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Next Door Lived a Girl based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
I stumbled on this book by accident browsing the bn website and my interested was piqued so I gave it the old college try. I was impressed with the tone and the stark way Kiesbye dealt with the subject matter... however it has this amazing heart to it, beyond the starkness and bleak feeling, and that's what draws you in. I'm looking forward to more work from this author.
The writing in Stefan Kiesbye's perfectly pitched novella (its actually a short novel at 110 pages) is at once stark yet filled with wonderfully cast images and a story which draws the reader in from the first page. 'We are the Badgers. My name is Moritz. Thomas and I are the oldest. Johannes is the only boy whose father does not work at the candy factory. His family lives on the property of the slaughterhouse.' It is an oversimplification to say the story in NEXT DOOR LIVED A GIRL is one of incest and violence. There is ever so much more to this book; the narrative voice filled with compassion and care for even its bleakest characters. Set in working class Germany, the book is at once intimate to its time and landscape and transcendent of such, like a great fable. In my capacity as a writer and reviewer, my work is often complicated in that I can't help meeting and getting to know many other writers. I come clean then here and say that I have recently gotten to know Stefan Kiesbe. Those who know me, however, understand that I would never write a review for a friend if I did not truly find his work worthy. There is no question of this with Stefan's wonderful achievement in NEXT DOOR LIVED A GIRL.