A smart, funny, poignant, very modern autobiographical coming-of-age novel, written when the author was sixteen years old. LikeCatcher in the Rye,Crazy appeals to the teenager in us all.
Benni himself is partially paralyzed and a serial failure (he's been kicked out of four boarding schools in his short life and has just entered his fifth). So he's a little odd, but he's cool and he finds other strange boys to hang with. Together they set out to experience what they can: girls, booze, sex, philosophy, drugs, sex, books, music, sex--pretty much everything whatever. And Benni lets us in on "the crazy life" he figures is the only way to deal with the crazy world.
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A great Novel to help any German student. I strongly recommend it!
Das Leben ist Crazy ! :P
Teenagers Underestimated Aug 13, 2005
I've read this book both in German and English and when I finally passed the English book on to my friends over here (it's still circulating somewhere) they absolutely loved it, some reading it a few times.
We describe it to those out of the know as "The Catcher of the Rye for our time." Salinger's novel is also a favorite of ours and there are some simliarities, along with differences, such as there are a GROUP of young men, and that Benjamin, unlike Holden, is not a psychopath. Sure there are some ways we can't relate to young Lebert, such as we're not paralyzed, our grades are far from suffering and we live with our parents, but the fact that 16 and 17-year-old young men and women alike are completely taken by this book just shows it's the core of the teenager that we can relate to.
I'm fearing that some adults who read this book may esteem teenagers and their emotions and feelings too lightly. This book is, however, for a generation that has in-depth discussions on college and careers (as well as religion and death- though less extensively) by the ripe age of fourteen. There are aspects, such as the feelings of inadequacy and rapping with your friends for hours that we experience constantly. There are also those adventures that we wish we could have, and if we already have them, wish we had them more often- being at school away from our broken homes, sneaking into the dormitories of the opposite sex or running away to Munich (I just came back from Munich and would not mind running away at to it at any time.)
Everyone couldn't believe 1. A person so young was published and 2. That what he wrote just "hit the nail on the head" for how own emotions. However, the hype is completely with merit and, sadly, we can't get a hold of the film version of the novel, which we desperately need, after reading this refreshing breath of fresh air, among the stale, cookie cutter teenage books written by thirty-somethings.
Crazy Feb 25, 2005
This was a okay book. It was just about a boy that got kicked out of a lot of schools. Now hes at this school. All he talks about is girls and thats about it. He sneaks off from school with some of his new friends and some things that shouldn't do. But others wise it teachers us what not to do and don't get kicked out of so many schools just be good.
Go for the untranslated version Jan 18, 2005
This is a great book for students of German to read. Get the untranslated version. It'll help you get up to speed on the current German vernacular. If your stodgy old English/German dictionary fails you, check the online LEO translator maintained by Technischen Universität München. It's free and translates many phrases missing in dictionaries. Aside from the learning aspect, the book will entertain you and give you a glimpse into the life of a teenager with a physical impairment. Definitely recommended for all those learning German.
Amazingly Real Jun 7, 2004
Crazy, by Benjamin Lebert, was a book that was so real. It is a good novel not only for young adults, but for adults as well. It is becoming very common these days that the adult generation is growing further and further away from our generation, and this book undoubtedly will make aware to adults the conflicts and everyday pressures that are exerted on the younger population. Even if it does take place in Germany, some issues are universal.