Clemens Meyer: Als wir träumten (While We Were Dreaming)

The latest addition to my website is Clemens Meyer‘s Als wir träumten (While We Were Dreaming). This was the first of his novels published in German but the second to be published in English. It follows the lives of a group of boys/young men in the deprived areas of Leipzig, starting shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall and continuing for the next ten years or so. They start off with various dreams but soon fall down the slippery slope – vandalism, theft, drunkenness, drugs and the resultants arrests. They briefly live a dream of having a techno club in an abandoned factory but that also goes wrong and they are back to their bad ways. Some die, others end up in prison. Nothing works out well, not least because of poor decisions and poor circumstances. Meyer tells a relentless tale which rarely lets up, showing deprivation and bad behaviour in the underbelly of Germany.

Leave a comment