Cherry

Roman

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Cleveland, 2003. Ein junger Mann beginnt sein Studium am College, wo er Emily kennenlernt. Sie verlieben sich Hals über Kopf und heiraten. Aber bald zieht Emily zurück zu ihrer Familie nach Pennsylvania, während er die Uni verlässt und der Armee beitritt. Im Irakkrieg erlebt er die Schrecken des Krieges, die er nach seiner Rückkehr nicht mehr aus dem Kopf bekommt. Der Kriegsheld verfällt den Drogen, während die Opioid-Epidemie Amerika überschwemmt. Um seine Sucht zu finanzieren, beginnt er Banken auszurauben.

»Hammer, großartig! Davon abgesehen, dass das Ding famos geschrieben ist und ne wahre Geschichte, verhandelt es ja drei der brennendsten US-Themen: Veteranen, Opioid-Krise, Knast.«

Tino Hanekamp

Aus dem Amerikanischen von Daniel Müller
Originaltitel: Cherry
Originalverlag: Knopf
eBook epub (epub)
ISBN: 978-3-641-23511-6
Erschienen am  15. April 2019
Lieferstatus: Dieser Titel ist lieferbar.

Leserstimmen

Amerika in Zeiten der Opioid-Krise

Von: MeikeReads

20.03.2019

This debut novel is advertised as a work of fiction, but it is clearly at least partly autobiographical - it's pretty hard to find out how big the overlap between the unnamed narrator and the author is though, as Nico Walker is still in jail, serving an eleven-year-sentence for bank robbery. That's also where he wrote this novel about a guy who dropped out of college, joined the army, served as a medic in Iraq, consequently suffered from severe PTSD, self-medicated with heroin, and, short of money and with an expensive addiction to support, became a bank robber - all of this happened to Nico Walker himself. The fact that the protagonist is also the narrator gives it an even more memoir-ish feel. Long before Walker wrote the book, some media outlets reported on the author's life story, and it's very interesting to read especially Scott Johnson's article from 2013, because readers of "Cherry" will recognize parts of the book in it, as well as some people who are mentioned, and even some of the instances and environments documented in the various photos (https://www.buzzfeed.com/scottbuzz/passing-the-note-is-the-bang-how-a-war-hero-became-a-serial?utm_term=.cn0bq7YEV#.gg2bEPMkp). Walker's book combines different themes, but all of them are closely connected to a spiritually numbing sense of futility and alienation: Teenage angst, what soldiers experienced in Iraq and what this did (and still does) to them, the failure to help people with mental problems, and the raging opioid epidemic, in which people try to escape only to get trapped in the most rigid and dehumanizing system of self-harm: Addiction. Another important aspect of the book is the narrator's relationship to women: While I wouldn't say that he is misogynistic, it is striking that his girlfriend/wife, who plays a major role in the book, does not quite come together as a character and mostly works as a reflection of himself (which makes sense in the context of the depiction of the main character). Which brings us to the narrator's personality. His unreliability is part of why this book is so interesting: During the different stages of his life, it feels like we are in his head then, meaning he reflects his limited and tainted cognitive experiences while dropping out of college, being in Iraq, being on heroin and robbing banks - plus there's the question how honest he is to us as his readers. Everything feels slightly off, which is understandable, because we meet the narrator in extreme situations that would mess with anyone's mind. This does not necessarily mean that the narrator is a nice dude, but it's easy to empathize with him nonetheless. At the same time, Walker finds a distinctive voice, with short, sharp sentences, colloquial language, and more humor than you might expect in such a story. While this isn't "Trainspotting", there's a parallel when it comes to finding a recognizable voice talking about tragedy in an often nonchalant way. I was drawn into this story due to its distinct and somewhat hypnotic language, and I was amazed how Walker combines emotional urgency and alienation - but maybe those two are intertwined, because the sadness that comes with alienation is rooted in the longing for connection and a purpose, a feeling that haunts the narrator from very early on.

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Vita

Nico Walker stammt ursprünglich aus Cleveland. Als Kriegssanitäter war er an mehr als 250 Einsätzen im Irak beteiligt. Derzeit sitzt er in Kentucky eine elfjährige Gefängnisstrafe wegen zehn Banküberfällen ab. »Cherry« ist sein Debütroman.

Zur AUTORENSEITE

Pressestimmen

»Jemand hat mal gesagt: Es gibt nur zwei Dinge, über die es sich wirklich zu schreiben lohnt: die Liebe und den Tod. Und Nico Walker weiß davon vermutlich mehr als 99.9% der heute lebenden Romanautoren. Lesen Sie ›Cherry‹ statt dem anderen überflüssigen Kram - hier erleben Sie einen Autor, der seine Seele offenlegt und für seine Geschichte brennt.«

Donald Ray Pollock

»Ein atemberaubend klarer Blick in den Abgrund von Krieg, Sucht und Verbrechen, gleichzeitig unglaublich menschlich und oft auch komisch. Man will zugleich lachen und weinen, ganz so wie beim großen Denis Johnson.«

Dan Chaon

»Genau die Sorte Roman, die Amerika im Augenblick bitter nötig hat.«

Lea Carpenter, Autorin

»Cherry ist ein literarischer Glücksfall, geradezu ein Triumphzug. Walkers Sprache erinnert an einen Holden Caulfield, der in den Krieg zieht.«

The Washington Post

»Eine der großen literarischen Sensationen des Jahres: ein derber, roher und erschreckend zeitgemäßer Roman über die Auswirkungen des Krieges und die Risiken der Sucht.«

Entertainment Weekly

»Am eindrucksvollsten geraten die magenumstülpenden Passagen über die Zeit im Irak«

Funke Mediengruppe, Dirk Hautkapp (11. April 2019)

»Als erschütterndes Zeugnis eines sinnlosen Krieges hat „Cherry“ gesiegt.«

BUCHKULTUR (17. April 2019)