PUBLISHERS OF LITERARY FICTION SINCE 1983
Translator: Mike Mitchell
This is an account by Johann Rettenberger, the marathon running, Regan mask wearing, shotgun toting bank robber of 80s Austria. As part of a new Dedalus Euro Shorts series, it’s meant to be easy to read cover-to-cover on a short flight, keeping you entertained with the tale how 'Pumpgun Ronnie' escaped from custody in 1988, slipped through net after net and evaded capture for days. Rather than being a thriller or a biography, this is a novel about the exploits of a man for whom running was a central part of life. An interesting first work.
Johann Rettenberger was the infamous bank robber Pumpgun Ronnie, back in the 1980's and the most wanted criminal in Austria. For his robberies he wore a Ronald Reagan mask, suggesting how he got his nickname and would always push his luck and rob two or three banks in one day. But what made him most unusual from your normal bank robber was his talent as an amateur marathon runner. One of his best runs yet was his high jump during police questioning and escaping by running into the Vienna woods.