Burkhard Spinnen: Nevena

Burkhard Spinnen

fiction, young adult

381pp (95,272 words)

Henner has lost his son to an internet computer game. At least that’s what he sometimes thinks. Patrick, seventeen, sees it quite differently. For months, as the Blood Elf Pocahontas, he has been spending every free minute with Mr Smith, the Barbarian. Together they are an unbeatable team. And perhaps even more. Because Mr Smith is Nevena, a seventeen-year-old girl who supposedly lives in Belgrade. She is both feisty and thoughtful, and both the worrier and the guiding spirit of her slightly mad extended family. In a series of emails she describes her world of busy social activity, a world that Patrick has lost since his mother’s death.

When Nevena suddenly disappears from the game and the net one day, Patrick is in despair. He knows little about the real Nevena, not even her address. Then Henner suggests that they look for Nevena together. In Patrick’s late mother’s campervan they set off on a journey that takes them through the terrible history of Yugoslavia and, unexpectedly, becomes an exciting journey into their own identities.

Rights sold

Georgia – Ibis

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»Skillfully, accomplished, even elegantly Burkhard Spinnen changes between the real and the virtual world.«
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

»Gently the story gropes its way through the analogue and digital world, doesn’t play them off against each other but entangles them in the smallest detail and doesn’t bother with hysterical theses of the disgracefulness of computer games.«
Süddeutsche Zeitung

»Between virtual and post-Yugoslavian reality Burkhard Spinnen successfully accomplishes a famous father-son-story and an exciting road novel.«
Österreichischer Rundfunk

»Burkhard Spinnen succeeds in describing the coming closer of father and son not as a soppy buddy-story with sentimental male trash but as a careful, jolty and sometimes nervous self-discovery.«
Norddeutscher Rundfunk

»NEVENA is not a research paper for educators or politicians, but in a double meaning it is a journey into a foreign country, an adventure for unarmed mid-level heroes, a story which takes a good turn..«
3sat Kulturzeit

»Burkhard Spinnen narrates this story of self-discovery as a panorama of the presence full with nuances presenting a social portrait that is fitted with a lot of empathy and sympathy for the protagonists.«
Wiener Zeitung

»An exciting-adventurous novel.«
ekz Bibliotheksservice

»With NEVENA Burkhard Spinnen has written an atmospheric coming of age novel, an entertaining father-son story that could also be the script of a road movie. «

»Spinnen’s depiction provides an insight into the mixture of atmosphere of departure and frustration in the Balkan countries, it reflects the beauty of these countries as well as the still visible aftermaths of the war through destruction, flight and later re-immigration.«

»Entertaining, educating and interesting.«
DeutschlandRadio Köln

»Medially seen the story is up to date - narrated in a timelessly wise way.«
St. Galler Tagblatt

»Between virtual and post-Yugoslavian reality Burkhard Spinnen succeeded in writing a touching father-son-story and an exciting road novel. «

»Emotions that cannot be solved strategically - the question of truth and lie. Narrated in a timelessly wise way.«

»A touching father-son-story.«
Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR 5), Bücher

»Road novels are simply wonderful and German literature needs a lot more of them.«
Weser Kurier

»Burkhard Spinnen narrates wonderfully cool and plain of relationship problems and adolescence conflicts.«
Darmstädter Echo

»It is particularly skilful how Spinnen relates the real to the virtual, how he manages the sometimes bloody transitions between the world of games and the real world. And how he ultimately gives a small family, slowly recovering from a stroke of fate, a challenge, only to be solved together: young Nevena .«

»Spinnen succeeds in virtuously fusing various themes and levels: analogue and virtual reality, contemporary and family history and first love. (...) How does the digital age change and affect our life and identity? (...) A novel revolving around basic questions.«
Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger

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