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1. The Stories of Heinrich Böll
2. The Clown (Classic, 20th-Century,
3. The Train Was on Time (European
4. Der Zug War Punktlich (German
5. The Narrative Fiction of Heinrich
6. Irisches Tagebuch. Großdruck.
7. Heinrich Böll.
8. Erzählungen
9. Interpretationen: Heinrich Böll:
10. Der Mann mit den Messern: Erzählungen
11. Heinrich Böll als Moralist: Die
12. Das Heinrich Böll Lesebuch.
13. Heinrich Böll (Twayne's World
14. Der andere Deutsche: Heinrich
15. On the Rationality of Poetry:
16. Mehr als ein Dichter. Über Heinrich
17. Pen: H. G. Wells, George Bernard
18. The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum
19. Irisches Tagebuch
20. Das Brot der frühen Jahre. Ein

1. The Stories of Heinrich Böll
by Heinrich Böll
Hardcover: 685 Pages (1986-02-12)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$21.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 039451405X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Heinrich Boll wasa natural story teller
How many author could possibly deliverpoignant 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

5-0 out of 5 stars Heinrich Boll is a story teller.
What an amazing collection of short stories.Heinrich Boll gives a revealing look into WWII from a German soldier's point of view.Heinrich Boll was a German soldier.Heinrich Boll tells a great story.He is a human being.He grew up and was who he was and now he leaves behind stories.My personal favorites are: 'Parting', 'At the Bridge', 'In the Darkness', 'Stranger, Bear Word to the Spartans We..', and 'A Soldier's Legacy'.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tremendous
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 the400+ pages. Do yourself a favor and buy this book. It will introduce you toone of the finest writers of the 20th century.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
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. ... Read more

2. The Clown (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin)
by Heinrich Böll
Paperback: 272 Pages (1994-06-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$15.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 014018726X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Individual vs. The State (or The Church)
Heinrich Böll (1917-1985) was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1972.I have the impression that he is one of the more deprecated Nobel laureates, one of those most frequently cited as undeserving.I believe, however, that he can stand with the last three Prize winners (Lessing, Le Clézio, and Mûller).I also think that THE CLOWN, though not great literature, is worthy of a Nobel laureate.

The narrator is Hans Schnier.He introduces himself as follows:"I am a clown, official description: comedian, no church affiliation, twenty-seven years old * * *."(That is as straightforward as his narration ever is.)Hans is the estranged son of a wealthy German family.As WWII came to an end, his parents sent off his older sister Henrietta, then 16 years old, to join an anti-aircraft crew; she never returned.About age 20, Hans ran off with Marie, who came from a working-class background.Hans refused to marry Marie, in large part because she wanted to be married in the Catholic Church and he could not bring himself to guarantee that their children would be raised Catholic.For about six years they traveled from city to city in Germany as Hans plied his trade as a mime or clown.As the novel begins, Marie has left Hans, he has taken to drink, he has allowed his performances to deteriorate to the point that he has become the laughingstock of the critics, and he has returned to his hometown of Bonn, flat broke.The novel consists of a compressed time frame of one evening as Hans phones around to family and acquaintances trying to raise some money, interspersed with flashbacks to moments from the past and with Hans's frequent diatribes.

One of the themes in THE CLOWN, which was published in 1963, has to do with the repression of the Nazi past in then-contemporary German politics and society.For example, when Hans calls home, the phone is answered by his mother, who had been a staunch supporter of the Nazis, willingly sending her daughter to help defend the Reich.Now she answers the phone, "Executive Committee of the Societies for the Reconciliation of Racial Differences."Hans is offended, and asks to speak to her daughter (the long-missing Henrietta).His mother responds, "I suppose you can never forget that, can you?"Hans replies:"Forget?Ought I to, Mother?"Hans/Böll cannot forget the Nazis and what they did, both large and small.Meanwhile, many other former Nazi supporters are now being lauded as champions of liberal democracy.For Böll, this was a familiar theme, a hobbyhorse of sorts, and my guess is that it was primarily due to this motif in his writings that Böll was deemed politically worthy of the Nobel Prize.

But the more prominent theme of THE CLOWN has to do with the institutionalization of morality.This theme is played out primarily in the context of a group of earnest Catholic activists, who, at least as Hans sees matters, scuttled his union with Marie.They brainwashed Marie with "metaphysical horrors" and "principles of order," so that she finally turned away from Hans to take up with another earnest Catholic, Heribert Zûpfner. Hans then sees himself as "a kind of opposite number to Henry the Eighth: he had been polygamous and a believer, I was monogamous and an unbeliever."Böll's critique of the "liberal" German branch of the Catholic Church is scathing.More broadly, his target is people who adopt the values and morals of an institutional group, whether religious or political in nature, rather than exercise their own personal conscience.

And there is more.For instance, through the figure of Hans's father Böll has much to say about the absurdities and inherent immorality of capitalism and the acquisition of wealth for its own sake.THE CLOWN is a fecund and provocative novel.What complicates it, and paradoxically rescues it from becoming some sort of screed, is its unreliable narrator.

I first read the novel about 35 years ago.I find it still worth reading, despite its being addressed to strains of society prevalent in 1960's West Germany.Indeed, it is not difficult to find in today's United States analogous movements to institutionalize morality and to revise, or sanitize, history.(Note:I understand that in 1985 Böll wrote an epilogue to THE CLOWN.My copy of the book was published in 1971, so I have not read Böll's epilogue.)

2-0 out of 5 stars Strange book from a strange guy
This book is a little strange, Heinrich Böll seems to me to be a somewhat strange man. Anyway the book is about the nazis, the cathologic religion and love. The main character Hans seems to always be in conflict with everyone. But he is quite outspoken, for one example he is playing with some Hitler jugend in nazi Germany and then he exclaimingly call them nazi-swine! Now that's kind of bold isn't it? This book reminded me about some of the works by Georges Bataille, in it's irrational selfdestructiveness.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have read
I have read several other reviews, and I had a different take on this book. To me, the book is first and foremost a romance, a tale of lost love, like The Great Gatsby or Lolita. Like both those novels it shows the flaw of devoting your entire life to one romantic love, because no relationship is perfect, but perfect romance demands nothing less. In all three books the heroes find out what happens if, like in the T. S. Eliott poem, the woman says, "That is not it, at all."

Meanwhile, the side issues of his profession, his relationship with his family, and the society around him are brilliantly and imaginatively illustrated, with many great details. He calls his mother and his attitude towards her changes when she answers the telephone in her "comittee voice". Our hero's powerful imagination allows him to smell things over the phone. The book is full of a thousand great details like that, and a dozen wonderful characters, kind and cruel, all of them real, and great comments on professionalism and family and life. I think people make too much of the setting in post world war II Germany, frankly, the same way that they say The Great Gatsby is about the roaring 20's. The story is a romance told so brilliantly that it highlights and makes comments on the setting, but the story is about the romance, and love, and it is a great book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Die Kriegsheucherleianklage
I made that word up, in the honorable German tradition of patching words together as if they thus existed as a single entity, a 'Ding an sich.' The three component words are: War Hypocrisy Accusation. If I've understood this furious book correctly, that's what it amounts to. I read it in German - Ansichten eines Clowns - in a yellowed old paperback that's been waiting for my attention for at least twenty years, but Böll's writing style is blunt and I'm sure it would be just as blunt in an English translation.

Clowns, dwarfs, agoraphobic pianists, incarcerated juvenile sociopaths: the first-person narrators of German novelists of the post-war generation have a lot in common, which is to say, their anomie. In Böll's version, Hans Schnier is the clown, and an embittered alienated vengeful Pagliacci he is! Most of his bitterness is directed at two targets: his wealthy family and their circle of war-cronies now eluding the truth about themselves, and the German Catholic 'hypocrites' who have so willingly exploited the post-war blend of economic recovery and spiritual depression. Hans's non-ritualized marriage has failed; his Marie has run away with a prominent Catholic figure. Hans has taken to booze. Most of the narration depicts him moping in his empty apartment in Bonn, calling his old friends and relations to ask for help in conversations that inevitably dissolve into accusations and confrontations. Hans himself is the only real character in his narration; all the others are seen by the reader only through Hans's bloodshot eyes, yet all of them have the sort of ugly plausibility of faces in a painting by Max Beckmann. One might expect such a story to end with suicide, as Hans's recollections of his earlier life become more and more fragmented and frenzied. In short, this is not a cozy novel to read at the beach, in any language.

It's interesting, in a grim way, to note that current American fiction has turned to narration by characters who are outsiders: autistic, demented, of limited intelligence, drugged, defiled in one way or another. Shall I invent another German compound word? How about "Selbstgerechtschuldgefühlanklage"? (PS: see correction in comments below. "Selbstgerechtigkeitsschuldgefühlanklage mit Schlag, bitte!)

Many of my German acquaintances are skeptical of Heinrich Böll, and I wonder why. Possibly it's the danger of being awarded the Nobel Prize, and being perceived as not quite worthy of it. Certainly German Catholics must feel viciously targeted by this novel, though it's fair to say that the Clown is just as contemptuous of other faiths, including Leftism, as of Catholicism. There's a nasty negativity in this book that anyone might prefer to reject, although it's devastatingly justified. I'd love to hear other reactions to this book, especially from German readers.

Americans! If this review prompts you to read Heinrich Böll, one thing I'll request of you: don't read The Clown as simply a depiction of the anxieties of post-war German society. Take it to heart. Like a performance of Hamlet in modern clothing, The Clown could easily be rewritten as a contemporary tragedy.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book and more timely than ever
I read this book years ago (on a plane ride) and it has stayed with me as few other books have.It cuts to the heart of something that is wrong with our culture, maybe with all of our civilization; specifically, I mean the habitual hypocrisy and the over-riding need to self-rationalize.Of course, this theme has been treated before, but I have never seen it done with the simplicity and eloquence with which it is done here.

The story is perfect somehow: a woman leaves her husband, a decent man (the narrator), for someone who is more powerful within the Catholic Church, the same Church that ostensibly preaches "blessed are those who are meek for they shall inherit the earth."By focusing on these smaller acts of injustice and hypocrisy (rather than on the overwhelming horrors of Nazi Germany), Boll brings what happened in Germany into a focus that I had never seen before.

When I hear George Bush talk about "spreading freedom" while suppressingdemocracy at home or condemn "evil doers" while condoning torture, I think of this book.It captures the emptiness at the heart of the mealy-mouthed pieties that afflict our civilization with a economy and grace that is unique. ... Read more

3. The Train Was on Time (European Classics)
by Heinrich Böll
 Paperback: 110 Pages (1994-04-27)
list price: US$12.00 -- used & new: US$19.95
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Asin: 0810111233
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (6)

2-0 out of 5 stars Boll at his best
This is an ok read. It's a somewhat feverish account about a german soldier on a train going to the east front in September 1944. The troops on the train are divided in two camps, those who says that of course Hitler will win the war and those who knows that the war is lost. The I persona of the account knows that he is soon going to die. And inside he prays for himeself and others, apparently he is christian. There is also a love story he has with a prositute, which somewhat reminded me about White Nights by Dostojevskij.

3-0 out of 5 stars A short story- - - s t retched
Not a novel with a good story line,character development,visual scenes,humor,etc.Most of the book consists of mental gymnastics over expecting death soon.After a hundred pages of this one is left with wondering if this is ever going anywhere and finally all wraps up in a few pages.So, its a classic and with all its mental gymnastics,can probably provide lots of inconclusive discussion fodder.It reminds me of the stuff we were subjected to in school which turned so many of us off.If you like this sort of stuff,great. If not,don't be too influenced by classics,prize winners,best sellers,etc. There's a whole world of books out there,whatever your taste,go find them and enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Der Zug war pünktlich
I had to read this for a senior-level university class on the wars of the Twentieth Century.I read it originally in English, although I have since re-read it in the original German.I remember very clearly the day I sat down to read it.I had to read it and its companion novel, "Where were you, Adam?", and I was running behind on my reading.I had just finished the first novel, and I sat down to read the second novel-only 110 pages.And something happened that rarely happens to me reading:I was so affected that I cried.I sobbed through a good half of it...

The story is of a young German soldier who leaves Paris on a train on a Wednesday in September of 1943 and he is absolutely positive he will die on Sunday at 6:00am.He has numerous opportunities to leave the train (on pain of court-martial, of course), and yet he cannot and will not.He feels powerless to resist his fate.

Heinrich Böll was a master.And, while this is not one of his more famous novels, it is splendid.I strongly encourage you to pick this one up.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tragic Postwar Delicacy
I started reading this book for a project in my high school German class, and finished it while I was traveling in Europe.it's very short, and shouldn't take more than a day to read-my mom claims it took less than two hours-but it took me a while, for whatever reason.Anyways, I highly recommend this book.The bleak, wartime images that Böll conjurs up stick with the reader long after finishing the book;I read it over a year ago, and certain lines and pictures still run through my head.

Wolfgang Borchert and Erich Remarque get more press as German postwar authors, but Heinrich Böll, with this book, deserves attention.Read it- despite the bleak subject matter, it's fun, and even funny at parts.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enter The Twilight Zone
This is a remarkable book that is only about 100 pages long.The author, Heinrich Boll, won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1972.It's clear as to why he won the Prize after reading this book.It's a well-written European Classic.I forget how I discovered it.I think I saw it listed as required reading for a Literature class somewhere in New York.It's about a German Soldier and his adventure on a train as he envisions and wonders how he will die.The 'Twilight Zone' ending comes only too SOON.Great book with some great lines...like the one that reminded me that life is beautiful and that cheese, white wine, bread and cookies make for a glorious meal.It's true.I tried the simplicity of this glorious meal, today, on this summer afternoon of June 23,2001. ... Read more

4. Der Zug War Punktlich (German Edition)
by Heinrich Böll
Paperback: 123 Pages (2004-12)
list price: US$23.95 -- used & new: US$9.25
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Asin: 3423008180
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Der Zug war Puenktlich
Dieses Buch war sehr kurzweilig zu lesen! Man muss es einfach lesen! Eine erbitterte Anklage gegen den Krieg, und auch eine Liebesgeschichte. ... Read more

5. The Narrative Fiction of Heinrich Böll: Social Conscience and Literary Achievement (Cambridge Studies in German)
 Hardcover: 296 Pages (1995-01-27)
list price: US$59.95
Isbn: 0521465389
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This book is a comprehensive study of the narrative fiction of Heinrich Böll (1917-1985). Böll's first published stories date from 1947, and his was one of the first original voices to emerge from the physical and moral devastation left by the collapse of Hitler's Germany. Twenty-five years later he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, and at his death in 1985 he was the best-known and most controversial writer of his generation. Attacked and admired in equal measure, he was widely acknowledged as the uncomfortable and uncompromising 'conscience of the nation'. This new study assesses Böll's creative achievement in the context of the society which helped to shape it, referring frequently to his essays, speeches and interviews where these throw light on his moral, aesthetic and political preoccupations. The analysis reveals the work of a conservative moralist and constantly embattled intellectual, who developed into a writer of European stature. ... Read more

6. Irisches Tagebuch. Großdruck.
by Heinrich Böll
 Hardcover: Pages (2002-10-01)
-- used & new: US$50.17
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Asin: 3598800010
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7. Heinrich Böll.
by Viktor Böll, Markus Schäfer, Jochen Schubert
Paperback: 192 Pages (2002-10-01)
-- used & new: US$11.53
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Asin: 3423310634
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8. Erzählungen
by Heinrich Böll
Hardcover: 560 Pages (2006-02-28)

Isbn: 3462036971
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9. Interpretationen: Heinrich Böll: Romane und Erzählungen (Lernmaterialen; Universal-Bibliothek, Nr. 17514)
by Werner Bellmann
Paperback: 300 Pages (2000-12-01)
-- used & new: US$8.59
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Asin: 3150175143
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10. Der Mann mit den Messern: Erzählungen (Universal-Bibliothek, Nr. 8287) (German Edition)
by Heinrich Böll
Paperback: 80 Pages (1972)
-- used & new: US$3.24
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Asin: 3150082870
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11. Heinrich Böll als Moralist: Die Funktion von Verbrechen und Gewalt in seinen Prosawerken
by Lawrence F. Glatz
 Hardcover: 329 Pages (1999-11)
list price: US$58.95 -- used & new: US$58.95
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Asin: 0820440280
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Heinrich Bll wird mit Recht als Moralist bezeichnet. Das Thema von Verbrechen und Gewalt, das eine zentrale Funktion in seinen Prosawerken einnimmt, wurde aber bis jetzt nicht gebhrend analysiert. Diese Untersuchung zeigt wichtige Zusammenhnge zwischen den essayistischen und den fiktiven Schriften in bezug auf Verbrechen und Gewalt. Bll stellt Verbrechen und Gewalt hauptschlich in der Form eindrucksvoller Erinnerungen dar, in denen die wahre, moralisch berlegene Natur seiner Menschen ans Licht kommt. Diese primre Funktion widerspricht nicht seiner positiven Darstellung gewisser krimineller Taten, die vom Staat als kriminell bezeichnet werden, aber fr Bll legitime Formen des Widerstands und des Protests sind. Dieses Buch dient dem Verstndnis der Charakterisierung Blls als Moralisten und trgt zu einer Klrung seines ambivalenten literarischen Vermchtnisses bei. ... Read more

12. Das Heinrich Böll Lesebuch.
by Heinrich Böll, Viktor Böll
Paperback: 320 Pages (2002-11-01)
-- used & new: US$35.89
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Asin: 3423130164
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13. Heinrich Böll (Twayne's World Author Series, No. 622, Germany)
by Robert C. Conard
 Hardcover: 228 Pages (1981)

Isbn: 080576464X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Heinrich Boll
Although Heinrich Boll was the most widely read author in the post war Germany, he was barely known in the United States.Boll is a natural story teller and there are not many authors in literary history could convery poignancy within a handful of page as Boll did. This work by Prof. Conrad delivers brief biography, leitmotive of his work, criticism and reception of his work in the post WW II Germany.

As the author succeeds to show Boll was highly critical and even strongly comdemnatory for war, fascism and the post ww II economic miracle ,namely ignited by the currency reform in 1948 that , according to Boll, directly or inadvertently made Western Germany as historically amnestic.

If you read one of the compilations of his short stories published by North Western University press , you may prematurely conclude that Boll was preoccupied with the WW II and its immediate aftermath. Yet, as the author of this work shows , Boll showed remarkable versatility in light of target of his social criticism. the author successfuly and cogently captures the vissicitude of Boll stance toward Catholic church and christianity from a Christian existentialist to a Christian socialist.

It is a relatively short introduction of Boll's work and because of it is rather superannuated , it did not show posthumously published Boll's works such as the silent angel and his juvenelia Youth on fire . That's probably reason that I give 4 stars . otherwise , it is a very good introduction of the Germany's greatest postwar writer. ... Read more

14. Der andere Deutsche: Heinrich Böll: Eine Biographie. (German Edition)
by Heinrich Vormweg
Paperback: 416 Pages (2002-10-01)
-- used & new: US$34.70
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Asin: 3462031716
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15. On the Rationality of Poetry: Heinrich Böll's Aesthetic Thinking (Amsterdamer Publikationen zur Sprache und Literatur)
by Frank Finlay
Paperback: 284 Pages (1996-01)
list price: US$50.00 -- used & new: US$50.00
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Asin: 9051839898
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This study explores Heinrich BÖll's 'aesthetic thinking', as it is expressed in the author's disparate and voluminous writings on literature. BÖll's work in this field is situated in the multi-faceted context of social, political, and cultural developments in post-war Germany, and is shown to be an important adjunct to the novels and stories which were honoured with the Nobel Prize for Literature.
An understanding of Heinrich BÖll's 'aesthetic thinking' can illuminate the writer's fiction in an intriguing way. In particular, BÖll's defence of the 'rationality of poetry' raises issues which reverberate in continuing debates on the social validity of literature. ... Read more

16. Mehr als ein Dichter. Über Heinrich Böll.
by Marcel Reich-Ranicki
Paperback: 128 Pages (1994-08-01)
-- used & new: US$9.09
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Asin: 3423119071
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17. Pen: H. G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Arthur Miller, John Galsworthy, Joseph Conrad, Heinrich Böll, John Ralston Saul, Liu Xiaobo
Paperback: 140 Pages (2010-09-15)
list price: US$22.81 -- used & new: US$20.52
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Asin: 1156097045
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Chapters: H. G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Arthur Miller, John Galsworthy, Joseph Conrad, Heinrich Böll, John Ralston Saul, Liu Xiaobo, Alberto Moravia, Elizabeth Craig, International Pen, Homero Aridjis, Pen American Center, Pen Canada, Catherine Amy Dawson Scott, Jiří Gruša, Kurdish Pen. Source: Wikipedia. Pages: 138. Not illustrated. Free updates online. Purchase includes a free trial membership in the publisher's book club where you can select from more than a million books without charge. Excerpt:Alberto Moravia.Alberto Moravia , born Alberto Pincherle (November 28, 1907 September 26, 1990) was an Italian novelist . His novels explored matters of modern sexuality, social alienation, and existentialism .He is best known for his debut novel Gli indifferenti (published in 1929), and for the anti-fascist novel Il Conformista (The Conformist ), the basis for the film The Conformist (1970) by Bernardo Bertolucci . Other novels of his translated to the cinema are Il Disprezzo (A Ghost at Noon or Contempt ) filmed by Jean-Luc Godard as Le Mépris (Contempt ) (1963); La Noia (Boredom ), filmed with that title by Damiano Damiani in 1963 and released in the US as The Empty Canvas in 1964; and La Ciociara filmed by Vittorio de Sica as Two Women (1960). Cedric Kahn 's L'Ennui (1998) is another version of La Noia .Biography Early years Alberto Pincherle (the pen-name "Moravia" is the surname of his maternal grandfather) was born on Via Sgambati in Rome, Italy, to a wealthy middle-class family. His Jewish father, Carlo, was an architect and a painter. His Catholic mother, Teresa Iginia de Marsanich, was from Ancona , but of Dalmatian origin. Her brother Augusto De Marsanich , Moravia's uncle, was an undersecretary in the National Fascist Party cabinet.Moravia did not finish conventional schooling because, at the age of nine, he contracted tuberculosis of the bone that confined him to bed for five years. He spent three years at home, and two in a sanatorium at Cortina ... ... Read more

18. The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum : Or How Violence Develops and Where It Can Lead (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics)
by Heinrich Böll
Paperback: 144 Pages (1994-06-01)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$5.00
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Asin: 0140187286
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (12)

2-0 out of 5 stars I am not a fan of Heinrich Böll
This novel has the form of a police report. As usual with Heinrich Böll the subject matter is a confused mixture of religion (Catholic christianity) and left wing politics. The novel is apparently inspired by the political terrorism of the Red Army Faction in the 1970's Western Germany.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum
An interesting fast read, but the translation from German left a choppy incomplete picture of some of the main antagonists in the story. It made a good selection for a book club, but the two movies made from it helped define the characters. I doubt if I will read any of his books again. MP

3-0 out of 5 stars all right, not great
Book is greatly written. The way the author depicts the story one can easily imagine the scenes... long, long sentences that sounds as someone is talking to you. It is a convoluted story, many angles, many names to keep straight.. in the end? not that great of a story, nevertheless... not too bad..

4-0 out of 5 stars The right of the press to pander vs. the right of the individual to privacy or, at a minimum, accurate reporting
Heinrich Boll (d. 1985) was one of the three greatest German novelists (along with Gunter Grass and W.G. Sebald) of the latter half of the 20th Century.This novella was initially published in serialized form in "Der Spiegel" in 1974.Boll wrote it midst public controversy in Germany over the reporting of political violence by a large-circulation newspaper, which Boll felt unduly transgressed the rights of individuals in a liberal democracy.

Katharina Blum is an attractive young woman with a strong sense of honor trying to make a living, independently, in the restaurant/catering field and taking care of the homes of affluent professionals.She is the epitome of the capitalistic ethic, a young woman from a working-class background attempting to secure for herself a comfortable petty bourgeois existence.By happenstance, she ends up entertaining, as a romantic interest, a fugitive who, unbeknownst to her, is suspected (wrongly) of terroristic activities.She is ensnared in the investigation, and then spotlighted and hounded by the large-circulation newspaper (the "News").The newspaper cloaks itself in the familiar homilies of a free press, but in actuality it wallows in the gutter of yellow journalism, and by the end of the novella it has sullied Katharina Blum, indirectly killed her aged and ill mother, damaged the lives of several unassuming friends of hers, and precipitated other unforeseen violence.

In addition to its critique of sensationalistic, irresponsible journalism, THE LOST HONOR OF KATHARINA BLUM also attacks the media's intrusion on individual privacy.Other themes or issues are wire-tapping, sexual harassment of attractive and socially vulnerable young women, the undue influence of the wealthy and connected, the hair-trigger readiness to accuse or tar someone as a communist, and Germany's repression of anything relating to Nazism.

Boll writes the novella as an after-the-fact account or report (although it is not presented in chronological order).The style is rather dry and almost dead-pan at times, and Boll takes pains to carefully parse words and meanings and to be meticulous in word choice, in marked contrast to the reporting of the "News."The account is compelling; despite some stylistic quirks, the book quickly draws in the reader and is difficult to drop until finished.THE LOST HONOR OF KATHARINA BLUM is not great literature, but it is literature with a social conscience, it transcends the particular circumstances that prompted its initial publication, and its heroine is an especially memorable one.

3-0 out of 5 stars You can put your sympathy right back in the fridge where you keep all the rest of your feelings
A young woman's life is sullied by the tabloid press, when she gets caught up in a heady one-night love affair with a wanted criminal. After experiencing first-hand how the press can twist and turn and mess up lives, she calculatedly kills the reporter who destroyed her existence.
The dry reporting style, which switches viewpoint with rapid ease (to imply how pathetic justifications by many of the characters were), did not make it a page turner for me, but assisted greatly in reinforcing the message contained within the narrrative. However, I could not divorce myself from the impression that the author, through the narrator, was telling this story to make a statement, and that Katharina was merely symbolic for the state of a society and what people may do to one another to save their own reputation and hide. Hence I was never completely absorbed by the narrative, ever conscious of its purpose and its message.
A lift for the book: the irony in some of the one-liners, such as the one I used for introduction to this book. Who knows when that one may come in handy... ... Read more

19. Irisches Tagebuch
by Heinrich Böll
Hardcover: 194 Pages (2007-03-31)

Isbn: 3462037978
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20. Das Brot der frühen Jahre. Ein Übungsbuch für Fehlsichtige.
by Heinrich Böll
Hardcover: 121 Pages (2003-05-01)
-- used & new: US$15.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3462031864
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