Nietzsche said it: "One is seldom wholly wrong about the Germans". He was right. A provocative, irreverent story of survival in Postwar Germany.
Deserter, black marketeer, jazz lover, ad man, entrepreneur: Michael Busch is a hustler with a taste for the spontaneous that's in conflict with his German need to plan ahead. With no apparent doubts in a land haunted by them, Busch adapts to the sudden shifts and surprises of postwar Germany with a cynical grace -- and a nervous memory of one big mistake.
Hans Joachim Zinser: in the war, a general's aide, skilled at small talk and filled with a small man's big ideas of himself. Banker, social climber, possibly a pimp, he manipulates defeat to work his way toward the top, until his bad habits catch up with him.
Overweight, vulgar, smart as hell, and Busch's first big client, Maximillian Preiss is a politician with an impeccable anti-Nazi past, bad manners, an instinct for controversy, and an eye for the Chancellor's office. He's off and running when an assassin's bullet suddenly changes his prospects, but not his character.
Germans have a determined will to reinvent themselves, to become what survival demands. They are "the Proteans".