The Casualty

Heinrich Boll, Author, Leila Vennewitz, Translator Farrar Straus Giroux $16.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-374-11967-6
Nobel Prizewinning author Boll (19171985) wrote these stories between 1940 and 1952, focusing on the miseries of the German soldier during World War II and the postwar plight of the ordinary citizen. An almost crazed sense of nightmare warps and heightens the realism of many of the collection's 22 tales. A man becomes fatefully obsessed with the lacy beauty of barbed wire in ""The Cage.'' A sentry pacing a French village in ``Vive la France'' feels endless time, dark and silence flowing tangibly around him before he shoots his hated drunken lieutenant. The ambitious title story weaves a dark, picaresque account of a 19-year-old soldier, jubilant because of a wound which helike his comradeshas purchased ``to order.'' The others are superficially disabled, but the young soldier carries a surrealistically deep, festering hole in his back. Countless trains carry him toward home through Hungary, where he drinks and riots in the local bars to keep the wound infected. These are rich, stunning tales told by a master. (April 28)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1987
Release date: 04/01/1987
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-393-30599-9
Paperback - 189 pages - 978-0-7012-0847-9
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