A new and “Big Book” on the Eurovision Song Contest

by Dominique Dufaut 78 views

Jan Feddersen has a new book out, with Wunder gibt es immer wieder (Das grosse Buch aus Eurovision Song Contest) as its title. It topped the Amazon.de sales list for music books in the first week of its release.

Jan Feddersen’s last book on Eurovision, Ein Lied kann eine Brücke sein, still ranks as the definitive reference work on the German national finals and on the international contest among German readers. This new volume, however, is not an update on that epic work, but an entirely new book.

The author was the first journalist in Germany to advance reporting on the Eurovision Song Contest from the occasional few inaccurate lines in the tabloids to serious articles in the quality papers. The body of this book consists of 16 essays highlighting various aspects of the world’s biggest music event. Many of the stories and anecdotes stem from Jan Feddersen’s personal experience in covering the event as a journalist since 1992. A number of books on Eurovision over the years have been authored by fans and observers of the contest who have turned their hand to writing. This is, however, a book by a professional journalist who just happens to have a burning passion for Eurovision. The book benefits greatly in style and content as a result.

Anyone who follows Jan Feddersen’s blog on the official Eurovision website of German TV will already be aware that he pulls no punches when it comes to expressing his opinion on all things Eurovision. The same applies to this book, where he also gets the chance to back up his opinions with in depth analyses and enlightening arguments. The chapter on Eurovision fans will probably raise an equal number of moans and laughs from those who include themselves in that number. Jan attempts to distinguish the thin line between what he lovingly calls the “Eurovision nerd” and the more unredeemable “Eurovision anorak”. He also puts forward an excellent case as to why the fans are an indispensable part of the Eurovision phenomena. Other chapters deal with diverse aspects of Eurovision, and attempt to explain what has made it thrive in the face or ridicule for over 50 years.

Although critical in places, the book goes a long way to putting those who would attempt to knock the contest in their place, by presenting facts that prove their criticisms are unfounded. The uninitiated will find new depths to the event and those already converted will feel themselves confirmed in their love of the contest. Lovers of facts and figures are also catered for, with almost 100 pages listing the results of every contest since 1956, and the entries of each of the 51 countries which have competed to date. While not intended as a coffee table book, the 40 or so photos are well chosen to illustrate aspects of the text, many of them being candid shots from private collections.

Stefan Raab has dubbed Jan Feddersen “The unrivalled Eurovision expert” in Germany, and this book goes further to cement that claim. German readers are lucky to be able to enjoy this intelligent and loving tribute to this most magical of TV events. Sadly, an equivalent book in English is still waiting to be written.

The book costs Euro 14.95 and can be purchased on amazon.de

An article by Ivor Lyttle