Local Heroes is an extremely entertaining debut novel, in turn funny, revolting, tragic and thought-provoking. It leaves many unanswered questions but, as the prologue suggests, if you are the type of reader who is interested in more than is written, you should probably put down the book before starting it.
Rohleder tracks the lives of a group of teenage men in a small town in Southern Germany, as they knowingly or otherwise waste their lives and their opportunities, experiment with alcohol and drugs on a daily basis, and start, if at all, to think about their future. The action takes place primarily in darkened rooms and is set against the sharply-defined backdrop of the 1990s, reflecting the contemporary music scene and the focus on instant gratification and consumerism.
The novel skilfully reflects the interests, perspective and language of a young man going through his adolescence and teenage years and includes its own soundtrack in the song titles and lyrics that pepper the text. It is written with humour – both in terms of how the narrator sees events and the inherent comedy of the incidents themselves – and establishes the young author as a sparkling new talent to watch.
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Piper Verlag was founded by Reinhard Piper in 1904. The firm published many leading contemporary authors, a tradition followed by his son and his grandson. After 1945 the programme expanded to include philosophy and non-fiction. Piper Verlag is well known for its lists in German and international fiction and non-fiction. Authors published by Piper include Ingeborg Bachmann, Sten Nadolny, François Lelord, Arne Dahl, Hape Kerkeling, Sándor Márai, Paul Watzlawick, Markus Heitz and Ferdinand von Schirach. Piper Verlag has been part of the Swedish Bonnier Group since 1995. In 1996 the Piper publishing group acquired the imprint Malik Verlag (literary travel writing, adventure, mountaineering), and since 2002 Piper’s list has been further enriched by the addition of high quality fantasy literature. Piper acquired the imprints Pendo (commercial fiction and non-fiction) and Westend (non-fiction) in 2008.
This book is outside of the five-year window for guaranteed assistance with English language translation. We suggest getting in touch with the relevant funding body for an informal conversation about the possibility of support. Please refer to to our recommendations page for books that are currently covered by our funding guarantee.
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