Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Doblin - Book Review

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By Alfred Doblin, Michael Hofmann (Translated by), Michael Hofmann (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781681371993
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: NYRB Classics - March 6th, 2018

Pimp and murderer Franz Biberkopf is set free from jail. Once he realizes they won't let him back inside, he vows to become “an honest soul.” That turns out to be damned difficult in a Weimar Germany where temptation exists around every corner and the finger of fate presses on the stolidest of Jobs with the force of a meteor crashing to earth. Doblin's 1929 novel is an extraordinary performance. Biberkopf's progress is related through song, weather reports, descriptions of slaughterhouse protocol, visions of the Whore of Babylon, political speeches and the cultural detritus of postwar Germany. Navigating his torrent of brilliant prose, the reader discovers the disasters of the ensuing century in their embryonic state. What abides is the fortitude of Biberkopf, a hero of German literature to rank with Faust or The Tin Drum's Oskar Matzerath. ~ Reviewed by Charles Bottomley

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