My first rec is an unfuriatingly and undeservedly unknown children’s novel by the famous Erich Kästner. I’m talking about
The 35th of May, or, Conrad’s ride to the South Seas
(German original title: Der 35. Mai oder Konrad reitet in die Südsee)
Of course, I can’t tell you the whole thing but let me give you a teasing paragraph or two and for that – let’s start with the beginning:
It was on the 35th of May. And so it is, of course, no wonder that Uncle Ringelhuth didn’t wonder about anything. If what was about to happen to him today, would have happened to him even a week earlier, he certainly would have thought, that either he or the globe had a loose screw or three. But on the 35th of May, you must be prepared for anything.*
And if Uncle Ringelhuth – or possibly Erich Kästner, depending on your view of the author’s voice – says one has to be prepared for anything, that is exactly what he means.
They [Uncle Ringelhuth and his nephew Conrad] were just walking down the Glacisstreet and the uncle was saying: “What’s with you then?” When somebody pulled at his blazer. And as the two of them turned around, a big, black horse was standing right in front of them and asked politely: “Do you have, by chance, a lump of sugar on you?”
Konrad and his uncle shook their heads.
“Then please excuse me for keeping you,” said the big black horse, tipped his straw-hat and wanted to go.
Uncle Ringelhuth searched in his pocket and asked: “Can I help you with a cigar?”
“No, thank you,” said the horse sadly, “I don’t smoke.” **
Despite by crappy translation, I hope I or rather Mr. Kästner could pique your curiosity – if so, go, buy it and enjoy the building craziness coupled with an astonishingly wise outlook on life, the universe and everything. 😀
* Erich Kästner: Der 35. Mai oder Konrad reitet in die Südsee. Zürich: Atrium Verlag 1935, p. 7. (translation by: TaleTellerin)
** Erich Kästner: Der 35. Mai oder Konrad reitet in die Südsee. Zürich: Atrium Verlag 1935, p. 9f. (translation by: TaleTellerin)