The Clown by Heinrich Boll
(The Essential Heinrich Boll)

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Synopsis

Acclaimed entertainer Hans Schneir collapses when his beloved Marie leaves him because he won’t marry her within the Catholic Church. The desertion triggers a searing re-examination of his life—the loss of his sister during the war, the demands of his millionaire father and the hypocrisies of his mother, who first fought to “save” Germany from the Jews, then worked for “reconciliation”
afterwards.

Heinrich Böll’s gripping consideration of how to overcome guilt and live up to idealism—how to find something to believe in—gives stirring evidence of why he was such an unwelcome presence in post-War German consciousness . . . and why he was such a necessary one.
 

About Heinrich Boll

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Although Heinrich Boll had won three literary prizes in Germany and had had earlier novels in translation published in the United States, it was not until Billiards at Half-Past Nine (1959) that he became established abroad as one of the most important German novelists since World War II. The son of a sculptor, Boll was born in Cologne. He was drafted into military service in 1938 shortly after he finished his schooling and served several years in the infantry before his demobilization in 1945. The Clown (1963), the story of the antihero who cannot succeed in spite of his efforts, is intensely cynical about modern Germany in a lighthearted way. In Absent Without Leave (1964) and Enter and Exit, Boll turns the German soldier into a portrait of every soldier. Critics have compared Boll to Thomas Mann at his peak as an uncompromising foe of conventionality as well as a writer who put narrative ahead of experimentation. In The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (1974), Boll continues to focus on modern German society and the destructive possibilities latent in it. In the 1960s and 1970s, Boll became involved in the German peace movement and in the effort to stop the deployment of U.S. nuclear missiles on West German soil. Boll died in 1985.
 
Published December 15, 2010 by Melville House. 258 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, Comics & Graphic Novels, Action & Adventure, Travel. Non-fiction

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