Little Man, What Now?by Hans Fallada FALLADA, Eric Sutton (Translator)
Since its first publication in 1933, this novel has become a world classic. It provides a vivid, poignant picture of life in Germany just before Hitler's takeover and focuses on a young married couple struggling to survive in the country's nightmarish inflation.
“ Superb.” –Graham Greene
"In a publishing hat trick, Melville House allows English-language readers to sample Fallada's vertiginous variety accompanying the release of Michael Hoffman's splendid translation of Every Man Dies Alone with the simultaneous publication of excellent English versions of Fallada's two best-known novels, Little Man, What Now? (translated by Susan Bennett) and The Drinker (translated by Charlotte and A.L. Lloyd). In his probing afterword to Little Man, What Now?, Philip Brady ponders the question of why the book isn't better-known today: "Enduring success is one thing, immediate impact is something different, and clearly the immediate impact of Fallada's novel was undeniable." Given our current economic circumstances, the book may have a second chance at impact and endurance."
- New York Times Book Review
- Chicago Review Press, Incorporate
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- 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.01(d)
Meet the Author
Before WWII , German writer Hans Fallada’s novels were international bestsellers, on a par with those of his countrymen Thomas Mann and Herman Hesse. In America, Hollywood even turned his first big novel, Little Man, What Now? into a major motion picture.
Learning the movie was made by a Jewish producer, however, Hitler decreed Fallada’ s work could no longer be sold outside Germany, and the rising Nazis began to pay him closer attention. When he refused to join the Nazi party he was arrested by the Gestapo—who eventually released him, but thereafter regularly summoned him for “discussions” of his work.
However, unlike Mann, Hesse, and others, Fallada refused to flee to safety, even when his British publisher, George Putnam, sent a private boat to rescue him. The pressure took its toll on Fallada, and he resorted increasingly to drugs and alcohol for relief. After Goebbels ordered him to write an anti-Semitic novel, he snapped and found himself imprisoned in an asylum for the “criminally insane”—considered a death sentence under Nazi rule. To forestall the inevitable, he pretended to write the assignment for Goebbels, while actually composing three encrypted books—including his tour de force novel The Drinker—in such dense code that they were not deciphered until long after his death.
Fallada outlasted the Reich and was freed at war’s end. But he was a shattered man. To help him recover by putting him to work, Fallada’s publisher gave him the Gestapo file of a simple, working-class couple who had resisted the Nazis. Inspired, Fallada completed Every Man Dies Alone in just twenty-four days.
He died in February 1947, just weeks before the book’s publication.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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What is perhaps surprising, considering the fairly grim setting of the book, is the humor that runs throughout, as the young couple faces the difficulties of life in post-World War I Germany.
This is the second book I read by Fallada and I am seduced again, his prose is simple and makes the story seem like a real one. The absence of climax also contributes to this feeling of doomed reality. I encourage anyone with an interest in 1930s Germany to read it!
I had to read this book as a requirement for one of my language classes in college. While the storyline can be dry at times, it does a great job of detailing the life of the average couple in Germany during the rise of the Nazi party. It is also a very easy read for it being a translation. For the most part i enjoyed it and would reccommend it.