All for Nothing

All for Nothing

eBook - 2018
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A wealthy family tries--and fails--to seal themselves off from the chaos of post-World War II life surrounding them in this stunning novel by one of Germany's most important post-war writers.

In East Prussia, January 1945, the German forces are in retreat and the Red Army is approaching. The von Globig family's manor house, the Georgenhof, is falling into disrepair. Auntie runs the estate as best she can since Eberhard von Globig, a special officer in the German army, went to war, leaving behind his beautiful but vague wife, Katharina, and her bookish twelve-year-old son, Peter. As the road fills with Germans fleeing the occupied territories, the Georgenhof begins to receive strange visitors--a Nazi violinist, a dissident painter, a Baltic baron, even a Jewish refugee. Yet in the main, life continues as banal, wondrous, and complicit as ever for the family, until their caution, their hedged bets, and their denial are answered by the wholly expected events they haven't allowed themselves to imagine.

All for Nothing , published in 2006, was the last novel by Walter Kempowski, one of postwar Germany's most acclaimed and popular writers.
Publisher: New York Review of Books,, 2018
ISBN: 9781681372068
1681372061
Call Number: EBOOK AXIS 360
Characteristics: text file,rda
1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Baker & Taylor Axis 360

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His topic, like W. G. Sebald's, is Germany during and after WWII. His style is offhand, from the point of view of a twelve-year-old boy, yet very engaging. I felt like I was in the room with the characters and on the road with the German refugees. This novel is set in 1945 when Kempowski and his family endured the horror of war.
Kempowski ("Peter" in this novel), was a German national, who escaped the Nazis but not the Soviets (although this book ends before the Soviet episode, which is part of the author's actual life: eight years in prison for "conspiring" with the Americans).
Translated by Anthea Bell, who also translated W. G. Sebald.

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