Jonathan Buck is standing on a station platform, waiting for the train to Berlin. The mother of Strippe, Jonathan’s childhood friend needs to talk to him. Jonathan has no way out; Strippe is dead and his mother wants to hear about the past and the future. Jonathan wants to lie in bed next to Elena reading d’Annunzio smoking cigarettes. And eat cold tomato soup and reminisce about the past and his youth in Berlin after the Wall fell and everything seemed possible, with Strippe.

30 years ago, in the vacuum of the Wende years during and after reunification, they searched for sensuality and new idols. They wanted to be heroes in a revolution of the emotions. Strippe’s death forces Jonathan to take stock and pass judgement on his life and dreams.

Tom Müller’s book tells the story of a friendship that transgresses borders and describes the boundless hope and overconfidence of youth. Cool and urgent, The Youngest Days recounts a journey from Hamburg to Berlin, depicts childhood adventures and more recent escapades, references Italian poets and features German trains. There have been few novels published in German imbued with the same intensity, pain, wit and turmoil; The Youngest Days is a debut novel of exceptional quality.