Fatty’s and Fiji’s Coming of Age
Winner of the prize for best debut novel at the 2018 lit.COLOGNE literature festival, this book tells the story of Jannik and Tai, called “Fatty” and “Fiji” because one of them is overweight and the other has Vietnamese roots. When Tai comes across their completely inebriated headmaster one night, he has an idea with far-reaching consequences.
By Holger Moos
Axel Ranisch, director, actor and writer, opens his novel Nackt über Berlin (Naked over Berlin) with Jannik masturbating to Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances and his mother walking in on him. Jannik is gay, overweight and has a crush on Tai. The two sixteen-year-olds are classmates. When Tai sends a text message one night informing Jannik that he has just found their completely inebriated headmaster lying in the street, Jannik joins him in a flash. What starts out as a harmless abduction soon becomes something more, including emotional turbulences for all involved.
The novel has received positive reviews across the feuilletons. Theresa Hübner from radio SWR2 calls Ranisch’s book a captivating novel that can easily stand in comparison with Wolfgang Herrndorf’s bestseller Tschick (Why we took the car). Tobias Wenzel of TV broadcaster NDR is likewise convinced that this quirky debut novel will find a wide readership.
A novel about teenage outsidersLike his films Dicke Mädchen (Heavy Girls), Ich fühl mich Disco (I feel like disco) or Alki Alki (Wino Wino), Ranisch’s first novel focuses outsiders. His book about two teenage loners is a good read, even if he lays it on a bit thick at times, occasionally at the expense of plausibility.
An audio book version, read by the author and actor Thorsten Merten, is also available.
Ranisch: Axel: Nackt über Berlin (Naked over Berlin)
Berlin: ullstein fünf, 2018. 382 pages.
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