After reading about the life of August Engelhardt on Wikipedia, I thought Imperium would be an interesting book. Unfortunately, Christian Kracht did not utilize details of August Engelhardt’s life. The main character is not August Engelhardt, and he is a lacking emotional depth. His motivation for founding a colony in the south seas is not explored.
Why did August Engelhardt want to live on a diet of sunshine and coconuts despise his pale complexion and genetic disposition to sun damage and skin cancer? When he falls into ill health to by malnutrition, he merely redoubles is his effort to eat only coconuts and eliminate other fruits from his diet. He goes so far as to believe that eating only coconuts will grant him immortality. Not much was known about the science of nutrition in 1902, and I wonder if even sound nutritional knowledge would have dissuaded him? I understand that starving can create some strange beliefs. Fun Fact, Patty Hearst was starving when she was found and it could have been part of the reason she lost her mind and became brainwashed into joining the SLA. Later it could have been the reason that she did not go home to her former wealthy life.
Even the book’s title is deceptive. Imperium is not about a colonizer. Engelhardt is not seeking to convert native inhabitants for the glory of the state. He lives an isolated, unclothed existence with a very little interaction from others. August Engelhardt only manages to persuade a few people to join him on the island, and then they give up and abandon him.
At some point late in the novel, there is a proclamation the character has become a Fascist, but this seems like a cheap ploy to make the book more interesting. Does making the character a Fascist make the book more interesting? Of course not, but I can’t determine why else this become part of the novel.
Where was the passion and the enthusiasm that could explain the obsession that made him persevere? I could have wrote a more interesting novel about August Engelhardt just off the top of my head and only with minimal time spend to research. When one reads Imperium one must approach the novel as something else and with no preconceived notions of it being a biography of August Engelhardt.
I want to read Faserland the first novel by Christian Kracht , but I can’t get it for free, so I am debating if I want to spend any money to read it and the answer is no because Christian Kracht is racist. In fact, he is so racist that people who review his books pointed out his racism on Good Reads. Go to Good Reads and click on any of the reviews that people left for either Faserland or Imperium. The company that published one of his books is in fact some kind of sham company that is set up to distribute racist written materials that were published under the slavery.
Is Faserland a racist book? I would have to read it to decide. The book looks promising as I liked Less than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis, and I don’t care if he decided to copy the book.
But, I can’t figure out a way in which I could order the book so as not support or give any money to things that are racist. Faserland is not on Kindle and the only way I could get it ethically would be to find a used copy of the book so as not to give money to the racist publishers. The libraries here in the USA don’t carry this book, but I think they should because that way less people would buy the book. But, they don’t want to spend taxpayers money on racist books. If I end up buying an English copy used I will review it.
I would like to get one of those dual text book with German on one side and English on the other because I studied some German. I know just the smallest amount of German enough to make dual books fun. But, of course the book does not come in a dual language copy.
Faserland is supposed to be about a rich young man who mocks people who work, and goes around indulging in all kind of sex and drugs. Is this the man who Christian Kracht wanted to be when he was younger? But, now he’s over 50. Over 50 is about just hanging on and not having a stroke from the use of stimulant drugs or quitting drugs all together to avoid a premature death. I have known people over 50 who had strokes and they used speed, maybe not at the time of the stroke, but they used drugs in the past. It really freaks me out when someone has a stroke, and I always want to know why.
Updated: Further research shows Faserland has not been translated into English. It was listed as an English translation on Amazon, but I wrote to the seller and they said, that is a mistake. I would have read this book years ago, if it had been translated into English. That may be why the libraries does not carry the book and not due any racism that may be in the book. I assume the issue with the book is in fact classism. I don’t want to work to translate out written German that is too complicated for my merger knowledge of German. I want to give the benefit of the doubt, in case it turns out to not be racist. Classism and Racism are connected to each other. There is a lot of overlap.