Published by Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag on 2008 (first published 1971)
Genres: Children's, Classic, Fantasy, Young Adult
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Fourteen-year-old Krabat, a Wendish orphan-now-beggar, is summoned in a dream to a mysterious mill. When he awakens, an irresistible force makes him seek out a mill - avoided by everyone - near the village of Schwarzkollm. Here he becomes the new apprentice - along with eleven others already there - to the mill master... but not exactly in milling.
I read this book in German for the Language Freak Summer Challenge, so this review will partly focus on the language aspect.
I love this book so much! I read this as a kid in Dutch and I remember loving it, but a reread was very welcome. This book is a classic, and I recommend everyone to read it, no matter what language. The English title is The Satanic Mill, which isn’t very subtle, but I promise you the book is way better than that title would suggest. This book is beautiful. It has magic, and it is very touching at the same time. But it also doesn’t have pretensions. I’m not sure if I should categorise it as children’s or young adult, it’s just as suitable for adults.
Language-wise I recommend this book in German for intermediate and advanced speakers. It’s a proper book, not aimed at little kids or language learners, but don’t get intimidated. It’s a comfortable read, and neither the vocabulary or the grammar is too complicated.
For me, the German was absolutely no problem. It was pretty easy in fact, an excellent book to start with. At first I was a little more strict looking up words that I did not 100% understand – maybe 90% but wanted to know the specific meaning of – but after a few chapters I got used to reading in German and barely had to look anything up.
The problem with me and German is… the German language makes me lazy. I have absolutely no problem understanding it. But because it’s so ‘easy’, I feel like ‘new’ words don’t stick. Ask me for example the German word for miser, and I know I read it a million times (and understood it those million times) but I couldn’t tell you.
Anyway, I definitely want to read more German and level up! So if you have any recommendations of books originally written in German, approximately Krabat level or up, please let me know 🙂