Christian Jungersen's The Exception - Germany

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Germany - Ausnahme


Seldom has a book juxtaposed its social concerns with the fate of its characters in such an intelligent, suspenseful,
and relentless way.
Pforzheimer Zeitung





The Exception was published in the Spring of 2006 by
Piper Verlag. In September 2007 it became ‘Paperback of the Month’.


This brilliant novel by the Danish author Christian Jungersen can absolutely not be squeezed into any mold... Now the German translation is finally available.
    The 43-year-old author astutely describes the motives of the women caught up in this claustrophobic office situation. Developments are depicted from the alternating viewpoints of the four colleagues. By the end, which is a complete surprise, one of the women is dead. And another has attained a lifelong dream.
Hamburger Morgenpost




Through Jungersen’s razor-sharp insight into the female psyche we share its painful experiences in an oppressively genuine way... Jungersen certainly knows how to describe the perceptions of the opposite sex. But he also has a social agenda, which he relentlessly and intelligently ties into the fate of his characters.
Leipziger Volkszeitung


The Danish author Christian Jungersen keeps changing point of view as he tells his psychological thriller. As the harassment carousel turns faster and faster, the reader follows the thoughts of each of the four “women from next door,” one after another. The picture that Jungersen paints of the life and action of each person seems natural and incredibly realistic. An unstated hunch turns into a fullblown suspicion, a sideways glance becomes an attack that necessitates a response...
    The search for the true sender of the death threat and the desire to unravel the entanglements grip the reader until the very last of the 666 pages. And it’s guaranteed to make you look at your colleagues at the office with completely different eyes!
OÖ Nachrichten


Christian Jungersen describes with incredible precision and empathy what harassment does to the victim, how spirit, soul, and body are damaged by it, and how hard it is to free oneself from the role of the victim. But Jungersen takes on not only the role of the victim, but also that of the perpetrator. He alternates the narrative from the point of view of Iben, Malene, Anne-Lise, and Camilla, and with each shift in perspective the reader is forced to revise his opinion of what has happened. These shifts in perspective are absolutely convincing. After each chapter one thinks like the current protagonist and suspects the other three. It is shocking to see how quickly one begins to suspect the worst of everything and everyone. Using this modern version of the unreliable narrator, Jungersen manages to involve the reader both intellectually and emotionally. This makes the book so gripping and suspenseful that it’s impossible to put it down until the very last page.
    ... One thing is sure: The Exception deserves all the prizes it has won and many more!


Christian Jungersen very intelligently describes how a conflict starts small, how envy and mistrust smolder in the subconscious, and how it often takes only a spark to ignite a wildfire. The Exception tells the story of a group of peaceful women who get involved in harassment shenanigans and then self-righteously try to place the blame on others. We learn about men who go off to war and kill their neighbors, and we read about the brutal mass murderer Mirko. He was previously a real ladies’ man, but as a soldier he tortured and eventually killed his female cousin. The ominous message: Every human being harbors different identities inside, and quite often we know nothing about our secret selves. Jungersen masterfully deals with the dark sides of the psyche and shows us how insidiously the act of exclusion functions. A page-turner about the banality of evil.

This book is a splendid study of the abysses inside every human being... I promise you exciting and nail-biting hours with this sensational Danish book!
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In almost 700 pages he depicts the day-to-day life of a basically normal office, yet at the same time he presents an exciting thriller which also intelligently addresses up the question of the origin of evil.
Neue Westtfälische

Sharp as a knife, Christian Jungersen’s novel describes the psychology of evil – the distrust, the strategy, and the fear of death in this quartet of heroines.
Hanauer Anzeiger


Imperceptibly, people who are imbued with ethics and morals gradually become transformed into a mob bent on the psychic destruction of the enemy, striving even to “cleanse” the office of an outsider.
    With sociological and psychological accuracy the Danish author Christian Jungersen describes in The Exception how harassment originates. In the process his novel probes the abysses of human personality. The staff of a center, whose purpose is to uncover crimes against humanity in the outside world, end up finding evil in themselves. What was previously only theory becomes transformed into practical experience for them; and only then can each of them discover whether she, like almost everyone, is capable of evil – or whether she’s the exception.
    ... Thus the boundaries between good and evil are blurred in Jungersen’s story, in which a breathtaking drama develops out of everyday events. Although the story does not lack in surface charm – the finale cries out to be a movie – it touches on the great depths that reside in every human being. Jungersen writes from the alternating perspectives of those involved and permits no final certainties. It is a major achievement that he succeeds in this without denouncing ethics and morality.
Hannoverische Allgemeine


Germany - Ausnahme

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