logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: cultural
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-09-18 10:21
Wie viel Sympathie ist erlaubt?
Der goldene Handschuh - Heinz Strunk

„Der goldene Handschuh“ ist ein Tatsachenroman des Autors Heinz Strunk, der den Serienmörder Fritz Honka in den Mittelpunkt stellt. Honka war in den 1970er Jahren in Hamburg aktiv und ermordete mindestens vier Frauen, deren Leichen durch Zufall entdeckt wurden. Seine Opfer waren gescheiterte Existenzen ohne soziales Netz, weshalb niemand sie als vermisst meldete. Honka gabelte sie in den übelsten Kneipen im Bezirk St. Pauli auf, darunter auch das Lokal „Zum goldenen Handschuh“. Er wurde im Juli 1975 verhaftet und im Dezember 1976 zu einer Freiheitsstrafe von 15 Jahren verurteilt. Das Gericht ordnete eine Unterbringung in einer psychiatrischen Klinik aufgrund verminderter Schuldfähigkeit an. Er starb 1998. Zu Recherchezwecken erhielt Strunk Einsicht in Honkas Prozessakten, die bis dahin verschlossen im Hamburger Staatsarchiv lagerten. Der daraus entstandene Roman ist eine von Kritikern gelobte Milieustudie, die mir von einem Kollegen empfohlen und ausgeborgt wurde.

 

Fritz Honka ist ein Frauenmörder. Innerlich verkommen und äußerlich entstellt, findet er seine Opfer am untersten Bodensatz der Gesellschaft. Er ist ein Verlierer, der von einem besseren Leben träumt und seinen verstörenden Fantasien nicht entkommen kann. Er weiß, er ist ein Säufer, ein bedauernswerter Tropf, eine Niete. Doch Frauen lassen sich selbst für einen wie ihn auftreiben. Die Verlorenen. Die Verzweifelten. Diejenigen, die längst nicht mehr auf bessere Tage hoffen. In der Hamburger Kneipe „Zum goldenen Handschuh“ geht Honka auf die Jagd. Dort kreuzen sich die Wege aller sozialen Klassen. Arm und Reich trinken Schulter an Schulter, Jung und Alt begegnen sich in den ranzigen Schatten der schäbigen Kaschemme. Im „Handschuh“ ist das Elend zu Hause. Und es ist kein Privileg der Unterschicht.

 

„Der goldene Handschuh“ ist ein literarisches Experiment, dessen zweifelhafter Reiz meiner Meinung nach in der starken, unerwarteten Bindung an den tragischen, grenzwertigen Protagonisten liegt. Heinz Strunk porträtiert Fritz Honka, genannt Fiete, als ganz und gar abstoßenden Mann mit widerlichen Neigungen und Fantasien, der von Beginn an zu Grausamkeiten gegenüber Frauen tendiert. Er ist Alkoholiker und ein Sozialversager, wie er im Buche steht. Sein Umfeld ist ebenso degeneriert wie er selbst, seine Stammkneipe „Zum goldenen Handschuh“ ein Moloch menschlichen Elends und Scheiterns. Der Vorhof zur Hölle. Dort ist mal jemand auf einem Barhocker gestorben und niemand hat es gemerkt. So weit, so scheußlich. Ihr könnt euch nicht vorstellen, wie entsetzt ich war, als ich beobachtete, dass Fritz Honka an meinem Herzen zupfte. Ich hatte Mitleid mit ihm! Heinz Strunk nötigte mir Mitgefühl für einen brutalen, ekelhaften Frauenmörder auf! Ich musste feststellen, dass mich die Charakterisierung seines Protagonisten als jämmerliches Würstchen keineswegs kaltließ. Schriftstellerisch ist das ein beeindruckender Geniestreich. Ich drückte Honka während seines Versuchs, vom Alkohol loszukommen, die Daumen und als das nicht funktionierte, erwischte ich mich dabei, auf irgendein Erfolgserlebnis für ihn zu hoffen, sei es nun eine heiße Nacht mit der Putzfrau seiner Arbeitsstelle oder die Verwirklichung seiner abartigen Fantasie von zwei Frauen. Ich wünschte ihm Glück, ich wünschte ihm Befriedigung, obwohl er es nicht verdiente. Ich erforschte meine Emotionen und fand eine erschreckende Bereitschaft, mich auf Honka einzulassen. „Der goldene Handschuh“ ist ein provokantes Buch, weil Heinz Strunk darin die Beziehung zwischen Leser_in und Protagonist ungeniert in Frage stellt. Wie weit darf Sympathie gehen? Für mich ergab die Lektüre, dass meine persönliche Schmerzgrenze sehr hoch angesetzt ist. Ich habe durch diesen Roman etwas über mich selbst gelernt: meine Fähigkeit, Mitleid zu empfinden, wird durch drastische, schockierende Schilderungen nicht beeinträchtigt. Die Hauptfigur kann abscheulich wie Fritz Honka sein, drückt der Autor oder die Autorin geschickt meine Knöpfe, kann ich trotzdem mit ihr fühlen. Heinz Strunk gelang dieses Kunststück, weil er sich auf jeder Seite des Romans um Authentizität bemüht. Ich fühlte mich nicht manipuliert, ich sah der ehrlichen Realität der Hamburger Kneipenszene der 70er Jahre ins Auge, die Strunk durch einen direkten, unzensierten Schreibstil illustriert. Der „Handschuh“ ist ein Schmelztiegel, ein Knotenpunkt, den man vielleicht als deprimierendes Wartezimmer für Suchende beschreiben kann. Was die einzelnen Akteure in der Kaschemme suchen, ist natürlich sehr unterschiedlich: Ablenkung, Zuflucht, ein Bett für die Nacht, ein wenig Gesellschaft. Daher überraschte es mich nicht, dass fast alle auftretenden Figuren, auch diejenigen, die standesgemäß weit über so einer Kneipe rangieren, irgendwann dort aufschlagen. Am Rande der Gesellschaft ist eben immer Platz. Um es mit Tolstoi zu sagen: „Alle glücklichen Familien gleichen einander, jede unglückliche Familie ist auf ihre eigene Weise unglücklich“.

 

„Der goldene Handschuh“ ist ohne Zweifel ein interessantes Buch, weil es Leser_innen herausfordert und sie vor die Frage stellt, wie viel Zuneigung sie sich für einen verabscheuungswürdigen Protagonisten erlauben. Es ist eine ungeschminkte Milieustudie, die den Mikrokosmos der Hamburger Kneipen im Dunstkreis der Reeperbahn in all seiner Hässlichkeit abbildet. Nicht schön anzuschauen, aber ehrlich und echt. Intellektuell schätze ich sehr, was Heinz Strunk mit diesem Roman zu demonstrieren versucht, ich kann jedoch nicht behaupten, dass mir die Lektüre Freude bereitet hätte. Obwohl sich beim Lesen eine gewisse Faszination des Grauens einstellte, empfand ich das Buch insgesamt als zu trostlos. Daher empfehle ich „Der goldene Handschuh“ an experimentierfreudige Leser_innen, die sich gern selbst beobachten und nicht allzu zart besaitet sind. Betrachtet es als mentale Übung, um eure eigenen Grenzen auszuloten.

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/heinz-strunk-der-goldene-handschuh
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-09-05 02:42
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life (Audiobook)
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life - Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Warning:

Death and grief

(spoiler show)

 

I loved Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and was worried that nothing else would measure up to it. 

 

As with that book, this one is centered around a young high school boy trying to figure out life while detailing in his relationships with those around him. Here, we have Salvador, his gay dad Vicente and his best friends Sam, who is more of a sister to him, and Fito, who is also gay. Sam's and Fito's lives are not as easy as Salvie's but he has his own issues to. His grandmother is sick again, and he's feeling an anger that he can't place where it came from. The ghost of his mother is always there, nearby, and his unknown bio dad is a big question mark. As Salvie, Sam and Fito go through their last year of high school, they face trials, joys and life-changing events. 

 

I didn't really click with the narrator. He did a great job but for some reason his voice just never sounded like what I thought Salvie's voice should sound like. Then Saenz started tugging at the heart strings as first Sam, then Fito, then Salvie and Vicente experienced significant losses in their lives. All the characters are great, flaws and all, and Vicente is a terrific father. But Mima. Mima got me.

 

I lost my nana at the beginning of the year, a few weeks after New Year's. She had been sick a long time and waiting for death, but that didn't make it any easier when we got the call late one night to hurry and come before it was too late to say our goodbyes. I wasn't as close to her as Salvie is to Mima. My nana only spoke Spanish and I only speak English, so we couldn't talk without a translator. But I never needed a translator to know how much she loved me. She had God in her heart, and she loved her family with all her heart. If I was sick or not feeling well when we were visiting, she'd whip up some lemon tea with her special blend of spices and I'd feel better. She made the best tamales and her house and yard always smelled like guavas. Ten months have passed and I still sometimes forget she's not just a couple hours down the highway, and this'll be the first Christmas where we don't all gather at her house, sing carols and eat tamales until we can't move. 

(spoiler show)

 

I saw my nana in Mima, and myself and all my cousins in Salvie, and the special bond that they shared. It's no surprise those were my favorite parts of the book, and that pulled this up from a 3-star to a 4-star read for me.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-09-01 07:26
Anger Is a Gift
Anger Is a Gift - Mark Oshiro

Warnings: Institutionalized racism, racism, policy brutality, police shootings, death 

 

I'm going to steal this line from Elena, because it perfectly sums up how I feel about this book:

"The more potential a book shows the less I’m inclined to be generous when it doesn’t live up to it." 

Not that this book didn't always live up to its potential. I think it met that potential and messed it in equal measure.

 

I've followed Mark Does Stuff off and on over the years, and discovered a lot of great shows and books I otherwise wouldn't have tried because of him. I often find his commentary interesting, insightful and funny. I don't always agree with him and the conclusions he makes, but he always explains those conclusions in ways I can understand and respect.

 

Still, I was hesitant to read this book. I was concerned that knowing so much about the author might impact the way I read this book, and I did keep picking out things he'd mentioned about himself or his life experiences being reflected in the characters and the plot, which was distracting to say the least. More than that though, given some of the things I've disagreed with him about over the years, I was worried this wouldn't be for me. And perhaps, in the end, it isn't. So I went into this with certain expectations I wouldn't have had if there was just any other author, and I honestly can't say how much of that influenced my reading.

 

There was a lot here to like, and a lot to not like. After thinking over this review for the last few days (more like a week-and-half as I'm editing this review yet again), I'm still not sure how to write one. So I'm doing a list!

 

 

Some positives:

~Moss's relationship with his mother Wanda was pretty great. Wanda supported her son, and she realized that by trying to protect him he was doubting himself.

~Likewise Javier and his mother have a pretty tight relationship too. I wish there would've been more focus on Javier's mom, given what happens, but she's kind of forgotten.

~Moss's love for his city and his community. He takes pride in being from Oakland, and it's presented in a positive light. Knowing Mark lived there for years, I can imagine he walked the same streets and road the same trains. He really brings the city alive.

~Moss and Javier's friendship was sweet and cute. I adored them and how they just sort of clicked. It was easy to see why Moss would have such deep affection for him over so short a time.

~Moss's ways of coping with his anxiety and how he remembers his father were well done also. As someone with anxiety, I could sympathize with Moss's spiraling self-doubts. The rolodex of memories he keeps of his father shows that had a great relationship, and it was clear how much his father's absence still effects him. 

~The action sequences were very well-written and felt like something you'd see in the movies. Or on the news. =/ The action just exploded off the page and was a big part of why I felt the second half was more solidly written than the first half. These are the parts that flowed the best for me.

~There's no closure. There can't be. 

 

Some negatives:

~The dialogue was often exposition-heavy and felt more like I was being continually hit over the head with an anvil as the world of West Oakland High was being established. Maybe that was by design, but I thought it would've been more effective if more subtly handled. Show, don't tell.

~On that same note, there's also a lot of info-dumping. Moss is walking through his neighborhood early in the story, thinking about who lives where and what they're like, but we don't meet most of these people. By the time we do eventually meet some of them, I'd forgotten everything that was info-dumped about them.

~The same thing happens when we first meet Moss's school friends. Each one is introduced with two or three facts about them, and that's pretty much all the development most of them get. I also had trouble getting a sense of their personalities since they all talked and acted the same. 

~White people jokes are racist jokes too.

~The treatment of Esperanza was abysmal. Moss gets angry at her because she doesn't 100% immediately understand his personal life experience. He doesn't have to make any effort to understand her life, but she's just supposed to magically understand his life and when she doesn't she's a bad friend. The resolution with this character was total fubar. Moss was a jerk towards her for most of the book. (Other reviewers have gone into detail about this.)

~The metal detectors: They don't work that way. I even did some research after that scene because it pulled me out of the book so much. The info that the vice principal gives them later somewhat explains it but it's never explained how a broke, inner-city school could afford any of this stuff, much less how the police could afford it in these days of budget cuts. Even at bargain basement discount prices, military equipment isn't cheap.

~The info the vice principal gives them was never mentioned again, even when Moss had that reporter's attention. 

 

We all know race relations suck in this country, and we've all seen the various stories about police shootings and brutality, and campus cops manhandling students. It's also been disclosed that the military have experimented on our own citizens, so the idea of something like this happening in a school isn't entirely implausible. In a near-dystopian future, this could be all too real. We also have a long history in this country of the police and military coming in to break up peaceful protests with excessive force. Situations like the ones described in this book do happen, and this book doesn't pull any punches. This is an important discussion, and there needs to be more books that focus on these issues. I just feel this story could have been told with more nuance and less hammering. Instead, we get a book were all the good guys are super good, and all the bad guys are super bad. And white. Because ALL white people are the enemy, doncha know. (No, they're not.)

 

I'm still not sure how to rate this. I want to give it four stars for the spotlight it shines on some serious issues and because some of the writing was really solid. The execution of its message often fell into the two-star range though, but splitting it for a three-star rating doesn't seem right either, so I'm leaving this unrated.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-08-18 16:38
The examination of others that leads to the self
Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison is another title from the list of 100 books compiled for the Great American Read. (Have you voted today?) I feel somewhat chagrined that I had never heard of this classic until I checked out this list. The reader follows a nameless narrator who tells the story of his days in college while living in the South to his move to New York City. As this is set in 1930-40 the racial/social divide is still quite stark even in the North and the author doesn't pull any punches in that regard (i.e. expect violence). The beginning starts out with our narrator underground and in hiding although we have no idea why. In explanation, he weaves a story full of brutality, bigotry, backstabbing, and political machinations. He leaves college and goes to NYC where he is recruited into the Brotherhood which purports to strive for equality among all men regardless of race. Events unfold quickly and he fully believes and embraces the cause. The fomenting of racial riots are underway in Harlem (his district) and at this pivotal moment he is pulled out of his district and sent on another assignment downtown. The reader is kept on their toes and always wondering (as the narrator is) just which side is the "right" side and what is truly motivating the men he has come to trust in this (to him) foreign city. What is the "true" self and how does one embrace it? Invisible Man chews this question over while telling a story of one man coming to terms with the racism (both overt and covert) of society which is told so convincingly that you'll forget it's a work of fiction at times. This is a dense book and took me far longer to read than I expected. Several interesting points were made and quite a few powerful passages but overall it doesn't rate higher than a 6/10 for me.

 

A compelling and thought provoking point:

"For history records the patterns of men's lives, they say: Who slept with whom and with what results; who fought and who won and who lived to lie about it afterwards. ...only those events that the recorder regards as important that are put down, these lies his keepers keep their power by." - pg 439

 

There are quite a few covers but I like this one best.[Source: National Book Foundation]

 

 

What's Up Next: Comics Squad: Recess! by Jennifer L. Holm, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Dan Santat, & Raina Telgemeier

 

What I'm Currently Reading: ???

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-08-15 02:35
My Magical Palace - DNF @ 30%
My Magical Palace - Mugdha Sadhwani,Samaresh,Kunal Mukherjee

This wasn't badly written. It just wasn't holding my attention. 

 

The storytelling device used just didn't work for me, for starters. The bulk of this book is Rahul telling his partner about growing up in India and how homophobic and traditional his family and everyone else around him was. The thing is I would have expected this conversation to have already happened since the characters had already been together for awhile at the start of the book. The trigger event for Rahul finally telling his story was ... overly dramatic, or at least it felt that way since we don't know this couple, and it was the first time this situation - Rahul's parents wanting him to meet a daughter of a friend to a possible arranged marriage - has come up, I thought Rahul's partner kind of flew off the handle. Especially since it's hardly like India has the monopoly on treating gays terribly, especially for the time period the flashback story is based in, which is the early 1970s.

 

As for the flashback story - can it be a flashback when it's the bulk of the story? - was very rambling and while it was nice to read about different customs and such, I just finally wanted Rahul to get to the point already. The writing is also very simple, which wasn't helping it any. It just wasn't hooking me in, to the point that I could put it down for several days and not think of it once. I was already skimming by around 25%, and I finally just skipped all the way to end to find out what the moral of the story was, and it was ... be true to yourself! Awwww!

 

There are good bones here, but it needs editing to tighten it up, and something to make me care about the present day stuff.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?