Here in Berlin

Here in Berlin is portrait of a city through snapshots, an excavation of the stories and ghosts of contemporary Berlin its complex, troubled past still pulsing in the air as it was during the years of World War II Critically acclaimed novelist Cristina Garcia brings the people of this famed city alive, their stories bristling with regret, desire, and longing.An unnamed VHere in Berlin is portrait of a city through snapshots, an excavation of the stories and ghosts of contemporary Berlin its complex, troubled past still pulsing in the air as it was during the years of World War II Critically acclaimed novelist Cristina Garcia brings the people of this famed city alive, their stories bristling with regret, desire, and longing.An unnamed Visitor travels to Berlin with a camera looking for reckonings of her own The city itself is a character vibrant and post apocalyptic, flat and featureless except for its rivers, its lakes, its legions of bicyclists Here in Berlin she encounters a people s history the Cuban teen taken as a POW on a German submarine for five months, only to return home to a family who doesn t believe him the young Jewish scholar whose husband hides her in a sarcophagus until he can find them safe passage to England the female lawyer haunted by a childhood of deprivation in the bombed out suburbs of Berlin who still defends those accused of war crimes, setting personal guilt against the larger flow of history a young nurse with a checkered past who joins the Reich on the Russian front, at a medical facility intent to dispense with the wounded than to heal them and the son of a zookeeper at The Berlin Zoo, fighting to keep the animals safe from both war and an increasingly starving populace.A meditation on war and mystery in the spirit of Christopher Isherwood and Robert Walser s classic Berlin Stories, this an exciting new work by one of our most gifted novelists, one that seeks to align the stories of the past with the stories of the future.
Here in Berlin Here in Berlin is portrait of a city through snapshots an excavation of the stories and ghosts of contemporary Berlin its complex troubled past still pulsing in the air as it was during the years of

  • Title: Here in Berlin
  • Author: Cristina García
  • ISBN: 9781619029590
  • Page: 354
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Here in Berlin”

    1. 3.5 A unknown, unnamed visitor arrives in Berlin, and sets off to discover exactly what this city has gone through and become. It is, 2013 and as she travels she talks to many different people, discovering their stories, writing them down. She calls them by different titles such as nurse, just putting their real names in small print shove the titles. Many of those she talks to had different roles during WWII, and some are Cubans who moved here during that time.These are vignettes, snapshots of t [...]

    2. I have enjoyed the work of Cristina Garcia since I read her Dreaming in Cuban for the first time when she first published it. Chock full of the Latina brand of magical realism that I enjoy, I went on to read Garcia's subsequent books, most notably The Aguero Sisters. When I saw that Garcia had written a new book, I could not resist. Here in Berlin, however, is not full of magical realism, but a series of vignettes focusing on the people of Berlin as told to a visitor who is most likely Garcia he [...]

    3. "The Visitor" (who will remain nameless) arrives in Berlin in April and will stay until late summer. She's a Cuban American woman of late middle age, and she is in a reflective mood. Her German is rusty, but she did spend time here as a young woman. As the Visitor wanders through Berlin, people open up to her, and she collects some amazing stories.Here in Berlin is written as a collection of vignettes, these stories that are told to the Visitor. The book starts with a man who's father was a zook [...]

    4. I won an ARC of this book in a drawing.A literary novel about a visitor who comes to Berlin with a camera, and traces the history of the city through the last 80 years or so. There's a lot of shifting viewpoints that leads to the narrative of the novel. I know some people don't like this technique, but it seems en vogue just now.I enjoyed it, though I thought it took a while to really get going despite being a fairly slim book.

    5. A delightful meandering and novel book. Christina Garcia has produced a compelling novel made up from a patchwork of mainly Berlin based stories observed by an unnamed "visitor" that are somewhat intertwined yet separate. Reflecting on the personal stories of Berliners from Cuban migrants to the Stasi and the Nazis she has produced an unlikely composition of semi fictional short biographies that show the varied population and the upheavals of Berlin's recent history. It took a little while to ge [...]

    6. A middle aged woman, "The Visitor" goes to Berlin, learns the language and then begins to ask people to tell her their stories. I'm not sure I consider this a novel, because it seemed more like a collection of vignettes bound only by the impact of WWII on their lives and the fact that the Visitor was present in all of them. I found the snippets interesting and the devastation of war will never cease to break my heart, but I had trouble feeling immersed in the book as a whole. Well written with s [...]

    7. This is an interesting collection of short histories, and stories from fictional individuals living in Berlin. There is a wide and surprisingly vast cast of stories, all different enough to keep it going but believable enough that you aren't shaking your head. I will say the one thing that did start to great was the grandiose statements at the end of each segment. These were 3-4, maybe 6 or 7 page stories and each one ended on some profound metaphor or statement. Every story had one of these to [...]

    8. "Every morning I look in the mirror and see darkness where my face should be. Is there any greater freedom than that?" writes Garcia. In this interrelated set of short set pieces, a 'visitor' tours Berlin and tells the story of many WW2/history torn characters. Will this 'visitor' be released from the past, or will this person join those who can't get away from a world of pain? I enjoyed this work, although sometimes the pain felt to real, but that's the point.

    9. I was torn about this one going in, because I am generally impatient with experimental novels with unusual structure. But so many reviews of this were so good, I kept at it. It’s kind of like a bunch of interconnected short stories, but the connections are very deep and complex. By the end, I cared about several of the characters in greater depth than I expected, and I loved the experience of reading it as someone who knows enough German and Spanish for it to almost make me feel multilingual, [...]

    10. I received a copy of this book from the publisher throug Edelweiss. These are short stories written by a “visitor” in Berlin. These are memories and mainly are related to WW2. I was hooked to the stories and memories people shared, written as little novels. Stories you don’t read in historical books because they are personal memories. Wonderfully written and placed in this book, disturbing in parts but also important. If you are interested in history or WW2 that might be one for you.

    11. Excellent collection of portraits of a wide range of Berlin characters, mostly haunted by the city's past. I highly recommend this book.

    12. I received a free copy of Here in Berlin by Cristina Garcia in exchange for an honest review. Here in Berlin was presented as a collection of stories and memories, some of them dating back to World War II. A Cuban teenager, a young Jewish scholar, a nurse, a female lawyer, and the son of a zookeeper convey their stories to an unnamed visitor, visiting Berlin. Some of the stories that the visitor heard from these various people, that now lived in Berlin,brought their history alive and allowed the [...]

    13. I picked up Garcia's novel, Here in Berlin, while searching for several novels to read on WWII. Here in Berlin is a novel told from various points of views of characters who have two things in common: presently live in Berlin and have a historical tie to WWII. There are almost 40 different characters in the story whose stories are not necessarily intertwined. Some reviewers say that the chapters are more like vignettes rather than chapters of a cohesive novel. I think that chapters do resemble v [...]

    14. The anonymous visitor in Cristina Garcia’s Here in Berlin seems a stand-in for the reader. She is anonymous, faceless, unknown. She has just arrived in Berlin in 2013 and wanders the city talking to people. The book is a collection of short narratives, her conversations with the people she encounters in the different parts of the city.She must talk to lots of old people because many of the narratives are of World War II. She also talks to many fellow Cubans, people who emigrated to East German [...]

    15. I really enjoyed this book that revolves around the anonymous "Visitor" visiting with a whole range of interesting strangers primarily in Berlin. However, individual stories may may drift to Cuba or other world locales. The novel is richly sprinkled with German and Spanish phrases. The timeframe stretches from the War years through post war recontruction, the Cold War years when Berlin and Germany were split in two, to the present day modern metropolis. The architect Lenne, who laid out the basi [...]

    16. This "novel" consists of a number of very brief vignettes as a Cuban-American "Visitor" visits Berlin about 5-10 years ago during something of a "midlife crisis." When she brushes up on her very rusty German, she talks to people she meets here and there on her rambles about the city and they tell their stories. Most of the vignettes are written as though the person is speaking to her, though some are 3rd person. There are a number of Cuban-connection stories from when Cuba was part of the Commun [...]

    17. I got this book in one of my PageHabit boxes, and went into it without any background on the book, I didn't even read the synopsis of the book! I did really enjoy it, although I thought it was going to go back to the first few characters because I wanted to hear more about their lives. Some of the stories were more interesting than others, although they all provided a snapshot of their experiences during WWII. The book rambled on and each chapter was like a different book, but with the authors w [...]

    18. 3.8 starsA Cuban woman comes to Berlin to ask questions and find out what the Germans are really like. Are they hiding anything? Are they ashamed? Proud? Random people are interviewed in extremely short segments and it all makes a rich tapestry of the history of Berlin. Characters are from the Nazi Reich, the Soviet side after the war, and current day. My favorite narrative was the one about the man who had been in the East German Ministry of Culture tasked with coming up with a dance craze for [...]

    19. This is an astonishing book. Before I read it, I was only exposed to the dominant historical narrative of suffering Jews and monolithically evil Germans. Garcia's novel is one of many voices lovingly excavated from history's ruins. She gives space and visibility to the people who exist in the margins, and proves just how complex the aftermath of war is. Here are East Germans and the Cubans and Angolans who came to the divided Germany and stayed. Here are Soviets who came with the conquerors, Ger [...]

    20. Interesting book! This is not the place to come for well-developed characters. In fact, the short snippets and scenes from different people's lives is a bit intriguing and makes for a quick read. A woman (unnamed, just referred to as Visitor) goes to Berlin with her own bag of issues and talks to all the ordinary people she meets. Each chapter is a snapshot of someone's life, many still scarred by the war. It helps to understand the references italicized in German, but I could still enjoy the bo [...]

    21. This is not a book that I would have normally picked up. The rather bleak book cover would have dissuaded me. The topic didn't sound like my cup of tea, either. But why not be a bit more open-minded when a free copy of the book is being offered? Luckily for me, I was one of the winners of the giveaway offered by Counterpoint Press. And I am so glad! I loved the book. Not really a novel, but a series of vignettes. Glimpses into the lives of various people, presented by the "Visitor" whose narrati [...]

    22. I could spend a lot of time studying the chapter headings, the inscriptions, looking at the cameos of some characters in other chapters. I gave this three stars because it's what one expects of experimental fiction. It didn't really grab me. I was no doubt put off by the narrator remaining nameless, not anonymous, but nameless. I can't but think that's laziness. And her colleague, a man known only as A, seems likely to be the Alfredo Franco thanked in the acknowledgments at the back. Is it ficti [...]

    23. This is a delicately balanced work, a juxtaposition of horror stories from the wars, from the communist occupation, and from Cuba. It seems that it really was a worldwide war, Ernest Hemingway cruising around in his fishing boat looking for submarines, and Argentineans tangoing in the steaming clubs of Berlin, everyone leaving the detritus of their passion in its air.The combination of grey and rainy and militaristic Germany with the color and Sun and brightness of Cuba, this tropical warmth, ma [...]

    24. This is not a book I would normally have picked up, but it was sent in my PageHabit box, so I gave it a try. It was very well written and each story was quite intriguing. They were great little snapshots of different people in Berlin and their experiences during and after WWII. The problem I had with this book was that each snapshot was very short and not really connected in any way to the others, so I found the book very put-downable and it took me a very long time to read. Overall, I'm glad I [...]

    25. well written, gritty, enveloping, disturbing, and important. This collection of stories unearths raw emotions and embarrassingly forgotten history. I was moved through the lives of so many people so quickly that it left me hungry for more. Parts of the book had me clamoring for my phone to search the meaning of words, songs, and translations. I was hooked. I really enjoyed that the stories came from all walks of life and from multi-cultural war worn transplants. Give this a read, but take your t [...]

    26. After getting past being told this was a novel but it really reads like a series of connected short stories I enjoyed the portraits of people/ghosts living in Berlin today. In the Williams College Museum of Art I saw a photograph of a ghostly imprint of Jewish residents imposed on a present day street and it brought me right back to this book which I had recently finished. I picked the book up at the Austin, TX Book festival last November and it was recently reviewed in the NY Times Book Review. [...]

    27. Garcia has linked short stories, or really, vignettes, to tell the story of Berlin more than the story of any of the people, let alone the (unnamed) Visitor who pulls them together. It's an instructing construct but there are, for me at least, too many people and too much going on for such a short novel. I don't know who I would have cut as each character has something to say; perhaps just adding a few pages for each would have made this sing more. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. Try this one i [...]

    28. I found this book at the library and was drawn in by the title. When I started reading it, I was a little confused by the motive of "the Visitor". Then I got carried along by the beautiful writing and compelling stories. The book is not structured like a novel at all. It actually reads more like a non-fiction book of stories about people's experiences in Berlin after the end of WWII. I think the author is Cuban-American as she occasionally inserts Cuban characters into the stories which was a li [...]

    29. In the same tradition as Teju Cole’s ‘Open City’ or Rachel Cusk’s ‘Outline’, ‘Here in Berlin’ by Cuban-American novelist Cristina García is a wonderfully crafted series of stories coalescing the threads of many glimpses and a multitude of voices into a deeper reflection on history, exile and its impact on what it is to live on the fringe nowadays. García is indisputably a skilled writer and this novel is a faultless exercise in narratology with such resonance that the post-war [...]

    30. Here in Berlin is a series of short vignettes from the people that an unnamed "Visitor" meets during a several month visit to Berlin. Many of the stories are tied, in some way, to World War II or the city's divided history after the war. The experience of immigrants figures in many of the stories. In general the stories seemed consistent with my experiences living in the former East Germany in the early 2000s. I received a free review copy of Here in Berlin

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *