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Wolf among Wolvesby Philip Owens
Synopses & Reviews
Wolf Among Wolves is a sprawling saga of the collapse of a culture--its economy and government--and the common man's struggle to survive it all. Set in Weimar Germany soon after Germany'scatastrophic loss of World War I, the story follows a young gambler who loses all in Berlin, then flees the chaotic city, where worthless money and shortages are causing pandemonium. Once in the countryside, however, hefinds a defeated German army that has deamped there to foment insurrection. Somehow, amidst it all, he finds romance--it's The Year of Living Dangerously in a European setting.
Fast-moving as a thriller, fascinating as the best historical fiction, and with lyrical prose that packs a powerful emotional punch, Wolf Among Wolves is the equal of Fallada's acclaimed EveryMan Dies Alone as an immensely absorbing work of important literature.
This sweeping saga of love in dangerous times the 1923 collapse of the German economy, when food and money shortages led to rioting in the streets and unemployed soldiers marauding through the countryside is deemed by many to be Hans Fallada's greatest work. Yet its 1938 publication made his publisher so fearful of Nazi retribution that he told Fallada, "If this book destroys us, then at least we'll be destroyed for something that's worth it." It appears here in its first unabridged translation into English, based on a contemporaneous translation by Philip Owens that has been revised and restored in full by Thorsten Carstensen and Nicholas Jacobs. Carstensen also provides an afterword discussing why the original version of the book was so heavily edited ... and why Fallada's publisher thought a love story might get them killed.
About the Author
Prior to WWII, the novels of German writer Hans Fallada (born Rudolf Ditzen) were international bestsellers. But when Jewish producers in Hollywood made his 1932 novel, Little Man, What Now? into a major motion picture, the rising Nazis began to take note of him. His struggles increased after he refused to join the Party and was denounced by neighbors for “anti-Nazi” sympathies. Unlike many other prominent artists, however, Fallada decided not to flee Germany. By the end of World War II he’d suffered an alcohol-fueled nervous breakdown and was in a Nazi insane asylum, where he nonetheless managed to write—in code—the brilliant subversive novel, The Drinker. After the war, Fallada went on to write Every Man Dies Alone, based on an actual Gestapo file, but he died in 1947 of a morphine overdose, just before it was published.
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