The Ogre

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An international bestseller and winner of the Prix Goncourt, France's most prestigious literary award, The Ogre is a masterful tale of innocence, perversion, and obsession. It follows the passage of strange, gentle Abel Tiffauges from submissive schoolboy to "ogre" of the Nazi school at the castle of Kaltenborn, taking us deeper into the dark heart of fascism than any novel since The Tin Drum. Until the very last page, when Abel meets his mystic fate in the collapsing ruins of the Third Reich, it shocks us, dazzles us, and above all holds us spellbound.

Johns Hopkins University Press

Janet Flanner has called Ogre "the most important novel to come out of France since Proust."

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Editorial Reviews

Washington Post Book World

Engrossing, poetic, and profoundly eventful.

New Yorker

The Ogre... is, quite simply, a great novel... [It] bears patently the marks of greatness. It relentlessly pushes individual idiosyncrasy to—and even beyond—the point of universality. It covers simultaneously the events inside one head and one continent. It uses documentary knowledge—minute and encyclopedic knowledge of photography, history, zoology, anthropometry, weaponry—to illustrate the otherwise undocumentable progress of a human obsession.

New York Times Book Review

Barbara Bray's translation does justice to the original... Abel Tiffauges is as complex and dangerous in English as he is in French; his themes are eternal and disturbing. To follow his dark path is a magnificent experience.

New York Review of Books

The Ogre is a very clever book in its belletristic way, and the translation reads very well... Tiffauges's obsessions—a cornucopia of the ocular, the cloacal, of celibacy, heraldry, therapies, wounds, beats, boys, and twins—are conveyed in an alliterative rhetoric of rare words and allusions.


Tournier's achievement rests in his remarkable blend of myth with realism.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801855900
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1997
  • Series: Modern Writers Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,494,095
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in 1924 in Paris, Michel Tournier studied philosophy and then became a journalist and a writer. He is the author of several novels, including Friday, The Four Wise Men, Gemini, and The Golden Droplet. Friday is also available in paperback from Johns Hopkins.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Customer Reviews

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    Posted July 31, 2009

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