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The Stories of Heinrich Boll (European Classics) Paperback – September 27, 1995


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Product Details

  • Series: European Classics
  • Paperback: 690 pages
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press; 1 edition (September 27, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810112078
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810112070
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,485,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At one extreme of this collection of 67 fiction pieces by the late Nobel laureate are some stories so brief and fragmentary as to seem afterthoughts. At the other are the novellas, several of which, including The Soldier's Legacy (published separately in 1985), have the weight and density of novels. The total range is widefrom droll and facetious, mordant and caustic, as Boll could be when observing the grubby lives of his compatriots, to the brooding intensity of the pieces haunted by the Hitler era, telling of his own experiences as a draftee in the Wehrmacht (thought he was a Catholic pacifist) and as a prisoner of war. Better, a character says in a kind of summing-up, to be "a dead Jew than a live German." If the lesser pieces are forgettably slight, overall the writer's distinctive virtues prevail: his wide culture and cultivated intelligence; his gift for parable and fable; his humane sensibility and eye for the mindless cruelties and desolations of war. And, perhaps above all, his talentas a character remarks, "for turning everything into a symbolic event." February 28
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Until his recent death, Boll was the preeminent chronicler of Germany's agonizing rebirth in the latter 20th century. His writings pick at his country's freshly healed wounds, examining the alienation he and his fellow Germans shared both during and after the war. Renowned for his novels and honored with the Nobel Prize, Boll also transmuted his experiences into numerous short stories that rank among the genre's finest. Presented here are sixty-two of these gems and five novellas in an important volume displaying the growth of writer and country from war's dark tragedy to peace's black humor. Fifteen of these stories are translated into English for the first time from their original German, and as always Vennewitz's translation is outstanding. This is essential for all European literature collections. Paul E. Hutchison, English Dept., Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Turnbull on November 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
A fantastic collection. Boll shows a beautiful touch in presenting the horror of WWII and its aftermath. The story "Stranger bear word to the Spartans..." alone is worth the cover price, and it's only 5 of the 400+ pages. Do yourself a favor and buy this book. It will introduce you to one of the finest writers of the 20th century.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 7, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent introduction to Heinrich Boll's writing. It contains many excellent short stories, some of which reveal a delightfully humorous side of Boll, and several novellas, including 'The Train was on Time' and 'A Soldier's Legacy'. If you buy just one book by Heinrich Boll, make it this one. You will be well rewarded by the rich and varied collection found within.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Beppo on September 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
How many author could possibly deliver poignant stories within handful of pages as Heinrich Boll repeatedly did? There have been only few and unfortunately there isn't any left now. This book is the compilation of most notable stories written by him such as "Children are civilians too" whose accutely realistic backgrond is strangely surreal as well as "And where were you , Adam?" one of the most powerful novellas come out of the war;In which,the chapter that describes the death of Ilona delivered such a powerful blow that it almost gives a narcotic effect on me. What I particulary admire about Heinrich Boll is his sympathetic look on so-called "Kleine Mann" (little man). Most of protagonists/narrators of his stories are no other than ordinary Landsers ( ordinary Wehrmacht soldiers like Boll himself),refugees, and civilians whose destiny and often tragic deaths are not consequence of thier acts but played by ones beyond their comprehension . Boll never tried to delve into searching for the causality of the war and it's tragic outcomes. The futile efforts that makes a writer neglect the sufferings of ordinary people.
With superb translation, the book will grip anyone's attention and shows the mastery of Boll's story telling.
Highly recommended if you can find the book
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