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Henry and Paul are strangers when they find themselves sharing a sleeping compartment on a night train from Munich to Berlin. When they begin to talk, their stories appear to be variations on the same theme: young guys adrift in the big city, relationships gone wrong, broken hearts. Henry is running away from a triangle of friendship gone sour; Paul is running away too, but as the night unfolds and the train speeds north across the German landscape, his story turns ominous. What he finally reveals to his unsuspecting traveling companion goes into the darkest sphere of human behavior. Shocking and raw, The Bird is a Raven is the work of a writer at the beginning of a stellar career.
“Jagged, lyrical, this gem from a 23-year old wunderkind of German fiction (Crazy, 2000) shines darkly . . . Mirroring the early, bitter work of Brett Easton Ellis and Jay McInerney, this is tough, twilight fare: youth as a madhouse.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Lebert’s second novel has made its way across the ocean, and those who enjoyed his first will find his second an even moodier, more mature exploration of the plight of young people in contemporary Germany.” —Booklist
“Lebert explores the limits of trust, blending broad humor and sudden bursts of melodrama while maintaining a delicately balanced tension. . . . [He] does a lot with a few words.” –The New York Times Book Review
“Lebert [is] the Wunderkind of pop-literature.” –The Daily Mirror (Berlin)
“Filled with. . . youthful fatalism that is counterbalanced with wild swings of elation.”–The Advocate (Baton Rouge)
“Lebert manages to portray with beautiful images the disappointment of needing tremendous strength for things which others find to be an easy game.” –The World (Berlin)