Billy - Novel

(German title: Billy)
ca. 200 pages
Foto: einzlkind
© ka.

einzlkind is a best-selling author. He has published two novels so far: Harold (2010) and Gretchen (2013). Harold has been translated into Spanish (Siruela), French (Actes Sud) and Italian (nottetempo).

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Italy (nottetempo)
Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (Hörbuch Hamburg)

»Am I a good person because I kill bad people? Hardly.«

From the author of the bestseller Harold, the »hit of the summer 2010« Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung


Billy enjoys a sheltered childhood in his aunt and uncle’s family in Duffmore, a small town in Scotland. His hippie parents have split from the world with an overdose shortly after his birth. From them, he inherited his love for music: for the Beatles, the Ramones, Joy Division. From his uncle, on the other hand, he receives the love for philosophy.

His favourite philosopher is Nietzsche. At age 22, he joins the family business, a firm that carries out contract kills. And that serves justice, since only murderers are being killed. The first time Billy fits the silencer onto his Walther, he thinks of Nietzsche, the »great immoralist, the villain, the antichrist«. What happens after that comes naturally to him. Billy is 34 when he drives to Las Vegas in order to meet Whip, one of the firm’s employees. Together they want to explore the city of gamblers for one week and discuss the upcoming assignments.

Up until now, Billy has committed twelve murders, and each time he lets his victim tell him their life story. He only killed the wrong person once, by accident. An accident that has dire consequences, and so Las Vegas becomes the setting of a showdown.


»[…] we’re dealing with a breathtakingly imaginative, linguistically highly tuned, and simultaneously deeply intelligent thriller.« Das Magazin

»Every sentence scores« Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin

»Billy is a philosophically influenced relative of Lawrence Block’s Hit Man John Keller and Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter« Die ZEIT

»[…] full of humorous wordplays, quirky ideas and with a captivating power of observation. […] And when you close the book, it may well be that you won’t want to take on another book for quite a while, your thoughts left whirling too much.« Aachener Zeitung

»einzlkind offers absurdity as well as delicately portrayed protagonists who undergo a development. The opposing chapters result in a wonderful flow and the precise, paratactic language is a pleasure. Thrilling!« Nürnberger Zeitung

»Whoever einzlkind may be, he has written one of the most witty novels of the year. Let’s hope that there’ll be another addition to the family of Harold, Gretchen and Billy soon.« General-Anzeiger Bonn

»einzlkind’s Billy is an astonishing literary work. […] This book is a highly entertaining read and leads its readers astray well and truly; that being said, one has to admire the intellectual clarity of the author. That Billy is an exceptional phenomenon is also due to the fact that the concept contrasts pleasantly with the same old, same old in the crime genre and does so by employing methods of general literature.« Fixpoetry

»A smart and hilarious devilment. After finishing the last page, you’re left with a smile on your face for quite some time.« Deutsches Handwerksblatt

»When Billy drives through America, you feel like you’re in a painting by Edward Hopper. Or Richard Estes […] Kind of magic!« In Magazine

»In short: Billy is a brilliant 200-page book that doesn’t need any superfluous words. Let’s do the same: read it!« Stuttgarter Zeitung.de

»Billy is entertaining, smooth and witty« Südwest Presse

»profound and intelligent […] Billy has the plot of a crime novel, but it’s more like an extremely cool road movie full of funny moments and whimsical scenes.« WDR4

»einzlkind is an intriguing, intelligent and very versatile author, and we can look forward to his upcoming works.« literaturkritik.de

»This book is an artistic synthesis, not just a crime novel, but philosophical, humorous, sociocritical. A book that stands out in this autumn’s programme.« WDR5

»A wonderful mixture of suspense, reflections, humour and literary standard. einzlkind’s novel is convincing from start to finish.« Literaturkurier

»With this book, we’re on the terrain of the cool. Post-Noir.« CulturMag.de

»This book is not a mainstream crime novel, which makes it especially worth reading. What’s more, it awakens an interest in philosophy and shows a frightening logic to it.« egotrip.de

»It’s quite wonderful. I’m talking about Harold Hans Magnus Enzensberger