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Library JournalMore like a lovely dirge than the blues, this novel, set in 1989 just as Berlin's East-West divide is fading, features Frank Lehmann, nearly 30, examining his slowly dissipating track. He lives in a studio apartment on the West side, works at a bohemian Kreutzberg district bar, has moderate drinking habits and various romances: he judges himself content. However, a tension between Frank's self-assessment and what we see of his actual encounters drives this gentle book forward. Episodic chapters like “The Dog,” “Mother,” and “A Late Snack” cover precisely what their titles name, in a manner that mirrors Frank's what-you-see-is-what-you-get nature. By the time the Wall actually falls, “Herr Lehmann” (as friends jokingly call him with mock formality) has made no decisions of any sort, despite very involved internal negotiations. In most books, Frank's Warholian flatness would come off as pretentious or thin; here it is sweet, if a little cold, and the incidentals of old West Berlin make for a nice backdrop. [PW 5/30/05]
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