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Regener, Sven 1961-

REGENER, Sven 1961-

PERSONAL:

Born January 1, 1961, in Bremen, Germany.

CAREER:

Singer, songwriter, and musician. Former member of the bands Zatopek, Toten Piloten, Neue Liebe, and Element of Crime.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Film Award in Gold for outstanding individual achievement, German Film Awards, 2004, for Herr Lehmann.

WRITINGS:

Herr Lehmann (novel), Eichborn (Frankfurt am Main, Germany), 2001, translated by John Brownjohn as Berlin Blues, Viking (New York, NY), 2004.

Herr Lehmann (screenplay), published in English translation as Berlin Blues, 2003.

Neue Vahr Süd (novel), Eichborn (Frankfurt, Germany), 2004.

(With Germar Grimsen) Angulus Durus, Eichborn (Frankfurt, Germany), 2006.

Contributor to German periodical Die Zeit, 2005.

ADAPTATIONS:

Herr Lehmann, read by the author, has been released on CD-ROM.

SIDELIGHTS:

Sven Regener is one of the founding members of the German rock band called Element of Crime, which began playing together in 1985. He plays the trumpet, sings, and writes songs for the group. One critic considered him to be one of the finest German popular-song writers performing today. In 2001, Regener moved into another artistic field by publishing the best-selling novel Herr Lehmann. The novel takes place in Berlin in 1989, the year when the Berlin Wall was dismantled. Frank Lehmann is nearly thirty years old and has little ambition. He works at a bar and spends many of his evenings drinking and talking with his friends, who refer to him as Mr. Lehmann. Current events do not concern him; he even shows little interest in the prospect of the "fall" of the Berlin Wall, which is scheduled for the same day as his thirtieth birthday. The novel follows Lehmann's life as he becomes enamored of a young woman named Katrin, which leads to a number of adventures. The book also describes, with great accuracy, many popular Berlin nightclubs and bars. In a Telepolis review, Tito Hannekamp wrote that if he were not such a fan of Element of Crime he might suggest that Sven Regener lay aside music writing for a while and devote himself to novels.

Herr Lehmann was translated into English and published as Berlin Blues. Barbara Baker, writing on the Goethe Institut Australien Web site, noted that "the English translation by John Brownjohn stands on its own two feet." Baker went on to write: "Berlin Blues is a light read, but a quality light read, and that is rare." She also noted: "The comic elements, the dialogue, and the characters were the chief rewards that this reviewer reaped from Berlin Blues." In a review in Booklist, Joanne Wilkinson called the novel a "counter-part to Jay McInerney's classic depiction of the 1980s, Bright Lights, Big City. A Publishers Weekly contributor described it as being more "like a lovely dirge… [than] the blues," adding that "the incidentals of old West Berlin make for a nice backdrop." Regener also wrote the screenplay adaptation for his first novel, which New York Times movie critic A.O. Scott referred to as "occasionally charming." Regener's second novel, Neue Vahr Süd, is a prequel to Herr Lehmann and follows Lehmann's life while serving in German armed forces in 1980.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, July, 2005, Joanne Wilkinson, review of Berlin Blues, p. 1901.

Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2005, review of Berlin Blues, p. 501.

New York Times, April 3, 2004, A.O. Scott, review of the film Berlin Blues.

Publishers Weekly, May 30, 2005, review of Berlin Blues, p. 38.

World Literature Today, summer-autumn 2002, Ulf Zimmermann, review of Herr Lehmann, p. 120.

ONLINE

Book Munch,http://www.bookmunch.co.uk/ (September 26, 2006), interview with Sven Regener.

Goethe Institut Australien,http://www.goethe.de/ (September 26, 2006), Barbara Baker, review of Berlin Blues.

Hessischer Rundfunk,http://www.hr-online.de/ (September 26, 2006), review of Herr Lehmann.

Hoerothek,http://www.hoerothek.de/ (September 26, 2006), review of Herr Lehmann.

Internet Movie Database,http://www.imdb.com/ (September 26, 2006), information on Sven Regener's film work.

Kultura-Extra,http://www.kultura-extra.de/ (September 26, 2006), review of Herr Lehmann.

Leselust,http://www.die-leselust.de/ (September 26, 2006), review of Herr Lehmann.

New Books in German, http://www.new-books-ingerman.com/ (September 26, 2006), review of Herr Lehmann.

Telepolis,http://www.heise.de/tp/ (September 26, 2006) Tito Hannekamp, review of Herr Lehmann.

Zeit Online,http://www.zeit.de/ (September 26, 2006), review of Herr Lehmann. *

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