Synopses & Reviews
For Willi Kufult, prison life means staying out of trouble, keeping his cell clean, snagging a precious piece of tobacco, and dreaming of the day of his release.
Then he gets out.
As Willi tries to make a new life for himself in Hamburg, finding a job and even love, he still cannot escape his past. Gradually he becomes sucked into a world of drink, desperation, deceit, and, with one terrible act, he is ensnared in a noose of his own making . . .
Hans Fallada, whose famous works include Alone in Berlin and The Drinker, brilliantly crafts this dark and moving novel, originally written in 1934, as he describes a seedy criminal underworld of shabby lives and violent deeds, showing how our actions always catch up with us. His work is unparalleled, and Once a Jailbird is a fantastic title to add to Falladas recently translated works.
Fallada deserved high praise for having reported so realistically, so truthfully, with such closeness to life.”
Lit by love, the love of truth and love of humanity; it has the courage to look things in the eye, and to sketch them exactly as they were.”Hermann Hesse
Absolutely on the money, from the slang of the cons, to the refuge of its hero in the blissful hermitage of prison.”Albert Ehrenstein