All for Nothing

All for Nothing

Book - 2018
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The last novel by one of Germany's most important postwar writers, All for Nothing was published in Germany in 2006, just before Walter Kempowski's death. It describes with matter-of-fact clarity and acuity, and a roving point of view, the atmosphere in East Prussia during the winter of 1944-1945 as the German forces are in retreat and the Red Army approaches. The von Globig family's manor house, the Georgenhof, is falling into a state of 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-yearold son, Peter. As the road beside the house fills with Germans fleeing the occupied territories, the Georgenhof receives strange visitors--a Nazi violinist, a dissident painter, a Baltic baron, even a Jewish refugee--but life continues in the main as banal, wondrous, and complicit as ever for the main characters, until their caution, their hedged bets and provisions, their wondering, and their denial are answered by the wholly expected events they haven't allowed themselves to imagine.
Publisher: New York : New York Review Books, [2018].
ISBN: 9781681372051
Characteristics: xiv, 343 pages ; 21 cm.


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Jan 03, 2019

Recommended by New Yorker.

Apr 01, 2017

1945, East Germany. Russian invasion imminent. A family of somewhat down-at-the-heels aristocrats deny the inevitable defeat of Germany. Everyone is a thief. Everyone is complicit. The book evokes the atmosphere of the end of the Third Reich very well.

Oct 17, 2016

Gripping story in slow motion. Some fates seem unavoidable if they find you in the wrong place at the wrong time. Leave or not leave does not seem to matter unless you can hide from both old and new occupiers.


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