The Girl Who Wasn't There

The Girl Who Wasn t There A smart chilling tale of truth deception and the reach of the law The Girl Who Wasn t There is the latest crime thriller from the acclaimed author of The Collini Case a Waterstones Book Club pick

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  • Title: The Girl Who Wasn't There
  • Author: Ferdinand von Schirach Anthea Bell
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 104
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • A smart, chilling tale of truth, deception and the reach of the law, The Girl Who Wasn t There is the latest crime thriller from the acclaimed author of The Collini Case, a Waterstones Book Club pick.Sebastian von Eschburg, scion of a wealthy, self destructive family, survived his disastrous childhood to become a celebrated if controversial artist He casts a provocative sA smart, chilling tale of truth, deception and the reach of the law, The Girl Who Wasn t There is the latest crime thriller from the acclaimed author of The Collini Case, a Waterstones Book Club pick.Sebastian von Eschburg, scion of a wealthy, self destructive family, survived his disastrous childhood to become a celebrated if controversial artist He casts a provocative shadow over the Berlin scene his disturbing photographs and installations show that truth and reality are two distinct things.When Sebastian is accused of murdering a young woman and the police investigation takes a sinister turn, seasoned lawyer Konrad Biegler agrees to represent him and hopes to help himself in the process But Biegler soon learns that nothing about the case, or the suspect, is what it appears The new thriller from the acclaimed author of The Collini Case, The Girl Who Wasn t There is dark, ingenious and irresistibly gripping.

    One thought on “The Girl Who Wasn't There”

    1. A game of two halves sums this novella up perfectly and after reading The Collini Case I wasn't expecting an easy ride and I am afraid this left me confounded. The first half of the novel tells of the once wealthy family of Sebastian von Eschburg, born into a now crumbling ruin filled with curios and the spoils of their years as hunters and travellers. Born into a loveless marriage, Sebastian is largely ignored by his parents and their interactions with him are united in a coldness which has lef [...]

    2. Right. The Girl Who Wasnt There. It's an apt title.I'm going to struggle to review this one because I really liked it but it drove me beautifully mad. And if you want me to lay out the reasons for why I liked it I'll be hard pressed to do so.The story is a straightforward family drama really. The first half deals with a boy who has a difficult childhood and grows up to be a photographer/artist whose strangeness is, well strange. Actually this whole book has a strange feeling about it - a kind of [...]

    3. first of all, it's NOT the kindle edition. I hate that all editions are combined at this site, but what can you do?basic plot etc you can find at my online reading journal's crime page, without as much of a hint as to why you will seriously do a double take after finishing it.This is one of the most darkly claustrophobic novels I've read in a while (a feeling I loved while reading it) and sadly, it's also one where I can't say too much without ruining things. This is a good novel that takes read [...]

    4. Dve reči: WOW!Knjiga koju bih želeo da pročitam ponovo po prvi put."Svako jutro ustajemo, pomisli, živimo svoj život, sve one sitnice, rad, nada, seks, verujemo da je važno ono što radimo i da značimo nešto. Verujemo da smo sigurni, da je ljubav sigurna kao i društvo i mesta gde živimo. Verujemo u to jer drugačije ne možemo. Ali ponekada se zaustavimo, vreme poprima pukotinu i u tom trenutku shvatamo: možemo da vidimo samo svoj odraz."

    5. Coldly intellectual in a very European way, this book self-consciously juxtaposes questions of artistic truth or deception with legal definitions of the same.There's a lengthy preamble which takes up about half of this short book which ranges through the boyhood and youth of our odd protagonist and his artistic career: Sebastian is cold, possibly somewhere on the autism spectrum, and obsessed with colour in almost a synaesthesic way. Then the second half involves a court case where police, lawye [...]

    6. I’ve seen this book described as a gripping thriller, a court-room drama, but for me it fell far short of that, and I really felt that overall it didn’t add up to much. The first half of the book is very good. It describes the childhood of Sebastian von Eschburg and his evolution into an acclaimed and controversial artist, who creates often disturbing photographs and installations. I found this first part very readable and absorbing. But then he is accused of a murder and the second half of [...]

    7. I was supposed to review this one as a crime novel. But it's really not. The main character is accused of murder and we do have a bit of a courtroom drama, but this is a poetic, laconic meditation about life and death, truth and reality, beauty and truth, and the ephemereal nature of it all. Beautiful style, reminding me initially of The Buddenbrooks, but then more of Durrenmatt's Inspector Barlach mysteries.There is a jarring disconnect between the first half of the book, describing Sebastian's [...]

    8. The beautiful slow burn of the first half of this book is quite jarringly countered with the complete batshit crazy last 50 pages. Whilst reading the conclusion, all that ricocheted through my brain was 'what fresh lunacy is this?'Any other novel would be soon for the bin after such a dreadful denouement, but as this book deals with a contemporary artist it's somewhat apt that my initial reaction was 'What!?!' I'm not even entirely sure what Schirach's intention was but it's certainly less Caspa [...]

    9. Having just closed the last page of this very short novel I'm not sure if I liked it or was irritated. Perhaps a bit of both. The page numbers go to 216 but let's just say that there were more blank pages in this book than on some toilet rolls. Blank pages galore-very arty indeed Herr Von Schirach. Large font for old eyes and short chapters for low concentration. $29.99 in Australia. Half of the story is dedicated to the early life of the main character who I cannot seem to form an emotional att [...]

    10. Sebastian von Eschburg verliert als Kind durch den Selbstmord seines Vaters den Halt. Er versucht, sich durch die Kunst zu retten. Er zeigt mit seinen Fotografien und Videoinstallationen, dass Wirklichkeit und Wahrheit verschiedene Dinge sind. Es geht um Schönheit, Sex und die Einsamkeit des Menschen. Als Eschburg vorgeworfen wird, eine junge Frau getötet zu haben, übernimmt Konrad Biegler die Verteidigung. Der alte Anwalt versucht, dem Künstler zu helfen – und damit sich selbst.Der Anfang [...]

    11. My initial response on completion was that I didn't like the book. I felt uncomfortable with some of the subject matter. The prose in the first half felt clunky, clipped and disjointed. Then the second half felt more coherent and better put together. The two halves felt disconnected; two different books. Overall, 'The Girl Who Wasn't There' was an interesting read but one which at times felt rather arty and pretentious with too much poetic ambiguous embellishment and at times I was either confus [...]

    12. schirach hat wirklich seine qualitäten: er kann in wenigen worten mehr sagen, als andere in ganzen absätzen; er scheut sich nicht, auch schwierige themen anzugehen; er schildert seine personen mit viel verständnis und humor; er hat teilweise sehr große sachkenntnis und recherchiert gründlich; seine bücher sind leicht lesbar.leider aber ist ein roman nicht die ideale form für seine ideen. seine kurzgeschichtenbände "schuld" und "verbrechen" entsprechen seinem wesen mehr, das vignettenhaft [...]

    13. Beautifully written and engagingly translated into a wonderful novel that all should read.This is the story a young man,Sebastian von Eschburg, who seems strangly out of place; born into priviledge at a time when country estates couldn't be sustained. He has a loveless upbringing with disfunctional parents but somehow survives and finds a life for himself in photography.The author wonderfully creates character in his books and here we have a clever creation in Sebastian von Eschburg, he is almos [...]

    14. This novel's style set itself apart from any book I've read this year. It's lyrically spare, with no expendable details or dialog. Written by one of the top defense attorney's in Munch, it feels very German, and has an art-world theme to it, as if John Grisham decided to write an treaty on murder and abstract expressionism. The main character suffers from visual synesthesia (no one knows)which impacts the way he interacts with other people in a negative way; again, no one knows what's wrong with [...]

    15. 24.11.2013 Eigentlich wollte ich noch gar nicht mit der Lektüre beginnen - nur einmal hineinschauen und bin sogleich pickengeblieben. Dieses Buch ist eine Empfehlung eines Freundes, und ich bin trotz schlechter Ö1 Buchbesprechungen neugierig - oder gerade desshalb. 26.11.2013 Ausgelesen und fasziniert ohne dieses Faszinosum genauer erklären zu können. Kurze Sätze - jeder für sich eine genaue Beobachtung - fünf Sätze hintereinander gelesen ergeben ein Bild, eine Stimmung eine Emotion. Adj [...]

    16. This book provides a courtroom drama. The first half of the book concentrates on Sebastian’s childhood and the path to his present life. He is a very talented artist and photographer. He produces controversial material. He comes from a very high profile family. He is arrested for the murder of his half sister.When Konrad takes on the case he thinks it will be good for his career- but is surprised at Sebastions demeanour. He doesn’t seem concerned that he has been arrested and the case doesn [...]

    17. The life of Sebastian von Escburgh, a boy/man with synaesthesia, makes for a fun and compelling read. With a different view of the world, he finds it difficult to relate normally with everyone else, yet he makes a success of his life as a photographer. The plot is complex and very clever. The characters and the interactions between them are wonderfully written. The courtroom scene was brilliant! What a great story.This is my second copy of this story - definitely worth re-reading in any format.

    18. Es ist weniger die Auflösung des Falls, die das Buch lesenswert macht, sondern die Detailaufnahmen, wie die Hauptfigur die Wirklichkeit erfährt und wie sie sie versucht in Kunst zu bannen. Der Verteidiger, der erst spät auftaucht, hat mich von Anfang an an Josef Bierbichler erinnert, der in den ersten Verfilmungen von Geschichten Schirachs, ebenfalls den Anwalt spielte.

    19. 'Elke ochtend staan we op, dacht hij, we leven ons leven, alle futiliteiten, het werken, de hoop, de seks. We denken dat wat we doen belangrijk is en dat we iets betekenen. We geloven dat we veilig zijn, dat de liefde veilig is en de maatschappij en de plekken waar we wonen. We geloven erin omdat het anders niet gaat. Maar soms blijven we staan, er ontstaat een barst in de tijd en op dat moment begrijpen we het: we kunnen alleen ons spiegelbeeld zien.Daarna komen de dingen langzamerhand terug, h [...]

    20. As a reviewer of German author/lawyer Ferdinand von Schirach's novel, "The Girl Who Wasn't There", I don't know how many stars to give this book. I think anything from one to five would be valid for "Girl"; I'm still undecided as I write this review.Ferdinand von Schirach is the grandson of Baldur von Schirach, first head of the Hitler Youth, and then Gauleiter of Vienna. He was responsible for sending thousands of Jews to their deaths. He was tried at Nuremberg and served a 20 year term at Span [...]

    21. Beware of spoilers There is something quite compelling for me about von Schirach's books, and this is no exception. I won't call it a novel, because although it is fictional, it doesn't quite read that way. It's more like a case study, with a quiet and unemotional, flat style of narrative. The writer is a lawyer and his first published works were based on actual cases, I gather. This novel follows in that style. This particular novel is very slow. It breaks all the rules of commercial fiction, s [...]

    22. The Collini case was one of my stand out reads of last year so I was looking forward to this book and it didn't disappoint. As with Collini many of the same themes are present as it explores the German judicial system, the German elite and ends in a courtroom drama.The plot revolves around Sebastian Von Eschburg who is born into an aristocratic German family however it is dysfunctional and the first half of the book explores the events that impact on the trial in the second half. I am not going [...]

    23. Its psychological, realistic and filled with dubiousness. Well I guess, that is how von Schirach wanted to portray his novel like. The first half of the book is interesting, although dark. But what complicates and perturbs me as a reader, that throughout the book the protagonist Sebastian von Eschburg is shown to have a reticent, complicated character, but the author fails to describe the complication. He only explains through the difficult relations with the step-father, and the perceptions of [...]

    24. Sebastian verbringt seine Kindheit protegiert mit allen denkbaren Pros und Contras. Er kommt aufs Internat, beginnt danach eine Fotografenlehre und ist im Alter von 25 Jahren bereits ein gefeierter Künstler. Einige Jahre später findet er sich in Untersuchungshaft wieder: ihm wird ein bestialischer Mord vorgeworfen. Und weiter befindet sich Sebastian auf der Suche nach Wahrheit und Gerechtigkeit, nach Sein und Schein.Ferdinand von Schirach hat mich ein wenig unbefriedigt zurück gelassen (aber [...]

    25. I loved the writing style but i don't like the plot. The first half of the book is mostly just pointless drivel, even the back story ends up meaningless. The actual crime is glazed over and the trial could have been interesting but instead was very quickly solved. The only good thing about the ending is that it was the end and I had finished the book. The ending was so useless I'm still left with a million questions, including: What was the point in the first half of the book? What was the point [...]

    26. Odd little book. I wouldn't say I didn't enjoy the clipped ,readable prose but not entirely sure the writer knew what he wanted to say. The two halves of the novel felt very different probably because they were written from 2 different people's perspective and I never really got the second guy as he was emotionless and vague.He had no real back story I could comprehend and by that time I was waiting to see what would happen not really wanting to get to know new characters so late in a novel. In [...]

    27. Durchaus verstörend, durchaus quälend, aber durchaus auch in den Bann ziehend. Es scheint keine Kategorie für von Schirachs "Tabu" zu geben. Die Kindheit des Protagonisten wird mit einer gruseligen Kälte geschildert, die sich im nebulösen Charakter des erwachsenen Protagonisten widerspiegelt, sodass man ihm als Leser genauso wenig wie seine Freundin Sofia nahe kommt. Großartig geschrieben, aber nichts, gar nichts, das ein wenig Farbe ins Leben bringt. So passt auch das Vorwort ungemein: "S [...]

    28. Amüsanter und kurzweiliger Antikrimi mit sehr schönen Passagen. Ab hier obacht: Spoiler.Das Ende ist juristisch ein wenig sonderbar, denn auch wenn die eigentliche Tat nicht begangen wurde, hat der Künstler eine Straftat vorgetäuscht, und darauf stehen bis zu drei Jahre Haft oder eine Geldstrafe. Der Fall ist kompliziert, weil einerseits ein Mord vorgetäuscht wird, andrerseits die Polizei Folterung androht, aber so ganz unter den Tisch fallen sollte der Aspekt doch wohl nicht; stattdessen b [...]

    29. Interestingly, this has quite a bit in common with another book I recently read, The Art of Murder by Somoza. I enjoyed this one for it's concise style and readability - not often do I finish a book in two days! Art, murder, deception, European atmospherics, if you like all these, this book is for you.

    30. ??? just what is the point to this book? the first half is "ok", it's a story. not a very nice one but readable. once Sebastian grows up it became very disjointed and weird, even pornographic in places. the ending is daft and if I had been the judge I would have had him sent for psychiatric treatment and never let him out. my colour is red after reading this, with annoyance!

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