A Fitzek with Beisenherz effect: “Write or die”

Can you laugh and get goosebumps at the same time while reading? The successful authors Micky Beisenherz and Sebastian Fitzek try to achieve this with their joint thriller “Write or die”.

Anyone hoping for a gentle introduction to the story will be disappointed. Right in the prologue, the combination of nightmare scenario and comedy hits the readers in the face: “”I’m sorry that I have to kill you” was his first sentence.

What do you say as a greeting when you happen to meet a stranger in a slaughterhouse-like dungeon who is shaking naked and tied up in a bathtub. » It is the beginning of a literary interplay of laughter and fear. In “Write or die” two successful authors meet – thriller writer Sebastian Fitzek and gag author Micky Beisenherz.

To a certain extent, the 336-page work fits in with Fitzek’s previous bestsellers. Here, too, the 50-year-old works with a meta-level. As one of the characters explains: »My thriller is about a literary agent who wakes up one morning and reads his name in the press. A confessed child kidnapper asks him to come to the psychiatric ward and makes him an offer. If he accepts, the agent becomes a hero and saves a little girl. If he refuses, the seven-year-old dies. And shortly afterwards the life of the literary agent is destroyed forever.” Which pretty much mirrors the plot of the actual book. And as in a classic Fitzek, the people around the protagonist are at least suspicious, if not somehow involved in the case. The “Beisenherz Effect”

Nevertheless, loyal Fitzek fans should be prepared to try something new. “Nothing is worse than when you try to bite into a jam sandwich and accidentally mistake it for a liverwurst sandwich. No matter how well it can be lubricated, it’s stupid at first, »says Fitzek in an interview with the German Press Agency. «So don’t buy a pig in a poke, read it. But then I think you can see everything that makes a typical Fitzek, but now also with the Beisenherz effect.”

The so-called “Beisenherz effect” – a pointed gag firework that is reminiscent of the moderation from the jungle camp or the “today show”. No wonder Beisenherz has been writing jokes for such shows for years. And so a passage in the book could well be part of a political satire program on television: “”As a result, my frontotemporal brain is damaged, with the result that I no longer have impulse control and I lack any empathy.” A shame. The man would be the ideal CEO of a DAX company.»A comfortably familiar feeling

Again and again, side blows against contemporary people or events, such as the supposed difference in the Abitur in Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia, ensure a pleasantly familiar feeling when reading the thriller. At the same time, passages such as “A little more disinfectant and someone like Karl Lauterbach would rent the thing as an apartment” can also be subject to the dictates of topicality.

The authors know the problem. “With these pop-cultural references, you run the risk of being out of date at some point. But I think, as Stephen King once said, a fictional novel needs an anchor in reality,” says Fitzek. “That’s very important when you build fantasy worlds in which you bury dogs, which then get up again and come out of the graveyard as monsters. You need a very realistic foundation.”

Beisenherz is actually not a big reader of thrillers. “I’ve read a few Fitzek books or, quite often, listened to them as audio books while jogging, which, among other things, caused me to be so scared at one point that I almost ran into a ditch,” says the 44 -year-olds.Human abysses and jokes

In the joint thriller by Beisenherz and Fitzek, the experiment of human abysses and jokes that get stuck in your throat is a success. Which is partly due to the oversubscribed people like Engin, a “three hundredweight colossus from the Turkish clan milieu” who writes heart-pain-Schmonzetten. And the authors, who keep adding gags to each other in interviews. “I would also like to say that privately he is an incredible pig and it doesn’t surprise me at all that he is capable of such thoughts as he writes in the books,” says Beisenherz about his co-author. “But I can’t confirm any of that. Believe me, it hurts my heart.”

Loyal Fitzek fans will probably enjoy the book. Which is also due to the fact that neither Fitzek nor Beisenherz stay exclusively in their genres. “It’s not quite the case that I was responsible for the tension and Micky for the humor, but he also had a lot of suggestions for me,” says Fitzek.

Nevertheless, when reading the first 150 pages, one wonders how well the high density of small punch lines works in the form of a book. Or whether some jokes would have worked better on their own, perhaps as a short post on Twitter.

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