Little Man, What Now?

Little Man, What Now?


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Little Man, What Now? by Hans Fallada

This is the book that led to Hans Fallada’s downfall with the Nazis. The story of a young couple struggling to survive the German economic collapse was a worldwide sensation and was made into an acclaimed Hollywood movie produced by Jews, leading Hitler to ban Fallada’s work from being translated.

Nonetheless, it remains, as The Times Literary Supplement notes, “the novel of a time in which public and private merged even for those whowanted to stay at home and mind their own business."


This is a Hybrid Book.

Melville House HybridBooks combine print and digital media into an enhanced reading experience by including with each title additional curated material called Illuminations — maps, photographs, illustrations, and further writing about the author and the book.

The Melville House Illuminations are free with the purchase of any title in the HybridBook series, no matter the format.

Purchasers of the print version can obtain the Illuminations for a given title simply by scanning the QR code found in the back of each book, or by following the url also given in the back of the print book, then downloading the Illumination in whatever format works best for you.
Purchasers of the digital version receive the appropriate Illuminations automatically as part of the ebook edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781933633640
Publisher: Melville House Publishing
Publication date: 03/03/2009
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 680,839
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About 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.

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Little Man, What Now? 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
CoopCR More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kaitlyn Palkon More than 1 year ago
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.