Magic City – A sexual coming-of-age comedy set in seventies Berlin.

Magic City by Michael Dean

magic city

A sexual coming-of-age comedy set in seventies Berlin.

Magic City is a comedy of errors set in West Germany in 1971. Marcus Himmelfahrt, unable to come to terms with his Jewish heritage and his sexual impotence, has no idea what to do with his life. He takes a job as an English teacher in Ludwigsburg, the Magic City of the title, intending to re-invent himself under a false name.

On day one, he does something he shouldn’t in a graveyard and the police are called. His personal habits repeatedly upset his highly strung landlord. He is nevertheless a hit at the language school, and fast establishes a reputation as a ladies’ man. But can he live up to it?

Meanwhile, as he wanders around unaware in dreamy innocence, he is framed, followed and shot at. He finally finds love only to be wrongly accused of rampant womanising. Against a background of retribution against a former Nazi and a robbery by the Baader-Meinhof gang, our still oblivious hero is hunted by drug dealers, by his terrifying employer, and by both the East and West German intelligence services.

As the forces against him gain momentum and menace, even the Magic City may not be enough to save him.

Michael Dean read history at Worcester College, Oxford, and has an MSc in Applied Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh. He is a fluent German speaker and a translator – an Associate of the Institute of Linguists. He has had three previous novels published, The Crooked Cross, Hirschfeld’s Friends and THORN. He is also the author of Chomsky: A Beginner’s Guide and more than 30 English Language Teaching titles, including the best-selling short story New York Café. He lives in Colchester, Essex.


  • This story of the not-so-innocent abroad is full of plenty of laddish humour and sexual conquests
  • Set in Berlin, with plenty of interesting historical and factual details
  • Exciting espionage element to the plot – East and West German Intelligence play a major part

27th January 2012