In Search of a Pistol: Denis Pappi’s Novel “Simonelli”. review. – culture

Dennis Fabe, born in 1986, wrote his second novel with intensity and caution, a Japanese WWII McGuffin revolver, made in the Kirigo Nambu gunsmithing workshop, and works well as a piece of mystique shrouded in bait that doesn’t come naturally Not just an assemblage of desires and actions The characters in the novel surround him, but also readers quickly begin to spin around this ominous weapon with their associations and mental games.

The hero, the best anti-hero, in this story is called Jonathan Simonelli, a pseudo-settlement maker, once successful, but now slipping drunk, due to the triumphant advancement of digital possibilities in film production, to simulate everything possible and also the impossible in cinema, pushed by the aspect that on fire. However, surprisingly enough, he got a big order, anchor Titanic To be recreated for filming a documentary in Dudley, a large steel smithy site. His friend Henry collects wartime antiques, which in turn are purchased by somewhat dubious gun enthusiasts. This is how Simonelli got Nambu, that is, he stole it. He soon receives inquiries about whether to sell it. Simonelli travels to England to recreate the anchor out of plywood, and most importantly, he collects a pretty penny with Nambu. But the arrogant big gangster Ali Toei is not the only one who wants the pistol, there is also great interest in Japan because this weapon was the property of war general Yamashita.

It skips over Simonelli’s head, but he grows up with them to the end, falls in love with Eddie on the set of the movie, kills Hideki’s Yakuza with Nambu and still has to experience that supposed friend Henry is playing him wrong. Rotating the pistol with the grip of a sweetheart—a naked beauty under a plexiglass in the butt, allegedly the former lover of General Yamashita—swivels imperceptibly until Pfabe speeds it up dramatically. He skillfully splits the plot into flashbacks and parallel montages and manages to characterize his staff with credibility despite a few cliches: the good Japanese weapons expert Shige, the chubby professional killer Hideki, the hilarious and infamous Ali game, the cute Eddie and finally the young crooks Henry and his wayward sons.

Dennis Fabi: Simonelli. a novel. Rowohlt Berlin, Berlin 2021. 286 pages, €22.

Denis Pfabe does not allow himself to be drawn into a kind of cheerful indolence, but he tells the story in a concise and disciplined way. In this way, the image of a man loosely quoted by Herbert Ashtenbusch, who has no real chance, but at least wants to take advantage of it, emerges from familiar sensational material, a born loser who wants to win one day and puts it all on one card, the nambu.

It’s fascinating how Pfaf keeps his spirits up when searching for his McGuffin, and it’s remarkable how his characters bring their drives and impulses to life. Pfabe, Vice President Grano salis, can breathe something like spirit into her. This also means that it does not burden them psychologically and does not stress them with the complexity that they are looking for. This turns a relatively limited plot into a well-orchestrated story.

By the way, the mystery of why all kinds of good and bad spirits want this Japanese weapon is still far from the book. Even Simonelli doesn’t reveal it when he looks closely at the portrait of the lover in the light: “Take a close look at what he just noticed. It was so simple and so obvious. Simonelli exhaled. He figured out the crucial details that made clear what the damned gun was all about. Crossed A quick smile on his tired face.

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