Munich in English - selected by independent Locals for Cosmopolitans, Newcomers and Residents - since 1989

back to overview

June 2006

Time Out


By Kurt Vonnegut
Bloomsbury, 2006

A Man without a Country is a witty, razor-sharp take on life, art, politics and the state of the American soul today. The collection of articles, which 82-year-old Vonnegut has written over the past five years, are heavy with black humor and though they’re the sort of stuff Vonnegut’s fans will be happily lapping up, for some, they may be a touch too pessimistic. Describing people as “chimpanzees who get crazy drunk on power,” Vonnegut takes numerous swipes at the Bush administration, in particular for its attack on Iraq. His writing is full of indignation, and yet sprinkled with a good dose of tenderness toward his fellow Americans. The book is also illustrated with plenty of Vonnegut’s own scribblings.

By Alice Munro
Vintage, 2006

Few short story writers manage to convey the depth of drama and suspense that you find in a novel. But it is this very ability that sets Alice Munro apart. In Runaway, her latest collection of short stories, the highly acclaimed Canadian writer, who has been compared to the likes of James Joyce and Anton Chekhov, draws on her experiences from her native Ontario to construct thoughtful and touching prose. Though her subject matter—the vagaries of love between middle-aged people—may seem conventional, Munro’s deep exploration of characters and unconventional plots make her writing extraordinarily compelling. If Runaway is your first experience with Munro, you’ll soon be reaching for the rest of her collection.

By Thomas Berger
Simon & Schuster, 2005

Think of this as a 21st century Pygmalion. Ellery Pierce, a double divorcee and animatronics expert, has had enough of trying to find himself an unopinionated, non-sarcastic woman. So he decides to create his own. In a Frankenstein-esque twist, however, the resulting robotic lady is a quick learner and, from her lowly beginnings as a stripper, she is soon out to conquer the world, aiming to become US President. This comic satire offers an amusing take on contemporary American society: The cult of the celebrity, reality television and the sexual antics of politicians are all served up a dose of Berger’s medicine. The tale may not be particularly believable, but it’s an easy-going, lighthearted read. <<<

tell a friend