounding of the macabre is a clever sleight of hand that also allows for consideration of gentrification… Sharp satire, and a worthy addition to the growing canon of Berlin ghost-lit.”— Booklist
Ghosts of Berlin by Rudolph Herzog is out now from Melville House
(9781612197517, p/b, £12.99)