“autoreverse” by Kai Thomas Geiger is a book for all those who have grown up in the 80s, remembers this time well and like looking back. It is also a book for all those who might have liked to live during that times. Whoever loves the rock music of this era, remembers mixed tapes and might even recall what the first own stereo or the first moped felt like, will enjoy this.
“autoreverse” is the story of Marc and his best friend Jones, of growing up somewhere on the outskirts of Stuttgart and of course of their love for music, especially AC/DC, for whom they found a fan club with Basti and Fred. It’s also the story of first experiences in all areas and the realization that some things will change your life forever.
The novel accompanies the protagonists through puberty. Kai Thomas Geiger succeeds in letting the readers be part of their thoughts and feelings along the way. More than once I was reminded of my own youth while reading this, and the fact that this is more “a book for men” did not keep me from enjoying it.
On the first pages of this book the readers find themselves in the year 1979 at a Queen concert, thrown right in the middle of this first impressive concert in the lives of Marc and Jones. From the first line on I needed to know what would happen next and went on a ride with the two boys through their suffering at confirmation classes, the financing of their first stereo, in a time when Jeans jackets with marker lettering were cool and any new record was more interesting than school. The latter plays a rather minor role, just like it does in real life between 12 an 17.
Real life happens elsewhere: With their circle of friends, at the disco on weekends or during their first vacation in France, of course on their mopeds. Just like in real life things aren’t always great, but nobody would have believed that anyway. The boys come across in a very realistic way. That’s the great strength of this story.
The novel is not quite major world literature, and it does not attempt to be. The intention is to entertain, which is achieved in an amusing fashion. At the end of the last page, this reader put the book down reluctantly, unwilling to let the heroes go.