Wallstein Verlag

Bruno Schrep

Next Door

True Stories

206 pages, 12 x 20 cm
ISBN: 978-3-8353-0518-2 (August 2009)


German Version

Bruno Schrep tells stories that are as unbelievable as they are true. And he tells them in such a way that makes it impossible to remain impartial.

A policeman gets drunk at the station and then drives home. On the way he runs over a boy, who dies of his injuries shortly afterwards. Bruno Schrep records the fatal consequences of this incident like a statement. The boy`s family is permanently traumatised by the incident; they suppress it, yet at the same time allow it to take over their lives completely. Meanwhile, four years pass before the policeman is convicted. He is given a suspended sentence of twelve months, which is then reduced to eleven. This is to his advantage; if he had received a sentence of one year or more he would have lost his civil servant status and pension. Because of the state of his health, he can now begin drawing his pension at the age of 48. Schrep is aware that this will inevitably lead to a state of outrage on the part of those concerned, and he describes this. However he is still able to provide a clear picture of the plight of the policeman and his family.
Schrep`s descriptions are of Kleistian sparseness, never giving way to sentimentality. This is what gives them their sense of fatal absolutism. Their aim is not to simply take sides and produce a sense of comfort from a position of moral superiority, but to gain a clear view of things. Schrep reports on twenty cases, each one more unbelievable than the last. And yet everything happens before our eyes, it could happen to anyone, we cannot avoid taking a stance.

The Author
Bruno Schrep, born in 1945 in Wiesbaden, did an apprenticeship as a bank clerk and began his journalistic career as a court reporter. Since 1980 he has been writing for the magazine »Der Spiegel«, since 1996 in the German Department. He received several prizes for his work as a journalist.
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