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Journey to the End of the Night Paperback – February, 1988
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Top Customer Reviews
But don't let that stop you from reading it. It is also a weird and wonderfully written mix of prose, philosophy, rant, and slang. At times it is hilarious. It is also sad, moving, and deeply insightful. Celine's voice is unique, and his dark vision changed the face of twentieth century literature.
True to its title, the book is a metaphorical journey into the dark side of humanity. It doesn't really have a plot. In a nutshell, it follows Ferdinand Bardamu (who is telling the story), who joins the army on a whim, entering World War I. The fear and madness of his war experiences leave him shell-shocked. He spends the remainder of the war convalescing in a hospital, where he spends his time avoiding the front, laying nurses, and pulling himself together. After the war, he yearns to escape, so he travels to the French African colonies to run a trading post deep in the jungle. There, he contracts malaria and is sold into slavery by a Portuguese priest, only to be dumped in a quarantine facility in New York.
He eventually winds up in Detroit, where he works a dead-end factory job at Ford and falls in love with a prostitute. Restless, he leaves his love behind and returns to France.Read more ›
During the second World War, Celine wrote and distributed anti-semitic pamphlets and was ardently pro-Nazi and pro-German occupation of France. A lot of people couldn't understand how such an indisputably important artist could also be a Fascist sympathizer. Fascism & art didn't go together in their minds (especially since most of the literati in France who had liked Celine's novels were either strong lefists and/or pro-USSR Communists). Celine had to live in exile for many years as a result of this war-time pro-fascist business, and never regained the scary perfection of form, the shattering style evident on every page of "Journey" (and its less impressive but still amazing follow-up "Death On the Installment Plan").Read more ›
In 1932, with ''Journey to the End of the Night,'' Celine snatched French fiction from the manicured hands of Gide and Proust and gave it an elementary gusto, a savage bite it had hardly known since Rabelais. Four years later, with ''Death on the Installment Plan,'' he had already snarled and elbowed his way into the pantheon.
''Journey'' is a picaresque novel whose protagonist fights in World War I, works in Africa, travels to the United States and returns to Paris to become a doctor. An impoverished doctor in a Paris slum like his antihero Ferdinand, Celine clearly announced his position when he wrote this fantastic book, he was "against all". While Cervantes, the other great picaresque novelist, mourned the death of chivalry, Celine's subject was the death of civility. As a slum doctor, he had heard every kind of cry of pain, anger and dispair; you can find them all in his novels, mixed with his own archetypally French humor and transmogrified by a style of exalted disgust.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
He might be a good writer but according to his Wikipedia entry, "Céline remains controversial to this day because of his virulent antisemitism, racism and Holocaust... Read morePublished 3 days ago by M. Brown
Originally, I thought about writing an eloquent review of this book, but intentions do not always come to bear fruit. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Henry Martin
I won't even begin to try and write a decent review of this novel. It would be impossible to try and sum it up in a matter of a few sentences. Read morePublished 3 months ago by MrsChes06
Not a great translation in my opinion. Not terribly professionally laid out in this version, but what the hay, it's Kindle. Useful notes at the end. Read morePublished 5 months ago by L. A. Lalande
Found Celine reading Bukowski, and if you like Bukowski, you'll definitely like Celine. I love both!Published 7 months ago by Paul J Ribeiro
Brilliant novel on war, a partially fictionalized recounting of the author's experiences in WWI on the French side.Published 9 months ago by An Avid Reader
Hypnotic, sometimes surrealistic memoir. Celine is the anti-Proust.Published 9 months ago by Dominick DelSante