Read Der Brenner und der liebe Gott by Wolf Haas Online


Ob du es glaubst oder nicht. Der Brenner ist wieder da. Ein Comeback, wie es noch keines gab.Der Brenner, Expolizist und Exdetektiv, hat endlich einen guten Job gefunden - als Chauffeur. Noch nie im Leben hat er sich so wohlgefühlt. Aber er wäre nicht der Brenner, wenn es lange dauern würde, bis wieder was passiert. Eine an der Tankstelle gekaufte Tafel Schokolade sorgt füOb du es glaubst oder nicht. Der Brenner ist wieder da. Ein Comeback, wie es noch keines gab.Der Brenner, Expolizist und Exdetektiv, hat endlich einen guten Job gefunden - als Chauffeur. Noch nie im Leben hat er sich so wohlgefühlt. Aber er wäre nicht der Brenner, wenn es lange dauern würde, bis wieder was passiert. Eine an der Tankstelle gekaufte Tafel Schokolade sorgt für eine Kette von dramatischen Ereignissen. Es beginnt mit einer Kindesentführung, und am Ende stehen sieben Begräbnisse......

Title : Der Brenner und der liebe Gott
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9783455401899
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Der Brenner und der liebe Gott Reviews

  • Chad Post
    2019-03-19 16:31

    I don't read a lot of detective books, but picked this up based on Tom Roberge's recommendation and "The Weather Fifteen Years Ago," which is absolutely brilliant. Anyway, the book itself is totally fine and does exactly what it's supposed to do--sets forth a mystery, keeps the reader guessing a bit, includes a bit of sexy, a bit of violence, a few tight situations, all resolved in the end by our intrepid hero, Brenner. But. Haas's writing style annoys the shit out of me. First off, there are a ton of asides to the reader, who is frequently referred to as "my swan." (?? -- what the shit is this?) A couple, fine, but so many times, these asides are used to generate false anticipation by foreshadowing something major that will happen by the end of the book. Fuck you, Haas. Keep me interested with your writing, not with your telling me to be interested. Beyond that, he/translator Annie Janusch has this awful tick of ending sentences with a clipped "because, X" that drove me absolutely crazy over the course of the book. On page 194: "Whether or not he meant to address Brenner formally as Herr Sion was left open-ended this time because short and succinct: 'Shut up.' . . . Because ones thing's clear when you've come as far as [SPOILER] has, you don't waste any time coddling your witnesses, no, you mop them up like fly droppings because--no sentimentality."Employed occasionally, this sort of writing technique can create an interesting voice, but 2-3 times a page for 215 pages? Gah. Anyway, I hope this finds a decent audience, since it is rather entertaining, just not to my tastes because, artless.

  • Jason Pettus
    2019-03-09 15:04

    (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)I'm never a good person to listen to when it comes to crime novels, because I'm not really much of a fan of the genre; and then when it comes to Wolf Haas' Brenner and God, the English debut of what is apparently a hugely popular series in Europe, there's an additional problem, which is that the translation by Annie Janusch sounds very, very strange, and I couldn't tell whether this was being done on purpose or not. I mean, the story is serviceable enough, the tale of a stressed-out former detective who takes a job as a chauffeur for the rich and famous, and who gets reluctantly pulled back into crime-fighting when a little girl he was in charge of gets kidnapped right under his nose; but I'm not sure if it's that Haas' original version was written in some hyper-stylized, Denis-Johnson-style German version of noir prose, but the English version calls undue attention to its own sentence structure in nearly every paragraph, and not in the good way either, coming across at many times as if you were at DisneyWorld and listening to a foreign visitor comically attempt to ask directions to Space Mountain. When added to my natural disinterest in crime novels to begin with, the whole thing feels like I can't really do much service to this novel as a critic, so I'm just giving it a middle-of-the-road score today and moving on.Out of 10: 7.5

  • Nancy Oakes
    2019-03-02 12:29

    Funny in a dark humor sort of way, and I really liked it; it also has one of the ickiest situations in a crime novel I've ever read.Ex-cop Simon Brenner has finally found a profession he actually likes and someone who "understands him better that most adults he's had anything to do with in his life." Brenner works as a chauffeur for the Kressdorfs, the parents of two year-old Helena, with whom he can discuss his problems and worries while he's driving her out on the Autobahn. It's a great arrangement, and according to the omniscient narrator who is telling the story, the two are "like-minded souls," with a "kindred connection between them." Helena's mom is a doctor who among other things in her practice performs abortions; her dad is known as "the lion of construction." The parents are super happy with Brenner, especially because he is an ex-cop, and he is generally careful to make everything perfect prior to each trip of many hours on the Autobahn with Helena. Despite his meticulous preparations before each trip, on the day the novel begins, he realizes he has forgotten to put gas in the car (likely due to the calming pills he takes since his last girlfriend moved out) and makes a stop. After fueling, he moves the car over to one side to keep Helena (still in her car seat) away from the fumes while Brenner goes inside alone to pay, promising her an otherwise verboten chocolate bar when he comes back. Taking another couple of minutes, he grabs an espresso, and on his return to the car, he discovers that Helena's not there. He stands there clicking the door locks open with the key fob to no avail (Helena's still not there); he goes into the gas station to ask about surveillance footage but he'd parked the BMW away from any of the cameras. Instead of calling the police (maybe owing to the drugs or just plain shock), he waits -- and it's not long, of course, until Brenner becomes the prime suspect and also (needless to say) unemployed. He decides that he will have to be the one to take on the case of the missing Helena; as he begins to look for potential suspects he stumbles into some of the Kressdorf's most carefully-guarded secrets as well as those of their associates and enemies, the whole lot offering up possible motives and possible kidnappers. But there are people who don't want these secrets to be revealed at any cost and when Brenner starts getting too close, he finds himself literally in the shit.What sets Brenner and God apart from just becoming another crime fiction novel is that unlike other crime fiction narratives, (with the possible exception of the previous six in the series**) there is an all-seeing, all-knowing narrator who not only gives the reader hints as to what may be coming down the pike for our erstwhile hero, but also warns us about mistakes people are going to make in just a matter of seconds, and even offers up some pretty funny and sometimes spot-on philosophical observations as the crime plot moves forward. After I'd finished reading this novel, I actually calculated that without all of the narrator's commentary running through the novel the actual crime story would take up very little space in the book. Normally I would cry foul and complain about the fluff padding the author's doing, but not in this case. Personally, I liked the way Haas set up the narration of this story although I do have to admit that by the end of the book the wiggy style was beginning to grate and I was starting to need a respite. In deciding whether or not to read this novel you might want to consider the following: if you're more into the crime and less into style, you might want to pass because of all of the meandering asides that can be rather intrusive at times slowing down movement toward resolution. OR, if you can just relax with the author's style and try to enjoy the humor knowing that the entire book is going to be like this in and around the crime narrative, well I think you'll find it quite funny, very well done. I will definitely be wanting to pick up the next Melville House Brenner release of The Bone Man. I do hope Melville House will plan a run of the entire series -- starting with book number seven kind of leaves readers at a loss wondering about what other kinds of messes Simon Brenner has found himself in in the past.

  • Timothy Hallinan
    2019-03-03 10:29

    The seventh (I think) in a bestselling German series, here translated for the first time, and I tried to like it. I really did, in part because it was given to me by someone whose taste I admire . . . but I couldn't. It's written in a cockamamie and fiercely irritating third person in which the narrator takes a very animated (intrusive would be another way of putting it) role, continually stepping aside to tell us what he thinks about this or that, to order us to pay attention (in case what he's about to tell us is far too subtle for our grade level), and just generally being a pest. This is also a mystery in which key elements of solving the crime are delivered more or less providentially, a route that always inspires doubt in me. I probably won't read the next one to be translated.

  • HomeInMyShoes
    2019-03-12 11:24

    Bits and pieces I didn't like. I found the first bit not the most readable, but the last half of this all-too-short book was a blistering read. This seemed a much more mature read than and Resurrection and The Bone Man. After the halfway mark, I couldn't put the book down. It was that good a read. Now I'm stuck waiting for more translations, although it looks like I could read Come, Sweet Death! now. I'm not sure if crime readers will like Brenner because almost everything I've read in Crime has left me completely flat. Brenner's attitude entertains me and so far it doesn't seem to be letting up.

  • Kathy
    2019-03-16 12:10

    I liked this short book featuring an Austrian ex-detective turned chauffeur. It was definitely quirky and different, but that's good. The story was told by a somewhat detached narrator who is not identified, and that took some getting used to. This is the first of Haas's books to be translated, and I'm not sure if it's the first in his series or not. lists it as first, but maybe that's because it was translated first. I'll definitely try another.

  • Amy
    2019-03-19 16:14

    Translated from the German by Annie Janusch“Personally, I prefer to look on the positive side of life these days. Not just Murder He Wrote all the time, and who-got-who with a bullet, a knife, an extension cord, or what else I don’t know. Me, I’m far more interested in the nice people now, the quiet ones, the normals, the ones who you’d say—they lead their regular lives, abide by the law, don’t mistake themselves for the good lord when they get up in the morning, just nice tidy lives.Look at Kressdor’s chauffeur, for example.”That chauffeur is Brenner, or Herr Simon, a former police officer now assigned to be the personal driver of a two-year-old little girl whose wealthy and high-profile parents need to make sure she’s safe from being kidnapped. It seems a lowly task, except that right off, Brenner admits that his most interesting converations in life so far have been with Helena, the babbling child, and he’s paid well for what he finds comforting and solid work. His biggest challenge appears to be how to sneak Helena a chocolate bar without her parents finding out. But, it’s this very chocolate bar that gets him in trouble, because in purchasing it, he lowers his guard, just the once, and she is taken.Brenner is a brooder, and his instinct is to tear himself apart with guilt, and go back to figuring out how to find her. Now, there’s no shortage of brooding, ex-cops turning into vengeful detectives in modern fiction, but Brenner is compelling because he’s brought to light by the omniscient narrator of the novel, who lets us in on Brenner’s inner struggles. He’s suffered recent depression, gets really excited about clean sheets, seems an linguistic expert in dialects, adores Jimi Hendrix, and can’t keep his eye off the clock…counting the moments since she’s gone missing and hoping against the worst. And we learn why he loves to drive:“…Because that’s one of the many advantages of a car. You can listen to music in private, you can enjoy nature without exertion, and when in despair, you can let out a cry.”As the reader learns about Brenner, and watches him search, they soon begin to wonder about the narrator as well. Because this isn’t some neutral observer: this narrator is an in-your-face and aggressive voice who tells the reader to “listen up” and “pay attention”. He’s clearly on Brenner’s side even when the kidnapping plot gets messy:“Between the seventy-fourth and the eighty-eighth hours, Brenner did some first-rate investigative work that was never fully appreciated afterward….a detective can’t be praised for everything he did right. But because everyone glossed right over it, I’d like to at least touch on it briefly. I have to say it was brilliant... […] He achieved peak detective form there, and there’s only one thing to be said: hats off.”For those who enjoy detective novels, this is no procedural. Much of the actual work of solving the crime is left out in favor of developing the plot: mainly, what is going on with Helena’s parents, an abortion doctor and a mega-developer, that may be related to her disappearance. Brenner’s musings on both of their occupations gets far more time than chasing down forensic evidence, which keeps this from feeling like so many popular crime novels that appear to be repeats of CSI episodes, where the story is lost in the jargon.My only minor qualm about the story was the curious introduction of one character, a police officer named Peinhaupt. He’s all set up to be a prime character, and drawn with incredible detail. I was surprised to see that his character sort of vanishes in the action of the mystery, only to reappear later in a minor scene. While this is part of a series of books about Brenner, the seventh in fact, it is the first Brenner novel to appear in English. I’m curious if Peinhaupt might have had a role in earlier Brenner novels that might explain his appearance here, or if he may be in line for a series of his own. Time, in minutes, hours, and days, plays a huge factor in the plot…the narrator and Brenner both dwell on every hour that goes by (pay attention, you’re reminded). And while Brenner searches and the narrator speculates, these time stamps are the real events that make up this fast-paced story:“Then the worst thing that can happen to a detective happened to Brenner. Fifty-seven hours after the girl’s disappearance, he became innocent.”

  • Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
    2019-03-05 09:07

    Brenner and God is the first of Wolf Haas's Detective Simon Brenner series to be translated from German to English, though it is the seventh book in the series. It seems like an odd place to begin, but I doubt any one would guess. It was the premise that piqued my interest, introducing Brenner, once a police detective, now a personal chauffeur for a two year old girl, Helena. When Helena goes missing from the limousine while Brenner sips espresso in the service station, it is assumed that she has been kidnapped. The police suspect Brenner is involved, but her parents, a doctor who provides abortions and a construction and property developer giant, have plenty of enemies. When there is no ransom demand, or a body, Brenner decides to investigate the child's disappearance only to find himself mired in a cesspit of lies, betrayal and murder.Told in the first person by an omniscient narrator who is never introduced, intermittently addresses the reader directly as well as interjecting opinion, information and judgement, Brenner and God has one of the most unusual styles of narration I have encountered. The effect is initially bewildering and I am not sure I ever quite got used to the quirky voice, even though I admired the author's unique approach.Brenner is a cynic with an emerging pill habit and a history of ignoring authority. Despite being warned off becoming involved in the investigation he refuses to step back from the case, driven not only by his sense of guilt but also his belief in doing the right thing. Under suspicion is an anti abortionist campaigner and a cabal of business heavyweights, but even as bodies begin to fall, Brenner doesn't get any closer to finding Helena and finds himself, literally in the sh*t.I did enjoy Brenner and God, it's entertaining and clever with an appealing protagonist. This is a book for fans of noir detective fiction looking for something unusual and edgy.

  • Tony
    2019-02-28 15:02

    This is the seventh book in the "Brenner" series by Austrian writer Haas, but the first to appear in English. I generally hate it when series books are translated out of order, since it always leaves me with a nagging feeling that there's a whole lot of depth and backstory to the protagonist that I'm missing out on. That was especially the case with this book, which employs an unusually intrusive omniscient narrator who offers a snarky running commentary to the proceedings.Brenner is an antidepressant-popping ex-cop, currently working as the private chauffeur to a wealthy developer, mainly ferrying the man's two-year-old daughter back and forth between Vienna and Munich. The story itself revolves around what happens one night when Brenner stops at a gas station to fill up and grab a coffee, and comes back to an empty car. Although he is immediately fired by the developer and his wife (an abortion clinic doctor), Brenner naturally can't sit back and let the police fumble around -- he has to find the girl himself. Both parents had enemies due to their professions, and Brenner starts poking his nose into their affairs in order to try and suss out the kidnappers.What makes the book marginally more interesting than your average detective procedural, is the style and tone of the darkly comic narrator. The asides and interjections break up what is, at its core, a pretty simple narrative. They also provide a great deal of foreshadowing, enough for the reader to know from very early on that this is a story with a significant body count. Depending on the reader, this can be taken blackly humorous, or possibly annoying -- personally, I enjoyed it even though it lessens the suspense.

  • John Brooke
    2019-03-20 14:20

    This one is beautiful. And it’s all in the VOICE. I am always happy to find a new Euro cop I can enjoy. For me, Simon Brenner, a disaffected Austrian cop created by (Austrian writer) Wolf Haas is a delightful discovery. The unseen, unnamed narrator Haas assigns to relate this story is one of the truly funny literary voices I have read in a long while. In my opinion, “funny” is the most difficult challenge in any genre of writing. And the more so in mystery writing. Anyone who ever got hooked on Philip Marlowe knows that a droll voice cuts far deeper (and quicker) to the heart of a character and his world than anything tragic and/or heroic. Obviously Marlowe is a creature of his time… and there are many others between then and now. Jussi Adler-Olsen (Denmark). Leif G.W. Persson (Sweden). Pacio Taibo (Mexico). Stuart Macbride (Scotland). Fred Vargas (France). Wolf Haas fits perfectly with right now. A question of effectively blending noir with the absurd.The plot revolves around the kidnapping of the young daughter of lady abortionist and her construction mogul husband. The kid is snatched at a gas station while the chauffeur is inside paying for gas. The chauffeur is Brenner, who quit the police for something more relaxing. His sense of guilt transforms him into a private detective and he eventually solves the mystery. The plot has interesting turns, some of them quite violent indeed - EXCEPT for the fact of this amazing narrative voice.I have just read of the publication in English of another book by Wolf Haas from the Brenner series. Which is great news. I highly recommend Brenner and God.

  • Rob Kitchin
    2019-03-11 13:07

    Brenner and God is a curious book. The story is told through an anonymous narrator who both tells the story and 'talks to' the reader, sometimes telling them what to do ('My dear Swan, pay attention, this is important'). It’s a style that I found increasingly irritating, partly because it comes across as somewhat patronising. There are also a number of what are meant to be profound digressions, providing insights into modern society, but most fall flat. As for the story, it’s a kidnapping story with a twist, based on two unrelated but coincidental threads. The plot is interesting enough, but its telling felt a little underdeveloped in terms of its realisation, characterisation and sense of place. I never felt as if I got to know any of the characters in any substantive way and some barely played a role or were under-used (for example, the cop to whom the reader is given a relatively substantial introduction near the beginning then disappears until the end when he very briefly re-appears). This should have been a book I that I thoroughly enjoyed given the theme and supposed dark humour, but it just didn’t click into place for me, mainly due to its voice and underdeveloped narrative.

  • Caroline
    2019-03-15 11:21

    A fun break. Interesting narrator, third person but from Brenner’s point of view, primarily, and direct address from beginning to end. I like the running patter of observations about memory, desperation, cell phones, police technique, hindsight, a truth written in flames, the Zone of Transparency...all in asides with just the right amount of disjointed, simultaneous breeziness and seriousness.In hindsight it would all be revealed eventually, or frankly, not even all of it, or else Vienna would look very different today, don’t ask. But one thing you can’t forget: Brenner’s not in hindsight at this point. Not yet! Because it’s just human nature that you’re never in hindsight until it’s too late.The plot is a tangle of current social issues and very individual weaknesses. Brenner is a character easy to spend time with, a skillful ex-policeman but with plenty of human flaws and humanity.Here’s hoping there are more translations of books in this series in the works. I’m also going to look for Haas’s solo novel, The Weather Fifteen Years Ago.

  • Paul Oliver
    2019-03-15 16:31

    "BRENNER AND GOD is one of the cleverest—and most thoroughly enjoyable—mysteries that I've read in a long time. Wolf Haas is the real deal, and his arrival on the American book scene is long overdue."—Carl HiaasenThink of a Cohen brothers movie adaptation of a Carl Hiaasen novel set in Germany and you're only about halfway to understanding how enjoyable Wolf Haas "Detective Brenner" books are.

  • Des
    2019-03-11 12:09

    What fun, what style, made me laugh out loud. And I liked how the narrator takes the reader by the hand (leading/misleading). Will try to read the series from the beginning in German since the translation indicates a few Austrian jokes/insights worth savouring.

  • Orla Hegarty
    2019-03-25 14:28

    A good mystery although the style reminded me of the dialect many German born Canadians seem to use when speaking English...and that made the fluidity of reading difficult but not off putting.

  • Katharina
    2019-02-28 08:16

    Fantastic, smooth, cynical... and VERY VERY Viennese...

  • KayCee
    2019-03-12 12:06

    Overall, it is a moderately good crime story but the style is very very different to the average crime story. There is a kidnapping and a mystery developers around who did it and why. There are suspects and several men are murdered. The connection does become clear eventually but the story twists and turns Not as you would expect in such a story but as. Result of the actual narration. I did find the style exasperating and was ready to put the book aside several times. I kept reading though to discover who and why. The omnispresent narrator was actually annoying but did provide the links. Without this, the mystery may not have been obvious. Some of the book was quite humorous and I think this was the aim of the author. It did lighten the tension developed through the crimes committed. Some of the frustration may have been a result of the translation. It would be an interesting exercise to read the previous books to compare the style.

  • Linda
    2019-02-25 11:29

    Written in a very different way from what I'm used to, but I enjoyed it, as well as the humor, and the story itself. It's a kidnapping/murder mystery.

  • KayG
    2019-03-25 11:20

    I disliked the weird narrator intensely. Not for me.

  • Robert Carraher
    2019-02-26 12:13

    If you haven’t heard of the insanely talented and clever Wolf Haas, it’s probably because you speak English and live in America. One of the best selling crime fiction authors in Germany and other German speaking countries, as well as Europe, he is best known for his books featuring Simon Brenner – think of Brenner as the German Adrian Monk…sort of – three of which have been made into films ;Komm, süßer Tod (Come Sweet Death), Silentium! and Der Knochenmann (The Boneman). He has won several prizes for his works, including winning the German prize for crime fiction (Deutscher Krimipreis) three times.Brenner and God is the seventh in the series and the first of his books translated into English. Haas’ protagonist, private-eye Simon Brenner, shows strong similarities to the lonely hero of the hard-boiled novel of Chandler and Hammett. Structurally, Haas also follows the model of the hard-boiled thriller. In contrast to the analytical detective story of Sherlock Holmes and the ‘cozy’ English style of Agatha Christie,which emphasizes the power of logic and deduction, Brenner’s method of investigation involve him deeply into the criminal activities suggesting that crime is not the exception in society but rather the rule. The conjunctive relationship between crime and crime scene also emphasizes the novels’ critical agenda, and a satirical and cynical criticism of Austrian and German society is very much a part of the plot, just as Chandler, Hammett and the other great American hard-boiled writers had an indictment of our society at heart. Read an excerpt Open publication - Free publishingBrenner and God finds Brenner, an ex-police investigator now a burned out shell of a man seeking a peaceful career as the personal chauffeur for two-year-old Helena, the daughter of a Munich construction giant and a Viennese abortion doctor. Brenner, who never thought of himself as a man who liked small children finds himself during the long commutes with Helena growing quite fond of her and even looking forward to, and cherishing his duty. Then one day, he finds himself, uncharacteristically unprepared for his simple job as Helena’s driver. He starts the long commute low on gas and with no treats for his charge. At a gas station, while Brenner’s attention is diverted by the usual losers that hang out at gas stations and by picking out a chocolate bar for Helena (Brenner’s private, and as he sees it, harmless rebellion against the wishes of Helena’s parents. Helena is forbidden chocolate and sugary treats). The little girl gets snatched from the car – kidnapped. And with very few clues as to the kidnappers motive or identity. Her father is not the most popular man as he has made many enemies rising to the top of the construction and business world – environmentalists, competitors, bankers and politicians. Then again, Helena’s mother has drawn the ire of the anti-abortion crowd.Now out of a job, Brenner decides to investigate her disappearance on his own. Dreading his re-entrance into that world of investigating he thought he’d left behind, he has to come to grips with his own reluctance as well as the low-life’s and dangerous, mean streets he must walk. Unraveling both parents lives, and their myriad array of enemies, Brenner enters a world of high finance and religious zealotry. Along the way he encounters a dubious and quirky cast of characters: there are Viennese politicians, bankers, and real estate magnates, anti-abortion protestors, angry landlords, cheating wives and husbands and enough spousal secrets to fill a cast in many soap operas and they are all implicated in the kidnapping.Told in a playful and humorous style reminiscent of Fredric Brown in novels such The Screaming Mimi, where the story is told in a very droll, off-handed voice by an unidentified narrator who speaks with a wry sense of humor and in a detached, conversational way that has won the admiration of readers around the world and has thankfully now come to the American reader. Haas writes with a dark humor that leaves no character, including Brenner, unscathed. Brenner, once respected as a top notch police investigator, struggles through the many noir-is motives, settings and characters and often wanders down dangerous dead-ends, which Haas uses to display the social issues of a now multi-ethnic ‘Euro-zone’. They are surprisingly, many of the same issues familiar to the American reader.Melville House International Crime, who supplied this review copy, has done a wonderful job bringing the treasures of International crime writers to an American audience. Wolf Haas, along with fellow International super stars such as Manuel Vazquez Montalba, derek Raymond, Andrey Kurkov, Jakob Arjouni and Mukoma Wa Ngugi are much welcomed additions to the crime fiction reader and serve to show that crime, and the social issues that surround it are not an American exclusive.Article first published as Book Review : Brenner And God by Wolf Haas on Blogcritics.The Dirty Lowdown

  • Cerisaye
    2019-03-22 12:27

    I very nearly gave up on this novel at page 83, going to far to shelve it, temporarily as it turned out, on my Did Not Finish shelf; but I kept going because there are so many positive reviews on here, not to mention glowing praise on the covers from people as varied as Carl Hiassen and Jonathan Demme (yes, I know, who'd have thought it?! But he did direct Silence of the Lambs after all.). Wish I could say this is one you need to stick with and then all of a sudden you 'get it'. Not so much. Instead, I suppose, I got used to its stylistic annoyances quirks (faux chatty, starting/ending sentences with because, rambling passages, clunky foreshadowing) and there was just enough intrigue to persuade me I wanted to get to the bottom of the mystery. Also, I must admit Brenner kind of grew on me as a character, and I liked the female love interest he meets on the case, too. Normally I squirm at romance in detective mysteries, but here the quirkiness works. I would have awarded three-stars if not for having to struggle so hard for almost one hundred of its 215 pages. In fairness, probably it deserves two and a half stars. I am baffled yet why the narrator addresses the reader twice as my swan...some translation issue or cultural reference? Other than its off-beat style Brenner and Godis a straightforward detective mystery. Perhaps it appeals more to literary types who don't normally stoop to read genre fiction? The body count is high and it frequently refers to abortion, so it might not suit more sensitive readers. Also, there's a very nasty place where many of those bodies end up, and Brenner himself, too. Haas plays fair and lays his clues so when it all comes out at the end you aren't left head scratching, though there are no surprises either. Or not with the perpetrators anyway. It is the narration that most put me off; it simply doesn't quite work for me. There's an irritating 'knowingness' and a lightheartedness at odds with the often dark tone of a book that involves child kidnapping, underage sex, abortion and violent death.It would make a good screenplay for a black comedy thriller, with Colin Farrell as Brenner and Paul Bettany as the kidnapped girl's father. I might try another in the Brenner series, if only to find out more about the former police officer turned chauffeur. Although this novel was the first one translated into English, it is the seventh book in the series. So, yes, Brenner is a good character, pity about the writing style.

  • Pamela Mclaren
    2019-03-03 08:23

    If you're expecting the traditional American version of an ex-cop, you would be very wrong with Wolf Haas' character Brenner, in the book "Brenner and God." Brenner is a bit slow-witted, possibly slightly depressed kind of ex-cop who takes on the job of being a driver for a two-year-old child of an abortion doctor and her contractor husband. And he does it well, traveling between the two individuals and the child's daycare provider. That is, until the day that he forgets to gas up the car before picking up the child. There's nothing for it but he has to stop with the toddler in the car at a gas station. She enjoys watching him wash the windows but then, he has to go into the station to pay. While there, he decides to buy the little girl a treat but which one shall he get? Its that momentary lapse — that he blames on the mysterious pills he's been taking (that I assumed was for depression) -- that causes him grief.Because the child is kidnapped -- and he's suddenly out of a job, a home and under suspicion by the police. And maybe worst of all, he's really concerned about the child. So slowly, the cop in him comes out and he starts to find clues to perhaps what has happened to little Helena. But unlike a standard mystery, there is more going on than the kidnapping of a toddler and it takes Brenner quite a while to figure out just what he has gotten himself into -- and then to get himself out of it!Perhaps because this is written by a German author, I only saw the humor in hindsight but its there and its quite a good story. Its written in a casual, humous way that is quite different from the books that I'm used to reading. But if you're willing to take the time, this is a good story to read.

  • Miles
    2019-03-25 16:30

    This is a very clever murder mystery, written from an unusual and witty authorial viewpoint. The semi-omniscient narrator never identifies or explains himself, yet seems to know some things, and not know other things, and becomes a character in himself. He informs us early in the book that specific terrible things will happen, and when, and they do. This in no way detracts from the pleasures of walking through the poses and plans of the evil Senator, the rich developer and the scheming thugs. The setting is Vienna. The context is city politics, an abortion clinic, and a former police detective who has fallen in life to the status of a mere chauffeur to a rich family's four year old child. When bad things happen to his young charge he takes it upon himself to descend into the muck, figuratively and literally, and sort it all out. The plot is not unusual, although suitably gruesome and nauseating, but the contemporary Austrian cultural context and the narrative voice make this very much worth a read.

  • Alexandra
    2019-03-19 10:28

    Der neue Haas ganz gut eben typisch. Bei manchen Szenen stellt man sich gleich vor wie grauslich das dann verfilmt wird.So sehr ich vom Stilmittel des langsamen behäbigen Romans mit simpler einfältiger Sprache am Anfang begeistert war, so sehr nervt mich mit der steigenden Anzahl der gelesenen Brenner-Romane die ewig gleiche Fadesse.Lieber Wolf Haas (ich glaub unter Auftraggeber und Mörder duzt man sich): Scheiss auf die Quoten für zukünftige Filme und murks endlich den Brenner gaanz grausllich und furios ab - diesmal aber bitte endgültig. Leute die nicht nur das Buch zum Film lesen, wissen nämlich dass Du viel variantenreicheres Geschreibsl drauf hast! (z.B. Ausgebremst). Erfinde Dich, den Haas Roman endlich neu und stell uns auch wieder mal neue Leute, Detektive oder was ganz anderes vor. Das kriegst Du hin!!!

  • Tim
    2019-03-11 15:02

    Nach all den Jahren wieder ein Brenner! Allein schon aus Nostalgie habe ich das Lesen sehr genossen und damit die Nacht von Freitag (Erscheinungstag) auf Samstag verbracht. Stilistisch ist alles wie gehabt. Ich vermute sogar, dass kein Buch der Reihe was den Stil angeht so prototypisch ist. Auf "aber interessant" wartete ich wie bei jedem Asterix auf die Piraten und wurde nicht enttäuscht. Der Plot ist okay, kommt aber an die besten Bücher der Reihe nicht ganz heran. Nicht überzeugend ist leider, wie Haas den Anschluss an das Ende des 6. Bandes herstellt. "Maul musste extra erschlagen" ist einfach keine befriedigende Erklärung. Aber vielleicht soll es auch gar keine sein und Haas hatte einfach nur Gefallen daran gefunden, einen weiteren Brenner zu schreiben. Er hätte allerdings diesen Band auch einfach chronologisch zwischen den 5. und 6. Band einordnen können. Bis auf den ersten Satz passt das Buch sehr gut dort hin.

  • Rainer Berak
    2019-03-22 10:21

    The storyteller is dead - long live the storyteller!! in the last of the 6 "Brenner" stories which are so special due to the way the lyrical I is speaking to us, he dies... Not the main character - no - the person telling is about Brenner, the ex policeman, ex detective. Now he is back and so is this "Mr. Simon" how Brenner is called in the beginning of this roller coaster of a crime story. As usual: written in an incomparable way Haas leads us through Austrian and general human absurdity - seen by the eyes of our unknown friend (the storyteller) lived through by the poor guy who solved so many scenes before and of course this one as well - with a mixture of mostly fatalism and sudden proactivity. Don't start with this one if you don't know the series - go to the first - but if you have read the other 6: don't miss that one!

  • Daisy
    2019-03-16 10:05

    I read this in English. The translation is wonderful because it's such quirky, inventive language full of half-sentences and surprising quasi-sequiturs. I was completely taken in by this story for its plot, yes, since it had me baffled, but more for the telling."But if you're saying, that's despicable, then I unfortunately have to tell you, this was still the nice part of the story.""midnight spaghetti"It's number 7 in a series, I guess, and I'm going to look for number 1 to see if I might devour all of these. If they are all as layered and imaginative and thought-provoking as this one, it'll be a great ride through Vienna. I've never read anything like this. I don't know who I'm more interested in: Brenner or the narrator. I want to see what they were like in the beginning, in number 1.

  • John
    2019-03-10 08:20

    Another compelling and original crime novel from Melville House. "Brenner and God" will either captivate or grate on the reader; there's no middle ground due to the highly unusual narrative voice of this novel. My father didn't particularly care for it ("weird") but I found the writing original and frequently hilarious, though hilarious in a fairly dark sense. The "detective," as it were, Brenner, gets in a bit over his head, without losing it completely, as he searchers for a young child that he happened to be chauffeuring, but oops, as he's getting gas and a chocolate bar she disappears. The unnamed narrator is never identified, but surveys everything that happens to the hapless Brenner with a certain chutzpa. Maybe, in fact, the narrator is God? Read it and let me know what you think.

  • Scott
    2019-03-08 08:31

    My first foray into the work of Wolf Haas, and I may bump this up to 5 stars when I inevitably read it again. A murder-mystery like none-other, thanks to a snarky protagonist and perhaps the most hilarious and off-beat narrator I've ever come across. It takes a little while to get the feel of it, but once I did, I enjoyed the ride. The titular Brenner is an ex-cop in Austria, where he is now a chauffeur for a wealthy couple's little daughter. After she's abducted, Brenner goes on the case, taking his inconsistent luck and sarcasm with him. Telling the tale of Brenner's navigation through the noir labyrinth is an unnamed chatterbox with a penchant for amusing tangents. I can't really say anything more that will do it justice. I'll be hoping that the preceding books are translated soon.

  • Dorian
    2019-03-07 10:22

    The new English translation is unaccountably unavailable on Goodreads. I'm so pleased Melville House is bringing this series into English, but why oh why must they--like so many other publishers--begin with a late entry in the series (number 7, I believe)? So infuriating.What sets this book apart--and the series as a whole, from the bits of others I've dipped into in German--is the narrative voice: slangy, vicious, funny, and told from the point of view of an unnamed first person narrator, not the protagonist. Alas, the plot itself is a little weak.I'll read more as they are translated, though.