Wolf among Wolves is a sweeping 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’s catastrophic loss of World War I, the story follows a young gambler, Wolfgang Pagel, who loses everything in Berlin, then flees the chaotic city, where worthless money and shortages are causing pandemonium. Once in the countryside, however, Pagel finds a defeated German army that has decamped there to foment insurrection. Somehow, amidst it all, he finds romance.
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 an immensely absorbing work of literature.
'It is epic both because of its length at 755 pages, and its masterful scope of characters and setting, from a Berlin that radiates with the heat of moral corruption and stratospheric inflation to a countryside which might be an idyllic haven if not for its villains, both aristocratic and labourers.'
Tali Lavi, Melbourne Review
View all reviews
'[A]n impressive panorama of the state of German society … dozens of characters from all walks of life contribute to a group portrait of remarkable power. The narrative moves from gambling dens to police cells, from crumbling aristocratic manor houses to the plush apartments of the high bourgeoisie; from seedy rooming houses to picturesque country inns.'
Andrew Riemer, Sydney Morning Herald
'An unmissably brilliant portrait of Berlin before the Nazis.'
'His most ambitious novel … deeply moving … he has evoked more than one can bear in comfort, but not more than it is necessary to learn, to keep and to understand.'
Alfred Kazin, The New York Times
'What other living German novelist shares with Fallada the power to grip the reader on the first page and hold him unremittingly through 1,100 more?'
Bayard Q Morgan, World Literature Today (1938)