The Death of the Adversary by Hans Keilson
A Novel

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Synopsis

Written while Hans Keilson was in hiding during World War II, The Death of the Adversary is the self-portrait of a young man helplessly fascinated by an unnamed "adversary" whom he watches rise to power in 1930s Germany. It is a tale of horror, not only in its evocation of Hitler's gathering menace but also in its hero's desperate attempt to discover logic where none exists. A psychological fable as wry and haunting as Badenheim 1939, The Death of the Adversary is a lost classic of modern fiction.

 

About Hans Keilson

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Hans Keilson is the author of Comedy in a Minor Key. Born in Germany in 1909, he published his first novel in 1933. During World War II he joined the Dutch resistance. Later, as a psychotherapist, he pioneered the treatment of war trauma in children. In a 2010 New York Times review, Francine Prose called Keilson a “genius” and “one of the world’s very greatest writers.” He died in 2011 at the age of 101.
 
Published July 14, 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 208 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Death of the Adversary

Kirkus Reviews

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The framing of the novel suggests that these pages are being read years after they were written, and written years after the events recounted, but such distance doesn’t render the narrative any less vivid: “In the middle of a sentence, in the middle of the debate with his adversary, he began to s...

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The New York Times

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For busy, harried or distractible readers who have the time and energy only to skim the opening paragraph of a review, I’ll say this as quickly and clearly as possible: “The Death of the Adversary” and “Comedy in a Minor Key” are masterpieces, and Hans Keilson is a genius.

Aug 05 2010 | Read Full Review of The Death of the Adversary: A...

Los Angeles Times

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The story is amazing: Hans Keilson, born in 1909, is a German Jew who, during World War II, became a member of the Dutch resistance, then a novelist and psychiatrist specializing in the war trauma of children, and is still living, at almost 101, near Amsterdam.

Sep 26 2010 | Read Full Review of The Death of the Adversary: A...

The Telegraph

No lover could have spoken “more possessively of the object of his love” than Hitler did of the Jews, says the narrator.

May 20 2011 | Read Full Review of The Death of the Adversary: A...

Suite 101

The article describes how colour can be used as a means of revealing hidden patterns within text - such as the works of Shakespeare.

Dec 09 2010 | Read Full Review of The Death of the Adversary: A...

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

In The Death of the Adversary – poised on the brink of what soon will be one of the world’s most horrific tragedies – an unnamed narrator in an unnamed country reflects on an unnamed figure who will soon ascend to power.

Oct 22 2010 | Read Full Review of The Death of the Adversary: A...

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