Tuesday, January 20
Just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, business at German salesman Bernd Willenbrock's used-car lot picks up; his personal business picks up, too, in the form of a few extramarital affairs. Then a series of thefts and assaults leaves him feeling angry and paranoid. His personal life suddenly begins to lose its luster, too. It seems that opportunities, economic and otherwise, may not be all they're cracked up to be in the new Germany. That's the gist of Christoph Hein's Willenbrock: A Novel, translated from German into English by local Philip Boehm. Boehm reads from and signs the satirical novel at 7 p.m. at Left Bank Books (free, 399 North Euclid Avenue, 314-367-6731). Boehm, who has also translated Kafka into English, knows his Schadenfreude from his Schicklgruber.