Nominated for the International Dublin Literary Award
Read an excerpt, published in Trafika Europe!
Find out why Anni is so good at shaking her head, and how she fell in love with a shape-shifter.
“[Almost Everything Very Fast is] a story of family secrets that reads like a fairy tale, complete with the darkness essential to such tales. . . . It's an unusual and deeply affecting portrayal of a father and a son. . . . Kloeble's plot is complex and often takes readers in unexpected directions, but he skillfully brings everything back together. . . . Enormously satisfying.”
Cedar Rapids Gazette
“Moving… Kloeble's cinematic vision and vivid storytelling encompass a range of human emotion and iniquity.”
“Cleverly structured [and] consistently well written, and it vividly evokes a place—Bavaria’s ‘alpine uplands’—that many of us have never visited.”
Almost Everything Very Fast
A charming and suspenseful novel with a dark secret at its heart, set in an insular Bavarian village
Albert is nineteen, grew up in an orphanage, and never knew his mother. All his life Albert had to be a father to his father: Fred is a child trapped in the body of
an old man. He spends his time reading encyclopedias, waves at green cars, and is known as the hero of a tragic bus accident. Albert senses that Fred, who has just been given five months
left to live, is the only one who can help him learn more about his background.
With time working against them, Albert and Fred set out on an adventurous voyage of discovery that leads them via the underground sewers into the distant past—all the way back to a night in August 1912, and to the story of a forbidden love.
Almost Everything Very Fast, Christopher Kloeble's US debut, is a sensitive and dramatic family saga and page-turning road novel all in one.
“Almost Everything Very Fast is ingeniously structured, intelligently written, and moves at a steady, forceful pace. It is entirely enjoyable, from start to finish.”
“The journey to bring [the parallel narratives running through Almost Everything Very Fast] together is a compelling one. . . . Credit Kloeble's unshowy, matter-of-fact—even tender—delivery for bringing in the light.”
Washington Independent Review of Books
“Two brilliant characters, a childlike father figure who, against all odds, understands that ‘we are all Most Beloved Possessions,’ and a boy who has pushed ‘the sound barrier of penitential shoelace tying’ at his orphanage, set off to discover their origins in a journey that plumbs the depths of human hearts and human history with effortless wisdom and humor. With gorgeous prose and a delicious sleight-of-hand that makes his ensemble cast sparkle as brightly as his plot, Christopher Kloeble spins a tale that brings home the truth that the past is much closer than we imagine it to be. Few novels are as satisfying at the end as they are at the beginning and Kloeble nails it.”
Home Made in India
A love story between Delhi and Berlin
Indians, Germans, and an author seeking to answer the question: What is home? Since his marriage to Saskya from India, Christopher Kloeble is a notarized “Person of Indian Heritage.” In this insightful, nuanced, amusing book, he strives to convey what it feels like to be suspended between two continents. Of course, cliches and preconceptions abound here as well as there - Indians enjoy chiding Germans for their impatience and dogmatism, while Germans frequently have very exotic stereotypes about life in India. For example: Did Saskya ride an elephant to school? Kloeble describes the communication problems and cultural differences that exist between his two worlds. However, his main focus is on the people he has met: Siddhi, the sheltered princess and politician; Kalu, the dreamy driver with a penchant for rose water. Each person he meets provides him with access points to this new land. Will he succeed at creating a home for himself in Delhi as well as Berlin?
The Shadows of the Salz Family
A beer cellar, a luxury hotel and a grandmother who dies twice over
Resplendent with glamour but overcast by many a shadow, the story of the Salz family centres on Leipzig’s up-market Fürstenhof hotel. Salz Sr. buys it in 1914, but his actress daughter Lola refuses to set foot in it for many years-not during the Second World War, nor later when the hotel has become GDR state property and Lola is living in Munich with her frail daughter Aveline. It is not until 1989, after her son Kurt has restored the Fürstenhof to family ownership, that Lola steps in to preside not only over the hotel but also the fortunes of a family worn down by the relentless winds of change and their desperate strivings to establish a life beyond the confines of the hotel.
This is an intensely absorbing novel full of surprising twists about a highly unconventional family, in which the shadows from one generation reach on into the next - despite their endeavours to lend their lives a completely fresh perspective.
"A big family saga, full of wit and magic."
What constitutes a family today and who is actually part of it?
Angela and Erich are the parents, Simon and Katrin the children. Together they make up a family. But just listing the members doesn't mean it is a proper family. Erich and Angela have found their niches long ago, and Simon and Katrin also do their own thing. But what happens to this disintegrating family when the mother dies aged 45? Silence reigns, the mother's death is a taboo subject, as is the collapse of the family. Simon is the only one to deal with the issue head on - he starts to write about it and makes up an entirely different family history.
From the perspective of the parents and the children, Christopher Kloeble traces a web of obsession, yearning and isolation that divides this family as much as it holds it together.
“A plea for hope, written with a delicate touch and never lacking in humor.”
A Knock at the Door
A knock at the door can herald many changes
Christopher Kloeble tells stories of young people whose lives are abruptly altered. A scream rips through the silence, the phone rings - and, in an instant, everything is possible once more, or a love has gone wrong. Many of the changes Kloeble describes are minuscule: what concerns him are the tiny cracks in the lives of families, students, young men and women. He's not interested in providing punch lines or seismic dramas: the author reports incidents from his protagonists' quotidian lives, where love appears as often as death, and life's everyday tears are of as much importance as its major fissures. And, throughout, his playful command of words and fiction contribute to the discerning reader's pleasure.
A volume of short stories in which Christopher Kloeble focuses on turning points - polished, playful and precise.
"With his particular brand of precision, which we remember from his prizewinning debut novel, Kloeble describes what he sees, smells, tastes, what life makes him feel. (...) And lets the reader enter a deep abyss."