'He had seen the British soldiers arrive and lead them out through the courtyard: cheats, prostitutes, liars, war criminals, but mostly people like him - half-starved blackmarketeers lying about who they shared their rooms with.'
Grass is the incredible story of Phil Sparrowhawk, a working-class boy with gambling in his blood. Like most punters, he enjoyed an incredible run of luck, but finally rolled the dice once too often.Before he had come of age, Phil had accumulated a small fortune from street trading. He then staked his entire capital on Njinsky in the 1970…
Kasper Meier lives in Berlin - the city and its people broken by war. He scrabbles to get by, finding things that people need: cigarettes, information, other people.
A stranger approaches Kasper in a makeshift cafe, seeking the whereabouts of a painting by Gustav Klimt. Kasper is out of his depth, but the promise of goods and the man's menacing threats leave him with no choice but to track it down.
The search leads him to Frau Roland and Berlin-Tempelhof, where she spends hours watching the aeroplanes arriving and departing. What is she waiting for? Where is the painting? And is Kasper's life in danger?
In this intriguing and compelling short story, Ben Fergusson introduces us to the world of post-war Berlin and provides a taste of his extraordinary debut novel, The Spring of Kasper Meier, which is published in hardback and ebook in July 2014.