Sunday, August 31, 2014

"The Murder Farm" (Tannöd) by Andrea Maria Schenkel, Anthea Bell (Translator)

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The Murder Farm (Tannöd)
by Andrea Maria Schenkel, Anthea Bell (Translator)

Genre: Crime Fiction

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I was able to download a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my review, but I didn't know that it was a translated-from-German crime fiction based on a true account until I asked my native German husband to translate the original title for me. (Tannöd is an archaic word, meaning something like 'a lonely place in the woods'.)

THE MURDER FARM is based upon the real life, unsolved murder of a Bavarian family in 1922, on their farmstead, Hinterkaifeck. The author brought the crime forward to the 1950's and a farm named Tannöd, owned and operated by an oppressive, abusive man named Danner. In a series of very short glimpses, we get an idea of the happenings from the perspectives of numerous involved peoples, from witnesses to victims, to the killer.

Skillfully translated, the story is sometimes confusing due to the brief accounts and frequent focus shifts, reminding me of a series of newspaper clippings composed into a timeline. Regardless, it's a great read, especially for it's foundation in actual events. 

The book has also been adapted to film.

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