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Book on ghosts that come to haunt Berlin's hipsters...


Release date: October 2019

Melville House / Distr: PenguinRandomhouse

Order here

Originally published as TRUGGESTALTEN. Buy German original here.


A Book of the Year in Literary Hub

A Book of the Month in the Chicago Review of Books

nominated for the Klaus-Michael Kühne-Prize 2017 for best fiction debut

U.S. Jury selection for "German Books" 2017




Hipster life collides with Berlin's dark past in these seven supernatural tales of contemporary Berlin, by the son of the great filmmaker who "shares his father's curious and mordant wit" (The Financial Times).


In GHOSTS OF BERLIN, Rudolph Herzog's macabre and madcap vision of Berlin, bleeding walls are terrifying, as are overpriced artisanal burgers. Set in hipster Kreuzberg, chic airport lounges, and the former border between East and West Germany, the denizens of Herzog's Berlin are demon conjuring tech bros, acid-tripping artists, and forsaken migrants, each encountering the ghosts of the city's complicated past.


Press quotes


Truggestalten creates an impressive atmosphere... a clever montage, very convincingly assembled. A most successful fiction debut.


Rudolph Herzog almost classic ghost stories return to Berlin what the city had lost in the years of gentrification, partying and reunification - the forgotten sense of horror, of suffering, and a memory of the people who found themselves on the losing side of history.

—Literaturagenten/RADIO EINS

Very laconic, very funny, too, sometimes one can't help chuckling, but this is real goose-bump material.


Herzog has a knack for describing social milieus and their inhabitants, making the reader curious as to how they will react to the unforseen.


"Truggestalten" is more than a stirring collection of Berlin stories, it is a fantastic history of Berlin bringing back all the past drama of the city and its inhabitants.



For a long time it was a good custom to take along a book when traveling to a city. For today's Berlin, this would definitely have to be Rudolph Herzog's "Truggestalten".


Herzog makes use of the exact city topography; one's joy in reading doubles when one knows the actual haunted streets and follows the path of his heroes on the map.


Rudolph Herzog has crafted an idiosyncratic and powerfully atmospheric debut.


A shimmering feat of story-telling


Those who one day will want to know what it was like to have lived, loved and feared in Berlin around 2017, will have to read this book.

—NDR Kultur (alternative best 20 list of 2017)

TRUGGESTALTEN convinces through its contained, even noble, language. It etches itself into one's memory through its unusual motifs.


Herzog’s stories are utterly atmospheric, engrossing, refreshing, and devoid of pretense; they are a cut-and-dry updated narrative of Berlin, a city continually relearning how to bear its history.

—LITERARY HUB (A Book of the Year)

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