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Ring Nordbayerischer Tageszeitungen (RNT)

»Of editors who miss their train while perusing books and spend hours on end in lonely train stations absorbed in their reading.«

A very personal Christmas reading list from the RNT editorial staff: 16 recommendations

(Wolf-Dieter Hohe: Von Geiern und Kolibris (Of Vultures and Hummingbirds). Langen-Müller-Herbig Universitas Publisher, Munich, 480 pages)

We all started out this way as children: Tiny, just like hummingbirds and pure of heart. Later, we often find ourselves perched in trees as vultures, surreptitiously feeding on everything that our murderous society leaves in its wake. All but a few remain hummingbirds into adulthood. One of these individuals is Kilian von Arzberger. Wolf-Dieter Hohe, from Mistelbach near Bayreuth, Germany, created this character as a counterweight to a world that he doesn’t want to accept as his own. Übermensch Arzberger is – perhaps as Hohe once was during his apprenticeship as a textile maker in Pegnitz – an entrepreneur with a sense of social responsibility. Moreover, he is a fanatical proponent of justice and humanity, who suffers because of the Ice Age of society. And so it is that A. shoots and kills another person for insane reasons. This act not only calls his fellow hummingbird, police officer Ralph Behrends to the scene, but also the “vultures” from the press.

The highly sensitive, linguistically gifted author of numerous screenplays instils a great deal of worldly wisdom into his main characters’ worlds of ideas and emotions. The profound psychological decisiveness of the discourse is even more astonishing as it coincides with a plot that is at times eerily similar to light fiction. Hohe’s clichés about the press and routine police work are widespread among works of literature of this kind.

Thus, the external truth of the book rests on a shaky foundation, but what ultimately counts are the inner truths. In the narrowest possible sense, they speak to and move those who have retained a bit of their hummingbird souls. And those who don’t take things all too seriously are just as captivated by the whole story – which is much more than a crime thriller – as they are fascinated by the details of the language. Once I even missed my train while perusing the book and had to wait for more than two hours for the next one to come – hours that, in turn, were brightened by the book. (Gero v. Billerbeck)

Nordbayerische Nachrichten (Nuremberg)

»Thriller Newcomer Hunts Down Murderer«

Filmmaker from Ahorntal makes a successful debut with “Von Geiern und Kolibris (Of Vultures and Hummingbirds)”

Pegnitz/Ahorntal – Wolf-Dieter Hohe wrote a book. His first book. 480 pages in the best thriller style, the kind we are only accustomed to reading from American authors. If the gears of the marketing machinery are well-oiled, Ahorntal will experience the launch of a writing career right from its idyllic centre. Someone who spent his childhood there, in Kirchahorn, and depicts it with veiled criticism in his work “Von Geiern und Kolibris (Of Vultures and Hummingbirds)”.

The signs bode well for him: Wolf-Dieter Hohe is a “part-time” filmmaker. Producers acquainted with him are already wagering on what to do with his nasty hunt for a congenial murderer. The publisher, Langen-Müller-Herbig Universitas, won’t have a problem with this. And the other six publishing companies who expressed an interest in the manuscript likely suspected this: Successful film adaptations spur book sales.

How did Wolf-Dieter Hohe muster the immeasurable energy to create this work? What reserves does he draw from as he sketches this intriguing and breathtaking outline of the evolution of a person who becomes a murderer and is brought to justice by others who are willing to commit murder themselves? How does he manage to turn the backdrop of “Franconia” into a world-class stage? “Experience in my life,” he says, “even as a child, I suffered from injustices. I always opposed the harsh nature of society and stood up for people’s rights.”

Hohe was a bookworm. He always had interests that went far beyond “simply” heading a clothing company in Pegnitz with his brother. From 1985 on, the entrepreneur no longer put his aspirations aside – film, acting and the protection of animals. He resigned, accepting all the consequences, including financial ones, that came along with it. He shaped his goal: To fight against a society that transforms the flapping of a child’s wings – a hummingbird’s wings – into the overstretched wingspan of a vulture, perched on a branch eyeing its prey, which has become weaker than the vulture itself.

This literary novel is an affront to the ice that has formed in our society. Actually, this was intended to be the subject of a screenplay. But a producer encouraged Hohe to write a book instead. The Mistelbach resident let himself be swept away, listened to his subconscious: He created characters and depicted images of his film scenes. The newly minted author, who initially wrote against himself, threw his inhibitions overboard, one by one, banished the “editor in the back of his head” and didn’t turn back, instead concentrating on the road that lay before him. “It was fascinating to see how the characters came to life on their own and often forced me to chase after them.”

The process took two years; his family timorously criticized him; to them it was apparent that he was taking refuge in the endless revisions. Time and again, Hohe would spend entire holidays sitting at his computer. Then the period of anxious waiting for the publisher began: Did the manuscript stand a chance against the mile-high stacks of paper produced by the competition? Finally, the heart-thumping anticipation came to an end: Frankfurt, Book Fair.

Wolf-Dieter Hohe had given his story to a small circle of producers and actors to read in advance. “Everyone stayed with it until the very end. Positive feedback.” I can only confirm this verdict: Hohe delivers astoundingly powerful imagery, true-to-life speech and cinema-worthy scene changes. He offers a vivid portrayal of emotions, albeit not as minutely in-depth as a man of letters from the school of poetry. Alas, his intention isn’t to uncover layers of emotion, but to seize them.(Thomas Knauber)

Nordbayerischer Kurier

»Ideally Suited for Listening«

“Von Geiern und Kolibris (Of Vultures and Hummingbirds)” can now also be experienced by the blind.

Recently, blind people in Germany received the opportunity to listen to the text of Wolf-Dieter Hohe’s book “Von Geiern und Kolibris (Of Vultures and Hummingbirds)” on cassette.

Yesterday, Rüdiger Schneider and Hohe, both from Pegnitz, presented the “package” featuring a total of 14 cassettes to the public in the Pegnitz Buchhandlung am Markt bookstore. The audio version of the book read by Wolf-Dieter Hohe (who has lived in Mistelbach for some time now) is not sold in stores – the Bavarian Library of Talking Books lends the media to people who are longer able to read.

Rüdiger Schneider, who is blind himself, gave a brief summary of how the project came about. “My wife read the book to me... and I was ecstatic.” The Library of Talking Books in Munich immediately agreed to his suggestion of adding the work to its collection (which offers around 5,000 books that are read aloud).


The Book »Von Geiern und Kolibris« in the News

»A Thriller against the Decline of Values«
Wolf-Dieter Hohe's debut work "Von Geiern und Kolibris" (Nordbayerischer Kurier)

»Riveting Criticism of Society«
Wolf-Dieter Hohe: The novel "Von Geiern und Kolibris" is also soon to become a motion picture (Frankenpost)

»A Hard Look at Life«
Novelist from Mistelbach presents his captivating thriller tomorrow (Bayerische Rundschau)

»Criticism in a Thriller«
Novel against the decline of values (Würzburger Mainpost - Bücherjournal)

»Novelist Puts His Faith in "Hummingbirds«
Wolf-Dieter Hohe of Mistelbach criticizes society in riveting thriller (Fränkischer Tag)

»Making the World a Better Place«
Upper Franconia: Wolf-Dieter Hohe's Novel "Von Geiern und Kolibris" (Nürnberger Nachrichten)

»Thriller Newcomer Hunts Down Murderer«
Filmmaker from Ahorntal makes a successful debut with "Von Geiern und Kolibris" (Nordbayerische Nachrichten)

»A Pamphlet as Thriller«
Wolf-Dieter Hohe's Novel "Von Geiern und Kolibris" (Hofer Anzeiger)