‘This is an heroic book, brave, fearless and honest. It is necessary reading.’The Sunday Times
This astonishing, autobiographical tour de force was written by Hans Fallada in an encrypted notebook while he was incarcerated in a Nazi insane asylum. Discovered after his death, The Drinker tells the tale — often fierce, poignant, and extremely funny — of a small businessman losing control as he fights valiantly to blot out an increasingly oppressive society.
In a brilliant translation by Charlotte and A.L. Lloyd, it is presented here with an afterword by John Willett that details the life and career of the internationally acclaimed author, and his fate under the Nazis — which brings out the horror of the events behind the book.
‘[A] breathtaking picture of life in that particular circle of hell, depicted with the cool objectivity that renders Fallada’s fiction so memorable.’Andrew Riemer, Sydney Morning Herald
‘[The Drinker] is the kind of novel Kafka had in mind when he wrote, “If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for?”’Kevin Rabalais, Weekend Australian
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‘For all the self-destruction, inebriation, and Sisyphean torture of The Drinker, a visionary clear-headedness prevails … it is easy to imagine that the horror of Sommer’s life was also that of Fallada’s in Nazi Germany, to hear the echo of the author’s cries in those of his narrator, and to recall the Kurosawa quote: ‘In a mad world, only the mad are sane.’William Heyward, Australian Book Review