Ghosts of Berlin: Stories by Rudolph Herzog – A Review

Ghosts of Berlin Rudolph Herzog

Ghosts of Berlin: Stories by Rudolph Herzog
Originally published in Germany under the title:
Translated by Emma Rault
Published by Melville House
Released in the US October 8th, 2019
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

Note: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion. 

Author Rudolph Herzog is best known for his BBC/ARD documentary about humor in the Third Reich, which he also turned into a book called Dead Funny (which I will definitely be reading). If I’m not mistaken, this collection of short stories is his first foray into fiction, and he did a damn good job.

Rudolph Herzog.jpg
Rudolph Herzog

Ghosts of Berlin is a collection of macabre and strange tales set in Berlin. The stories include a man meeting a strange woman older than she appears with some interesting dietary habits, a ghost from the time of the Berlin Wall, and a bizarre man who seems to never age and enjoys riding people (yes, literally. Like, on their backs).

It’s quite difficult to describe these stories without giving too much away. There are elements of horror and surrealism, but they’re usually slight; the type of element in the story that leaves you with more questions than you started with. It’s artfully done, however, and I finished each story wishing for more while still being satisfied with what I’d been given.

At its heart, Ghosts of Berlin is a collection of stories placing people from today with the ghosts of the past, and it’s wonderful. I know the style won’t be for everyone, but if you are a fan of slightly unusual ghosts stories and subtly creepy tales, you won’t regret reading Herzog’s book. I’m certain that I’ll be re-reading it.

Have you read any of Rudolph Herzog’s books? What are your favorite books originally published in Germany? Let me know in the comments!

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Sheets by Brenna Thummler – A Review

Sheets Brenna Thummler

Sheets by Brenna Thummler
Graphic Novel
Published by Lion Forge
Released August 28th, 2018
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

Sheets has been on my radar for a while, but reading it on Hoopla this morning was totally spur-of-the-moment. It turned out to be one of the best random decisions I’ve made recently.

This middle-grade ghost story is adorable and perfect for people that want to read something for Halloween but without the normal scares. The story follows a teenage girl named Majorie Glatt, as she tries to juggle school and running her family’s laundromat. After her mother drowns, her father essentially disappears from life, and both the laundromat and her little brother become her responsibility.

Brenna Thummler.jpg
Brenna Thummler

One day a ghost, Wendell, makes the decision to leave his ghost town because he doesn’t feel like he fits in with them. Ghosts are attracted to laundromats (because they wear sheets!) and Wendell ends up in Marjorie’s. He inadvertently causes a bit of mischief and between Wendell and a manipulative man trying to buy the laundromat, Marjorie quickly becomes overwhelmed.

The story is so cute, yet bittersweet at the same time. As someone who has also lost her mother, I felt the pain of Marjorie missing her and quickly became attached to her character. I also saw parts of myself in both Marjorie and Wendell, neither one of whom feel like they fit in with their peers.

As adorable as the story is, the art is just as good. Author Brenna Thummler is also the artist of this story, and I loved both the art style and the colors Thummler used. Here are a few examples:

sheets art 1.png

sheets art 2.jpg

I was hooked by the art pretty much immediately.

While I don’t read a lot of middle-grade books, I would recommend this ageless story to all readers. It’s relatively short (I finished it in under an hour) and there’s so much to get out of it. Plus, as we near Halloween, it’s the perfect time to read it!

Have you read Brenna Thumler’s Sheets? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

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