The Assault [NOOK Book]

Overview

A novel that probes moral devastation following a Nazi retaliation in a Dutch town. The Assault has been translated and published to great critical acclaim throughout Europe and in the United States.

It is the winter of 1945, the last dark days of the ware in occupied Holland. A Nazi collaborator, infamous for his cruelty, is assassinated as he rides on his bicycle. The ...
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The Assault

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Overview

A novel that probes moral devastation following a Nazi retaliation in a Dutch town. The Assault has been translated and published to great critical acclaim throughout Europe and in the United States.

It is the winter of 1945, the last dark days of the ware in occupied Holland. A Nazi collaborator, infamous for his cruelty, is assassinated as he rides on his bicycle. The Germans retaliate by slaughtering an innocent family: only the youngest son, twelve-year-old Anton, survives.

The Assault traces the complex repercussions of this nightmarish event on Anton's life. Determined not to forget, he opts for a carefully normal existence—a prudent marriage, a successful career, and colorless passivity. But the past keeps breaking through, in relentless memories and in chance encounters with the other actors in the drama, until Anton finally learns what really happened that night in 1945, and why.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
A political thriller that removes the postwar scar tissue protecting society…a psychological thriller probing the moral devastation between neighbors, fellow students, husbands and wives…It is Mr. Mulisch's triumph to have revealed all this…with an x-ray cunning.
From the Publisher
“A beautiful and powerful work…takes its place among the finest European fiction of our time.”
—Elizabeth Hardwick
 
“A political thriller that removes the postwar scar tissue protecting society…a psychological thriller probing the moral devastation between neighbors, fellow students, husbands and wives…It is Mr. Mulisch’s triumph to have revealed all this…with an x-ray cunning.”
The New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307801869
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/24/2011
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 306,837
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Harry Mulisch is one of Holland’s most important writers.  Born in 1927 in Haarlem to a Jewish mother whose family died in the concentration camps, and an Austrian father who was jailed after the war for collaborating with the Nazis, Mulisch felt a particularly charged connection with the Second World War, frequently the subject of his work.  He has received Holland’s highest awards for his novels, plays, poems, and essays.  The Assault has been translated and published to great critical acclaim throughout Europe and in the United States.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    In postwar literature the horrors of Naziism tend to be painted

    In postwar literature the horrors of Naziism tend to be painted in broad strokes. Writers like Gunter Grass and Heinrich Boll have created masterpieces in which they explore the larger implications and impact of National Socialism. In The Assault Harry Mulisch narrows it all down to a finer point; the impact of one event on the life of one man. In occupied Holland, just weeks before liberation, a Nazi collaborator is shot in front of 12 y/o Anton Steenwijk's house. The events that quickly follow will shape the rest of Anton's life. In this short novel we follow Anton through all the rage, grief, and confusion he feels as he tries to move on. As Anton, and we, slowly learn more about that night we find our initial assumptions being challenged. And through Anton Mulisch gives us a clear picture of all the rage, grief, and confusion that was WWII. The Assault is one of the finest pieces of postwar literature you'll ever read.

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  • Posted April 2, 2009

    this book is a revelation, and should be a classic

    The structure is brilliant, and the story packs the punch of great moral fiction. The eponymous assault, a shocking event that changes the narrator's life, is first seen by him as a child, but in no way understood except as it affects him personally. Then scene by scene as he grows up, Mulisch adds to his understanding of why what happened happened and what it means, until by the end the motives of all the actors in the event are understandable, and even compel forgiveness. A thrilling piece of craft, and art.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2008

    An insightful look into the historical wake of WWII

    Each of Mulisch's novels deals in one way or another with the myriad ways in which things that happened in the past continue to effect our lives, and how they help to mold us into the people we are. In this novel he discusses how the terrible things that occured in WWII can leave one mentally and emotionally scarred, and I think it grants each of us an insight into human nature, and the ways in which we are able to cope with horrific experiences. Mulisch writes from a uniquely Dutch perspective, but in most cases his stories could have happened in any of the countries occupied by the Germans in WWII.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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