Synopses & Reviews
It is Germany near the end of World War II, the Allies have landed, and members of the Vichy France government have been sequestered in a labyrinthine castle, replete with secret passages and subterranean hideaways. The group of 1,400 terrified officials, their wives, mistresses, flunkies, and Nazi "protectors"--including Céline, his wife, their cat, and an actor friend--attempt to postpone the postwar reckoning under the constant threat of air raids and starvation.
With an undercurrent of sensual excitement, Céline paints an almost unbearably vivid picture of society and the human condition.
About the Author
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (1894-1961) was a French writer and doctor whose novels are antiheroic visions of human suffering. Accused of collaboration with the Nazis, Céline fled France in 1944 first to Germany and then to Denmark. Condemned by default (1950) in France to one year of imprisonment and declared a national disgrace, Céline returned to France after his pardon in 1951, where he continued to write until his death. His classic books include Journey to the End of the Night, Death on the Installment Plan, London Bridge, North, Rigadoon, Conversations with Professor Y, Castle to Castle, and Normance.Ralph Manheim (1907-1992) was an American translator of German and French literature, as well as occasional works from Dutch, Polish and Hungarian. The PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation, a major lifetime achievement award in the field of translation. is named in honor of Manheim and his work.