Boeselkraut and Ferdinand

Boeselkraut and Ferdinand

Franzobel

Boeselkraut: tall and thin, pencil moustache, 14 hairs on his head plastered down to look like 20. Ferdinand: a chubby boy of not more than eleven, who looks like "a squashed Helmut Kohl". A team like Laurel and Hardy that sets out, like Don Quixote and Sancho Panza before them, to explore the world, and ends up charging the windmills of reality.

Franzobel sends his two heroes on an absurd journey through a timeless present. His new novel turns reality upside down – literally. On their twisted ways, Boeselkraut and Ferdinand encounter talking plants and treacherous shoe salesmen, they help a princess from the tidiest country in the world defend herself against the mudlarks of Elschaas, and gallantly tame the wildest circus lions. Searching for Dumpling, Boeselkraut's lost dog, they must confront a gang of kidnappers, an evil dentist, populist politicians, poets and fat ladies.

Playfully transforming everyday language into poetry by exploring the actual meanings of words, Franzobel arrives at startling results. Like Alice who entered Wonderland through the looking-glass, Franzobel leads us into the world beyond mere representation. His book is a fairy-tale for grown-ups and a parody of "serious" writing, a detective novel and a masterful narrative that alludes to the tradition of the great "comic couples" in literature.

Boeselkraut and Ferdinand

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