Zoo Station A memoir : the story of Christiane F.

Christiane F.

Book - 2013

In 1978 Christiane F. testified against a man who had traded heroin for sex with teenage girls at Berlin's notorious Zoo Station. In the course of that trial, Christiane F. became connected with two journalists who helped to turn her story, which begins with a dysfunctional but otherwise fairly normal childhood, into an acclaimed bestseller.

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BIOGRAPHY/F., Christiane
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Subjects
Published
San francisco, CA : Zest Books 2013.
Language
English
German
Item Description
"First published in Germany under the title Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo " --opp. p. of T.p.
Physical Description
366 p. : ill. ; 21 cm
ISBN
9781936976225
1936976226
Main Author
Christiane F. (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Drug memoirs have long been a reliable mix of cautionary content, salacious detail, and voyeuristic thrill, and this new translation of the long-out-of-print Christiane F., first published in 1978 and something of a cult classic, delivers on every front. It follows Christiane, whose childhood in a Berlin ghetto was marked by a totally apeshit father, lack of adult supervision, and an early involvement in drugs. As a preteen Christiane was already taking a prolonged cruise through the entire pharmaceutical industry with stops at pot, quaaludes, acid, and more. At age 13, she took her first snort of heroin. From there, it was a fast slide into larceny, turning tricks, and watching her friends wither away and die. Christiane was in and out of rehab, and it was never long before she returned to the same routine: whoring, shooting up, whoring, shooting up. Though the prose is dry, the details are undeniably powerful—for example, an apartment's stench of blood from all of the discharged needles. Repetitive and numbing, for sure, but that's part of the point. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

A powerful memoir first published 35 years ago in Germany (a U.S. edition and film adaptation soon followed) shows no sign of tarnish in Cartwright's mesmerizing and urgent new translation. The story of Christiane F., a heroin-addicted teenager living in 1970s Berlin, begins with her family's move from the country to a fractured and confusing existence in the Berlin projects. Christiane's bleak circumstances (her father is physically abusive, her mother permissive and absent, her teachers cold and uncaring) lead the 12-year-old to experiment with drugs. She begins with pot and alcohol—rapidly moving on to pills, acid, and finally heroin—finding excitement and intense companionship with a group of David Bowie–worshipping teenagers who populate the city's underground club scene. Eventually, Christiane resorts to working alongside her boyfriend as a prostitute at the Bahnhof Zoo train station to support her addiction. [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

A powerful memoir first published 35 years ago in Germany (a U.S. edition and film adaptation soon followed) shows no sign of tarnish in Cartwright's mesmerizing and urgent new translation. The story of Christiane F., a heroin-addicted teenager living in 1970s Berlin, begins with her family's move from the country to a fractured and confusing existence in the Berlin projects. Christiane's bleak circumstances (her father is physically abusive, her mother permissive and absent, her teachers cold and uncaring) lead the 12-year-old to experiment with drugs. She begins with pot and alcohol—rapidly moving on to pills, acid, and finally heroin—finding excitement and intense companionship with a group of David Bowie–worshipping teenagers who populate the city's underground club scene. Eventually, Christiane resorts to working alongside her boyfriend as a prostitute at the Bahnhof Zoo train station to support her addiction. Chapters written from the perspective of Christiane's mother and other adult figures can sometimes disrupt the hypnotic effect of Christiane's narrative, but they also offer broader insight into a vulnerable population under the influence of a devastating new drug. Christiane's uninhibited voice crackles with cynicism over the hypocrisy and arbitrary rules she observes around her ("I hated it when people talked like they also wanted to save me. I got real marriage proposals. And all the while they knew full well that they were only taking advantage of our misery, the misery of the addicts, to satisfy their own desires"), as she documents the choices that bring her further into destitution and despair. Even in moments of utter depravity, Christiane remains sympathetic and wise, with a deeply embedded sense of morality. Although Christiane's message to readers is, without a doubt, "Do not follow me," she synthesizes moments of beauty and joy alongside those of horror, resulting in a deeply observant look at the search for love and meaning amid chaos. Ages 14–up. (Jan.) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Recounts the childhood and adolescence of Christiane F., a German girl who became a drug addict and prostitute by age fourteen, and describes her descent into addiction and the drug- and sex-filled culture of Zoo Station in Berlin in the 1970s.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

In 1978 Christiane F. testified against a man who had traded heroin for sex with teenage girls at Berlin's notorious Zoo Station. In the course of that trial, Christiane F. became connected with two journalists who helped to turn her story, which begins with a dysfunctional but otherwise fairly normal childhood, into an acclaimed bestseller.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

In 1978 Christiane F. testified against a man who had traded heroin for sex with teenage girls at Berlin’s notorious Zoo Station. In the course of that trial, Christiane F. became connected with two journalists, and over time they helped to turn her story - which begins with a dysfunctional but otherwise fairly normal childhood - into an acclaimed bestseller. Christiane F.’s rapid descent into heroin abuse and prostitution is shocking, but the boredom, the longing for acceptance, the thrilling risks, and even the musical obsessions that fill out the rest of Christiane’s existence will be familiar to every reader. Christiane F.’s Berlin is a strange and often terrifying place, but it’s also a place that remains closer than we might think….

Review by Publisher Summary 4

This incredible autobiography of Christiane F. provides a vivid portrait of teen friendship, drug abuse, and alienation in and around Berlin's notorious Zoo Station. Christiane's rapid descent into heroin abuse and prostitution is shocking, but the boredom, longing for acceptance, thrilling risks, and even her musical obsessions are familiar to everyone. Previously published in Germany and the US to critical acclaim, Zest's new translation includes original photographs of Christiane and her friends.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

In 1978 Christiane F. testified against a man who had traded heroin for sex with teenage girls at Berlin’s notorious Zoo Station. In the course of that trial, Christiane F. became connected with two journalists, and over time they helped to turn her story—which begins with a dysfunctional but otherwise fairly normal childhood—into an acclaimed bestseller. Christiane F.’s rapid descent into heroin abuse and prostitution is shocking, but the boredom, the longing for acceptance, the thrilling risks, and even the musical obsessions that fill out the rest of Christiane’s existence will be familiar to every reader. Christiane F.’s Berlin is a strange and often terrifying place, but it’s also a place that remains closer than we might think….