Fear: A Novel

By Dirk Kurbjuweit
Translated by Imogen Taylor
Read by John Glouchevitch

6.83 Hours 10/03/2017 unabridged
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I had always believed my father capable of a massacre. Whenever I heard on the news that there had been a killing spree, I would hold my breath, unable to relax until it was clear that it couldn’t have been him. Randolph Tiefenthaler insists he had a normal childhood, though he grew up with a father who kept thirty loaded guns in the house. A modestly successful architect with a wonderful family and a beautiful home, he soon finds his life compromised when his father, a man Randolph loves yet has always feared, is imprisoned for murder. Fear is the story of the twisted events leading up to his father’s incarceration. It begins when Randolph and his family move into a new building and meet their neighbor, Dieter Tiberius, the peculiar yet seemingly friendly man living in the basement apartment. As the Tiefenthalers settle into their home, they becoming increasingly disturbed as Dieter’s strange behavior turns malevolent. Randolph unravels the tale of Dieter’s harassment—the erotic letters he sends to Rebecca, his spying, his accusations of child abuse, the police reports he filed against them. Finally, Randolph admits his of own feelings of desperation and helplessness, which ultimately led to his father’s intervention. As Randolph plumbs the depths of his own uncertainty surrounding the murder—pondering fundamental questions about masculinity, violence, and the rule of law—his reliability is slowly but irrevocably called into doubt. The result is an unsettling meditation on middle-class privilege and “civilized life” that builds to a shocking conclusion.

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Summary

Summary

I had always believed my father capable of a massacre. Whenever I heard on the news that there had been a killing spree, I would hold my breath, unable to relax until it was clear that it couldn’t have been him.

Randolph Tiefenthaler insists he had a normal childhood, though he grew up with a father who kept thirty loaded guns in the house. A modestly successful architect with a wonderful family and a beautiful home, he soon finds his life compromised when his father, a man Randolph loves yet has always feared, is imprisoned for murder.

Fear is the story of the twisted events leading up to his father’s incarceration. It begins when Randolph and his family move into a new building and meet their neighbor, Dieter Tiberius, the peculiar yet seemingly friendly man living in the basement apartment. As the Tiefenthalers settle into their home, they becoming increasingly disturbed as Dieter’s strange behavior turns malevolent. Randolph unravels the tale of Dieter’s harassment—the erotic letters he sends to Rebecca, his spying, his accusations of child abuse, the police reports he filed against them. Finally, Randolph admits his of own feelings of desperation and helplessness, which ultimately led to his father’s intervention.

As Randolph plumbs the depths of his own uncertainty surrounding the murder—pondering fundamental questions about masculinity, violence, and the rule of law—his reliability is slowly but irrevocably called into doubt. The result is an unsettling meditation on middle-class privilege and “civilized life” that builds to a shocking conclusion.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

Fear shifts our moral codes. It makes us accessories to murder. A great achievement.” Herman Koch, New York Times bestselling author
“Its layers of paranoia and memories are brilliantly done to play on every parent’s deepest fears.” Fiona Barton, New York Times bestselling author
“German author and journalist Kurbjuweit examines a life of privilege irrevocably marked by fear and moral dilemma…Cerebral crime fiction with an ethical core.” Booklist
“Kurbjuweit exposes the evil lurking just below the surface of civilized life.” Stern
“Such great writing, evoking a domestic landscape as creepy as the man in the basement downstairs…An unsettling tale of merciless self-scrutiny.” Renee Knight, author of Disclaimer

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Dirk Kurbjuweit

Dirk Kurbjuweit is a successful writer and journalist in his native Germany. He has been awarded several prestigious prizes for his journalism, including the Egon Erwin Kisch Prize and the Novel Herzog Media Prize. He is also the author of several nonfiction and fiction titles, three of which have been adapted into feature films. He lives in Berlin.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Thrillers/Suspense
Runtime: 6.83
Audience: Adult
Language: English