Translated by Imogen Taylor
We didn’t want to be like twins—we wanted to be twins. We wanted to be absolutely identical. But because we hadn’t been born twins, we had to make ourselves the same—and part of that, of course, was having to go through all our most important experiences together.
A classic coming-of-age story about friendship, first love and growing up.
Rowing partners Johann and Ludwig are best friends, but that’s not enough. To defeat the region’s current champions, identical twins from a nearby town, they must become twins too. Ludwig has a plan: they will eat, sleep, breathe and even think in perfect harmony. Only then will they have a chance of winning.
But Johann has a secret he’s been keeping from his friend—and when Ludwig begins acting strangely, Johann realises that his ‘twin’ wants to put their bond to the ultimate test.
‘Fear shifts our moral codes. It makes us sympathetic to violent revenge, accessories to murder. Do we want the victim to survive? No, we don’t. Long after I had put this book down I still didn’t. A great achievement.’
‘Gripping, suspenseful and unbelievably dark…As a thriller, Fear more than holds its own against the competition. It reminds one of Dutch author Herman Koch’s bestselling novels, and not only because of the moral question—How far will you go to protect your family?—at the heart of the story.’
‘A subtle and engrossing psychological thriller that gives an intelligent, carefully considered response to the question of how much our liberal values are worth when we feel our lives are threatened.’
‘Fear is a smart, psychologically complex and morally acute fable of modern German society decked out in the garb of an intricate thriller.’
‘Fear works most impressively as an examination of porous boundaries between order and chaos. It offers an unnerving portrait of how close many of us can come to committing unspeakable acts of violence—often motivated by a fear of violence itself.’