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Billiards at Half-Past Nine

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Written by Heinrich BollAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Heinrich Boll
Afterword by Jessa CrispinAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Jessa Crispin
Translated by Patrick BowlesAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Patrick Bowles


List Price: $16.95


On Sale: December 15, 2010
Pages: 0 | ISBN: 978-1-935554-84-4
Published by : Melville House Melville House
Billiards at Half-Past Nine Cover

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Böll’s well-known opposition to fascism and war informs this moving story of a single day in the life of traumatized soldier Robert Faehmel, scion of a family of successful Cologne architects, as he struggles to return to ordinary life after the Second World War. An encounter with a war-time  nemesis, now a power in the reconstruction of Germany, forces him to confront private memories and the wounds of Germany’s defeat in the two World Wars.



"Daringly and hypnotically written... an extended soliloquy on memory, recrimination and tenuous hope."
—Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal

"Böll is an expert marksman: the arrows are sharp, the feathers smooth, the targets numerous."
The New York Times

"His work reaches the highest level of creative originality and stylistic perfection."
The Daily Telegraph

"The renewal of German literature, to which Heinrich Böll's achievements witness, and of which they are a significant part, is not an experiment with form. Instead it is a rebirth out of annihilation, a resurrection, a culture which, ravaged by icy nights and condemned to extinction, sends up new shoots, blossoms, and matures to the joy and benefit of us all."
—The Nobel Prize Committee

“The claim that Böll is the true successor to Thomas Mann can be defended by his novel Billiards at Half-Past Nine.”
—The Scotsman

“A work in the best tradition of the German novel, taking up the thread broken by the Third Reich, the thread spun by Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front and Fallada’s Little Man, What Now?”
—Christian Science Monitor

“A man of deep feeling and intelligence, speaking in a strongly contemporary voice, [Böll] recorded in his early stories the way it felt to come home to a destroyed country. The tone was neither angry, ironic nor surreal. On the contrary, these stories gave us the slow-moving thoughtfulness of a narrator in pain, walking about on a lunar landscape, knowing he must make sense of things more quickly than he is able to do.”
—Vivian Gornick, The New York Times

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