It’s night time, and a young man sits writing at a table. He’s afraid. Afraid of having to decide—on a woman, a group of friends, an annual holiday destination. He’s afraid of becoming numb to emotion. Afraid of growing up.
But all of that is about to change. When an acquaintance makes him a proposition, our unnamed protagonist is drawn into a scheme where each night at seven o’clock, he must commit one of the seven sins—a task that forces him to decide how far he is truly willing to go in his efforts to stave off habit and ennui and save his own life.
The most reviewed, discussed, and recommended German language debut of the last decade,Seven Nights has earned Simon Strauss praise as “one of the greatest talents of his generation” by the Tagesspiegel newspaper and also one of the most controversial.
Born in 1988 in Berlin, Simon Strauss studied Classics and History in Basel, Politiers, and Cambridge. In 2017 he completed his doctorate at Humboldt University in Berlin with a thesis on “Conceptions of Roman Society in Theodor Mommsen and Mattias Gelzer.” He he lines in Frankfurt, where he works as the arts section editor ofFrankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung.
"The text correlates with the mission of its author: unashamedly straight, with neither safety net nor an easy way out."
B"What a passionate, fearless book, steeped in tradition, greedy for the future—a book that wages war against serenity. Against the weariness of those who follow the footsteps of others. Who repeat life. A polemic for the open heart!"
—Volker Weidermann, literary critic
"You soon realise thatSeven Nights is a highly Romantic book. [..] And of course pure, sheer, true Romanticism is a very original escape from the stifling system of self-referentiality."
Strauss'sSeven Nights are seven slaps to the back of the reader's head: Just think about what you're doing and what you want! Then comes the final blow, a liver shot, leaving you winded and bereft of your senses for a good long while. Only somebody who steadfastly refuses to wonder what life is really about could put this book down as though nothing had happened."
—NDR, Northern German Broadcasting
"The challenge lies in the uncomfortable seriousness of every single word, which is never undercut by irony—not in the kind of radicalism acquired through sensational subject matter."
"A magical, surreal essay about Courage."
—Welt am Sonntag
"With this book, Simon Strauss gives his generation a voice."
"Simon Strauss manages to describe a vague feeling through great emphasis and sharpness."
"Simon Strauss'Seven Nights is not a novel, but a manifesto for his whole generation. Against simply functioning as humans, but more towards feeling. Tearful as well as enraged. A thin book with great impact."
—RBB Radio Fritz
"'I am writing this out of fear'—the first sentence hits hard! And will certainly make you want to read on, to get to know about this drama to its full extent. Simon Strauss' debut represents a sparkling, rather explosive novel."—RBB Kulturradio