What strange things are insured

  • Browse by topic
    Search our book database by subject, country, epoch, year of publication or key word.
  • Book show of the week
    Haven't you had time to read the newspaper or drop by us in the last few days? Doesn't matter, because here you can view our review notes from the last six days of publication sorted by newspaper or topic.
  • Literature supplements
    All of our notes on the book reviews in the literature supplements from FAZ, FR, NZZ, SZ, taz and Zeit.


An Alsatian soldier during World War I discovers the Big Boy constellation in the night sky, which is so horrible that he cannot tell anyone about it. A young man who has fallen in love with the blind Anja has to discover that her apartment is covered with insults from top to bottom. Marcel, sixteen years old, leaves his cell phone number and the name Suzy on the toilet wall of an erotic bar. One day the Scheuch family receives a visit from a Mr. Ulrichsdorfer who pretends to have grown up in their house and hides a stun gun under his borrowed suit jacket. The completely unexpected breaks into the life of Clemens J. Setz's characters.

Review note on Deutschlandfunk, 04/04/2019

Martin Krumbholz considers Clemens J. Setz to be a masterful micropsychologist. In the present stories, the reviewer discovers skilfully worked out ambivalences in the relationship between the characters in a very small space, complex emotional situations and sophisticated text compositions in which the comedy lurks under the ice and vice versa. Krumbholz always seems touching. A book of strange transformations and surprising developments that reminds the reviewer of Kafka. The reader shouldn't expect safe ground, he warns, but an intensive reading experience should.

Review note on Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, March 28, 2019

Oliver Junge likes the "playful eccentricity" of the "horror romantic" Clemens J. Setz, which, according to critics, shines mainly in the short form. Because here the author succeeds in the flood of his original "high-end metaphors" and enigmatic turns of phrase very precisely around "basic emotional states", the reviewer is amazed, who reads in the stories of phobias, Tourette, guilt and love. Above all, however, it is Setz's vulnerable characters that the critic touches and that he will not forget for a long time.
Read the review at buecher.de

Review note on the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, March 17, 2019

Reviewer Florentin Schumacher believes that Clemens Setz is a bit out of the way. In the short story volume "The Consolation of Round Things", Schumacher experiences trees that move like dreaming giraffes, a blind person who cannot see how ugly the walls of her apartment are smeared, a school nurse who kidnaps a boy. The stories are close to the reviewer, but he can't really get excited about them, as he admits. He finds the "cool deep-frozen lacony" too strenuous, the sound too perfect, the perception of all the super-likable characters too hypersensitive. In the end, Schumacher finds it comforting that even a highly gifted author like Setz cannot quite manage to create realistic characters.

Review note on Deutschlandfunk Kultur, March 2nd, 2019

Reviewer Daniela Strigl gets to know the consolation of aubergines and callboys in the new stories by Clemens Setz. Always meandering between "wit and madness", the author follows his characters sympathetically on their astray, recognizes the critic, who reconsiders her ideas of normality after reading. Stubborn images, wonderful language games and a tenderness that Setz is not used to make the book an unforgettable "adventure" for Strigl.

Review note on Frankfurter Rundschau, February 21, 2019

With the stories by Clemens J. Setz, Judith von Sternburg reaches the depths of human existence. She is familiar with the mysteriousness and succinctness of this prose, the author's weakness for the sensitive and the strange, for synesthesia and the calm observation of bizarre processes and here: round things. All of this is easy for Setz, Sternburg assures, but not too easy. The consequent surpasses the predictable in these texts, she assures, and their differences in length and style keep the entertainment going.

Review note on Neue Zürcher Zeitung, February 12, 2019

Paul Jandl already knows Clemens J. Setz's cosmos well. If Setz includes a poetology in one of his stories that deals with the playful possibilities of the characters, Jandl is not very surprised. He is also familiar with synesthesia and shifts in reality, and Setz sometimes finds it to be serial or childish. Jandl, on the other hand, really appreciates the fact that the texts about obsessive-compulsive disorder among waiters, nurses and janitors are also funny and often extremely delicate. And in future he will look at round things very differently than our souls at home in them.

Review note on Süddeutsche Zeitung, February 9, 2019

In the stories of Clemens J. Setz, Birthe Mühlhoff gets to know and appreciate the satisfying sight of aubergines and fruit. Even if the author's synaesthetic perception and comparative fury sometimes become too much for her, what you read makes happy in retrospect, assures Mühlhoff. On the other hand, it seems absolutely clear to her that the short form is best for Setz. And how Setz prepares the fascinating things about the ordinary and the not-too-ordinary (excitement about a class photo, anxiety disorders and sex with comatose people) in these stories, the reviewer finds simply adorable.
Read the review at buecher.de

Review note on Die Zeit, 02/07/2019

"Desperately alive", full of wit, tragedy and consolation, is the reviewer Juliane Liebert of this volume with new stories by Clemens J. Setz. Although she would only like to recommend the "fiery neural prose network" to readers with solid nerves, they will enjoy the over-the-top sentences and "overheated" everyday grotesque, the critic assures. When she learns how spiders taste, how children are transformed into machines or single fathers suffer panic attacks, she admires the author's clarity despite all the eccentricity. Instead of the "bulky avant-garde" of a Joyce, the reader is offered "acoustic sensitivity", she assures.