The linchpin is the Hamburg pub “Der goldene Handschuh”. The convicted serial killer Fritz Honka met his victims here and took them home. The novel tells passages from his life, as well as other people who stopped by here, rich or old. The author Heinz Strunk received the Wilhelm Raabe Literature Prize for his work.
The protagonist of this book is Fritz Honka. He was a German serial killer who killed four women and was arrested by the police after his last crime and convicted in 1976. His difficult childhood and adolescence, excessive alcohol consumption and pent-up hatred for women motivated him to do his things. The book describes episodes from his life, but also those of minor characters who had nothing to do with Fritz Honka.
Start in the golden glove
The book is divided into three main sections, which in turn illuminate three sections in Fritz Honka's life: “I met an older woman in St. Pauli”, “City Nord” and “This is not a nightmare, this is a death throes”.
The novel tells of how the protagonist stops at his local pub “Der goldene Handschuh”, the starting point of his escapades. Like other regular visitors to this pub, which is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year, others more or less affectionately call it “Fiete”, as it is called in the further course of the novel.
“Now he has got sick of smear, which smears and pastes up your whole head and your whole thinking, and he's also tired. He goes back to the moldy ones to get some sleep. The moldy ones are not only called that, they also look like that. "Excerpt from “The Golden Glove”, Part I.
Fiete mainly consumes alcohol in large quantities and brings women of advanced age home with them. The women are vagabonds without an apartment and in the Golden Glove they look for opportunities to find a warm apartment. Fiete lets the women live with her, but they have to have sex with him for board and lodging, as well as cleaning the house. Large amounts of alcohol are also consumed at home, which is why some situations escalate if a woman does not do what Fiete wants.
The novel also contains side stories from people who don't necessarily have anything to do with Fiete, but who sooner or later also appear in the Golden Glove. Thus the well-off von Dohrens family is reported, which is wealthy and influential, but also has its flaws, quirks and problems. What I find most interesting are the experiences of the junior, Wilhelm Heinrich the Third, who is a young outsider with Noonan syndrome. This disease causes a deformed face, which is why the boy has trouble making friends. When he rushes to the aid of an animal in need, this impresses a girl who befriends him.
Clear description and extremely vulgar language
The author is not stingy in the book with descriptive and vulgar terms that make the reader disgusting and shuddering. But that's how some people in this milieu express themselves. If you have no problem with that, you will have pure pleasure in the novel. It can even happen that the reader develops sympathy for the characters because they are not only described so concretely, but also because their flaws and flaws are brought into focus.
“The crooked man holds his skull in his hands like a sliced melon before he puts it on his elbow. At the moment of casting it is gone. When sleep comes, it is suddenly and briefly. He never sleeps more than an hour. He wakes up when a moldy man tries to take off his shoes. "Excerpt from “The Golden Glove”, Part I.
This is how the regular visitors to the pub get their nicknames like Die Schimmligen, Soldier-Norbert, Leiche, Fanta-Rolf and Anus. Fanta-Rolf is a pimp who wants to keep a clear head for his work and therefore only drinks Fanta. Corpse moves very little and anus has no idea what “anus” actually means. Every now and then I got a big grin while reading.
Thoughts and dreams
The personal narrator is used, i.e. reported in the third person. I find this very fitting here, as not only Fiete but also the thoughts of the other characters are important. I find it interesting to know what the bag girls who live with Fiete feel. Because even if they have dismounted and want to drown their feelings in alcohol, it is still people who still have hope and desires somewhere. Even if hope and waiting for death flash through sometimes.
“His eyes are half closed, you never really know whether he'll notice or not. He sleeps more than he is awake, his thighs are sore from pissing in his pants. Sometimes the waiter shakes him to see if there is still life in him. "Excerpt from “The Golden Glove”, Part I.
Of course, the reader is also interested in Fiete’s thoughts. You have a rich insight into your thoughts, past and dreams. Fantasies also flash through and give the reader an idea of what can happen in the further course.
Strong entry, lengthy middle section
While the book begins very strongly in the first part, I personally find the plot in the second part a bit lengthy. The minor characters of the von Dohrens family didn't really interest me that much. Only the experiences of Wolfgang Heinrich the Third appealed to me. However, another section in Fiete Life is described here and it is important for the third part, which contains the climax
eBook (ePUB): 256 pages
Author: Heinz Strunk
Year of publication: 2017
Cost: 9,99 Euro
the novel Der goldene Handschuh is written stimulatingly. The text reads fluently and I find the spelling pleasant. Personally, I don't mind that the book is oozing with vulgar expressions. Some tender souls may not be able to handle it.
I find the middle section a bit lengthy, but it is important to be able to understand the intention and development of the protagonist. In addition, one must not forget that it is a factual novel and therefore the author does not have as many options for creating tension. From a literary point of view, the novel is very appealing.
I am now very much looking forward to the filming of the novel and, above all, to the implementation of the characters.