Winner of the Aspekte Literature Prize for Best Debut Novel
Finalist for the German Book Award
We've all got two families: the one we're born with, and the one we choose ourselves. Heiko hasn't finished high school. His father is an alcoholic. His mother left. His housemate organizes illegal dogfights. He works in his uncle's gym, one frequented by bikers and skinheads. He definitely isn't one of society's winners, but he has his chosen family, the pack of soccer hooligans he's grown up with. His uncle is the leader, and gradually Heiko has risen in the ranks, until he's recognized in the stands of his home team and beyond the stadium walls, where, after the game, he and his gang represent their city in brutal organized brawls with hooligans from other localities.
Philipp Winkler's stunning, widely acclaimed novel won the prize for best debut and was a finalist for the most prestigious German book award. It offers an intimate, devastating portrait of working-class, post-industrial urban life on the fringes and a universal story about masculinity in the twenty-first century, with a protagonist whose fear of being left behind has driven him to extremes. Narrated with lyrical authenticity by Heiko himself, it captures the desperation and violence that permeate his world, along with the yearning for brotherhood.
AuthorBy Philipp Winkler, Translated by Bradley Schmidt
Published3 April 2018
Dimensions6.00 x 9.00in.
About the author
Philipp Winkler was born near Hanover, Germany, in 1986 and has spent time in Japan, Kosovo, Albania, and Serbia. He has published in magazines and anthologies and received the Retzhof Prize for Young Literature for excerpts from his debut novel, Hooligan, which went on to win the Aspekte Prize for Best First Novel and was a finalist for the German Book Prize. At night, he works the clubs as DJ Zelection. He lives in Leipzig, Germany.
"Philipp Winkler has written perhaps the greatest German fairy tale that can be written today."—Die Welt
"People are always saying there are far too few novels about the reality of German life. Here is one."—Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung
"The language is poetic. It's raw and craggy, full of dirt and broken glass and rust."—Hannoversche Allegemeine Zeitung
"An extraordinary literary work about failure." —Die Stern
"A novel as great as it is terrifying."—Neue Presse
"The truly impressive thing is how vividly Philipp Winkler has designed the drama of Heiko Kolbe. . . . Hooligan is a really good book."—Taz
"With Hooligan, Philipp Winkler has shot a flare right in the middle of the other side's block of fans. . . . Ultimately, it is mostly a story about growing the hell up."—Der Spiegel
"Hooligan is a stunning hit and this year’s debut novel that resonates the most."—Frankfurter Neue Presse
"One of the most remarkable and readable novels of the year."—n-tv.de
"This is a poetic language. It is raw and jagged, full of dirt and shards and rust."—Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung
"What Philipp Winkler addresses in this story should grip all of us."—BR Puls
"In this book they love, hate, booze and brawl, bellow […] a brilliant young author."—NDR Kultur
"Philipp Winkler is the literary discovery of the season."—Hamburger Abendblatt
"A well-constructed work that is simultaneously brutal and sensitive, comedic and sad, strange and familiar."—Schwäbische Zeitung
"Most of all, Winkler’s novel impresses with its authenticity."—DeutschlandRadio Kultur
"Hard like a brawl, but calculated to the very last."—Frankfurter Allgemeine
"A hard, gripping novel."—Die Zeit Online
"As if someone had strongly reinforced the true . . . core with eyeliner made of blood and filth."—Süddeutsche Zeitung
"This novel is high-tempo."—WDR2
"[A] novel that promises no less than to encounter another person unconditionally."—Berliner Zeitung “Hooligans are dead, long live hooligans!”—Die Welt Kompakt "It’s not every day that a debut novel unleashes such excitement in the literary world before its release."—BR2 “You should be thankful to Philipp Winkler.”—11 Freunde