Premonitions: A Novel

In the decade before 1914 Schwabing, the suburb of Munich, was a magnet which drew artists, writers, freethinkers and many others who wanted to opt out of bourgeois society and experiment with new ideas. It was the Haight-Ashbury of early 20th Europe. Richard Schlosser is a young man from North German who goes to Munich to study medicine. He suffers from severe sleep deprivation, obsessed by his break with his father, a Lutheran clergyman. Richard is drawn to Schwabing to see Dr Otto Gross, an exciting personality, the son of a famous criminologist, a disciple of Freud, an anarchist and also a drug-addict. When Richard tries to contact him he discovers he has disappeared. Has he run away? Is he dead? Was he murdered? Has he planned his own disappearance? All of Schwabing is abuzz. Richard begins his own, slow, meticulous hunt, assisted by the daughter of a bookseller with whom he falls in love. In his investigations he encounters a number of Schwabing's most lively personalities, members of Stefan George's 'Cosmic Circle', the Countess Franziska von Reventlow who is a leading member of Schwabing's 'Erotic Movement', the young Thomas Mann, Kandinsky, Paul Klee and other painters, the anarchists Gustav Landauer and Erich Muhsam, and many others who frequent Schwabing's cafes. In his final encounter in 1913 he meets Adolf Hitler who has just arrived from Vienna. Part mystery/suspense novel, part intellectual history of Germany and Europe of the early 20th century, Premonitions is quintessential Eric Koch. Eric Koch's most recent work, I Remember the Location Exactly, Foreword by Alfred Grosser, (Mosaic Press, 2006 ) won the Canadian Jewish Book Award and will be published in German by Weidle Verlag in 2008. He is the author of 10 works of fiction, 5 works of non-fiction and his works have been translated into German, Italian and Chinese.