Fear

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 28 Jan 2018

Member Reviews

It took a while to get used to the cadence and rhythm of Dirk Kurbjuweit's prose, but once I did it was fully immersive within the first person narrative of 'Fear'.
I think that the chosen mode, almost a stream of consciousness thread, suits the paranoia, the intensity and claustrophobic nature of the story.
It has a slow, creeping sense of danger and it keeps you reading as you aren't sure if the neighbour is stalking and harassing, as the narrator says he is, why is no one else seeing it? The perception of what is going on is affected by the foreword in which Dirk explains that he had a similar situation where his downstairs neighbour became a nightmare so you start...

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The description of this book drew me in; but I am afraid to say it did leave me disappointed. Parts of the book were interesting but I just did not find myself attached to the story or the characters.
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If your neighbour was making your families life a fearful nightmare, if they were making unfounded and vile accusations what would you do? Go to the police, a lawyer. What if they said nothing could be done? What would you do? What could fear drive you to?

Sounds exciting right? Wrong. If you're looking for a thriller or a mystery this isn't it. Within a few pages you're presented with the outcome, this is the story of how the narrator, Randolph, got there. Literally the whole story from birth to the conclusion of the tale. Rather than a thriller it's more of a tale of a man who has been fearful all his life and his often fraught relationship with his family, both that...

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3.5 stars
This was an unusual book, especially as it was loosely based on the author's personal experience. I found it an interesting read but hard work, perhaps due to the translation or may be it was just a little too slow for me.
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This is a German book brilliantly translated into English and as such is set in Germany amid the political background.

The book is brilliant in that you know the crime, reason and murderer very early on, but it still works superbly.

The way it jumps back to the beginning of the story is really well done and still entices you to read more.
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DNF @ 47%

Agghh, I’m so disappointed I had to put this book down as a DNF, but as I’m finding it exceedingly hard to focus on books, I really can’t waste any of my time on books that aren’t hooking me, and this one wasn’t!

I had huge hopes for this book, featuring it in various blogs at the end of last year, one being my “most anticipated books of 2018“! I really thought this one was going to be a fast-paced thriller that would challenge our morals and opinions, but no. It wasn’t like that at all.

This one started quite strong, jumping straight into the murder (not a spoiler, literally in the first chapter), so I thought this might be one of those stories that was told backwards (like...

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Gave up on this book. Found it disjoined and very ploddy. Did not grab the reader from the beginning
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My family is my life. I'd like to think that I'd do anything for them, particularly if their lives were threatened. But wouldn't we all? We'd all like to think that we are strong enough to stand up to a bully.

Fear isn't just about the terror inflicted on a family; it's about the family itself. This family is on the brink of destruction. Randolph and Rebecca want to appear to be a happy couple but once you scratch the surface of their relationship, there are cracks and not just hairline cracks. Will the actions of their odd neighbour (some may call him a nutcase) bring them together to fight the bully or will it drive a wedge into those cracks?

I have to say...

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Randolph is an architect, and he lives in an apartment block with his wife Rebecca, and their two children. They live a happy, normal life, until the basement tenant, Dieter Tiberius, accuses them of sexual abuse towards their children, and starts to hound the wife with poems and accusatory letters. Their life starts to fall apart. They seek legal advice, but no-one can help them - not the police, nor the landlord, nor social services. Things become so fraught and desperate, that Randolph decides to take matters into his own hands.

All his life, Randolph has grown up surrounded by guns. His father always had them in the house, and Randolph was continually afraid that his dad would use them...

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Faced with threats and allegations from a tenant in his building Randolph needs to protect his family, defend a troubled marraige and find a way to deal with the accuser. Character builds are quite good, the idea is interesting but the story drifts a little in places and never really grips the  reader fully.
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I was completely gripped by this story and thought the quality of writing was of a really high standard. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. Thank you.
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A tense and disturbing thriller that often made you wonder what you would do if in a similar situation - even more terrifying that it is based in truth! Not the best thriller I've read, but certainly worth a read.
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Fear is written by German author, Dirk Kurbjuweit, this being his 7th critically acclaimed novel, but the first to be translated into English. It’s a psychological thriller but one with elements of existential anxiety and guilt, which has a real Kafkaesque feel to it and which took me back to my German Literature A level syllabus. I loved the quality of the writing and some of the parallels between Kafka’s protagonists and plots. Similar to our protagonist, Rudolph, Kafka shared a strained relationship with his father and reminiscent of Kafka’s work, we find Rudolph comes up against incomprehensible social-bureaucratic powers.
Right from the beginning we’re told that Rudolph’s 77 year...

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Fear is a terrifying concept, though I wish the book had focused on that instead of a more introspective look at Randolph's life. I expected a tale that had me afraid to cross my neighbors in even the slightest way. Unfortunately, expectations are often wrong. I am afraid it was me and not the book.
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Good read although I did keep wondering "wouldn't it be easier to just move?" Kept me turning the pages all the same to see how it all worked out and the unexpected plot twist was a good one!
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FEAR is a tremendous novel where tension is continually ratcheted up and psychological insights are delivered like sucker punches which function in the same way as killer plot twists: changing how we view and/or feel about what has come before with just a few exquisitely chosen words.

There is an elegance to the prose, together with deft philosophical underpinnings, such that I was in mind of Bernhard Schlink and Herman Koch (who, along with Lionel Shriver, is one of the authors quoted on the book’s jacket as also having loved FEAR).

One of the central arguments here is that our fears aren’t just based on what *is* happening, but what we think is happening - or indeed, what may or...

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I really couldn’t get into this at all. Is it fiction? Is it based on true events? I was left feeling lost throughout. The writing style wasn’t quite right for me and this made it really difficult to get through. There was some suspense but again, just difficult to hold onto. I think the cover and synopsis grabbed my attention, but I was just thrown off track by the events and writing style of the book.
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Unexpected. Well written. Strangely captivating. When I first picked this book up, I was expecting a fast paced thriller, but soon realised that this was something completely different. It was thoughts, rather than action. Since the writing was so well done, I almost didn't mind that the actual story could've been told in a few chapters and the rest of it was building up the fear that this book was about. In that sense, this book absolutely served its purpose. It told the story it was meant to in a way it was supposed to be told. It just didn't happen to be my cup of tea. If you like slow-paced psychological books, really getting into someone's head and feeling their...

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I was disappointed in this book.

It was well written and interesting enough as a contemporary or social commentary on Germany from the 70's til now but as a thriller, it was severely lacking.

The structure made sure there was very little tension ever built in the book. There were massive chunks of backstory that seemed completely unnecessary to the plot and just seemed like stream of consciousness tangents that the author went on, forgetting his objective and the expectations of his audience.

I liked the prose and the insight the book provided, especially regarding the politics and history discussed, at length, throughout, but it came to a point where I was bored of it and wanting...

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"Fear" is the story about a neighbor terrorizing a family and the length a man will go to to protect his family when nobody will or can't help. The story unfolds slowly, too slowly at times and I had to force myself to keep reading. I expected tension and suspense, but, sadly, I didn't get any of it. Maybe if you like slow burning stories this might be the one for you and you should give it a try. I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thanks to NetGalley and Orion Publishing Group!
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