Book Review: Wer Wem Wen – by Simon Borowiak

After reading my first book in Spanish a couple of months ago, my friend Peter gave me a German book the night before the plane ride home to the U.S. from Frankfurt. Seriously, I have not read any German book since probably 1980 or before; I do not remember.

Wer Wem Wen – Eine Sommerbeichte is translated as Who Whom Who – a Summer Confession.

It tells the sometimes satirical, sometimes grotesque and sometimes hilarious story of six people going on a trip to the winter mountains, staying in a cabin. This will probably never be available in another language. Borowiak is a poet and a word smith of Herculean proportions, and he uses a language as colorful as a Picasso painting, and as exciting.

I read the 183 page book during the 10 hour plane trip home. I read it slowly, more slowly than I would read an equivalent English book, partly because I am not used to the language, partly because I needed to savor every word like eating the squares of a good Ritter Sport chocolate bar, letting each bite dissolve in my mouth before breaking off the next one, unable to stop.

Borowiak is a master of the modern German language. I will need to keep track of this author.

Rating: ***

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Wer Wem Wen – by Simon Borowiak

  1. Eric Petrie

    Great, but what happens in the cabin? Are you trying to tell me that I have to read this book in order to know?

  2. Yep. What happens is what would happen if you put any 6 people into a cabin. They’d be at each other’s throats in no time. That’s why it would never occur to me to rent a cabin with anyone. I know better.

  3. Eric Petrie

    Well, that’s what would happen if you and six other Germans rented a cabin. But we calm sons of the Midwest get along real easy.

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