320 pp, (70,000 words)
>>A tribute to gangster comedies
Carsten Wuppke just can’t keep his mouth shut. A social worker living in Neukölln, Berlin, Wuppke has only just extricated himself from one brush with the law, so why’s he picking a fight with a policeman at the supermarket checkout? And why has he gone and “borrowed” a scooter belonging to Ali al-Safa, of all people, aka “the Chinaman”? The gangland boss promptly strong-arms him into doing a couple of favours: first, Wuppke has to give his lads some coaching in non-violent communication; then he has to sort out a dodgy real-estate business on Sylt, which has come into conflict with conservation laws and the mayoral election race. Wuppke knows a thing or two about conflict – or so he thinks, until he meets the family of the most prominent conservationist and mayoral candidate. When the Chinaman decides to send in his goons, Wuppke finds himself on very thin ice.
Sascha Reh’s new novel is an intertextual gangster comedy full of sharp linguistic wit and absurd situational humour, following its hero as he finagles his way through the island’s seedy underbelly with eloquence and chutzpah.