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Journey to the End of the Night Paperback – May 17, 2006
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“Céline is my Proust!”
- Philip Roth
“This is the novel, perhaps more than any other, that inspired me to write fiction. Céline showed me that it was possible to convey things that had heretofore seemed inaccessible.”
- Will Self, New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (1894-1961) was a French writer and doctor whose novels are antiheroic visions of human suffering. Accused of collaboration with the Nazis, Céline fled France in 1944 first to Germany and then to Denmark. Condemned by default (1950) in France to one year of imprisonment and declared a national disgrace, Céline returned to France after his pardon in 1951, where he continued to write until his death. His classic books include Journey to the End of the Night, Death on the Installment Plan, London Bridge, North, Rigadoon, Conversations with Professor Y, Castle to Castle, and Normance.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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Voyage au bout de la nuit was originally published in 1932, As a first novel, it was quite successful, and has remained something of a lurking classic. It is loosely auto-biographical. The story runs through Céline's traumatic experiences of WW1, through mostly miserable experiences in tropical Africa and the USA and back to France, where the author-narrator becomes a financially unsuccessful medical doctor in Paris. His style is sometimes choppy, jumping from scene to scene, highly vernacular and often makes use of gross exaggeration. There is a lot of slang - somewhat different from that of today - and I bought this English version to help me through reading the French original. I am a reasonable speaker of French, but there is so much "argot" and unusual colourful expression in this book that there are many passages which I found difficult. Thus I have been able to compare this translation with the original as I go along. It is the only translation I know, and may not be the best, but it certainly captures the flavour of the original. Mostly, the English runs close to the French, but there are many places where the translation is very free: inevitable with a work like this. In these instances, the translator has correctly gone for a view of the woods, rather than the trees. I would definitely recommend this version to anyone who either cannot or does not wish to read the original or whose French, like mine, is not quite good enough to handle it without a crib.
I laughed myself sick in some parts.
i started it late and it took several running starts because of the difficult of the language, but once in, I was had for good. Sorry I lived so many years without it.
It’s pessimistic, brutal, misanthropic and I loved it. Céline takes the reader through the muck and grime of life, straight into the night.
Most recent customer reviews
It was hard to read on as I read it...but after u finish you will love every minute of it