The Train Was On Time by Heinrich Boll
(The Essential Heinrich Boll)

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Heinrich Böll’s taut and haunting first novel tells the story of twenty-four-year-old Private Andreas as he journeys on a troop train across the German countryside to the Eastern front. Trapped, he knows that Hitler has already lost the war ... yet he is suddenly galvanized by the thought that he is on the way to his death.
As the train hurtles on, he riffs through prayers and memories, talks with other soldiers about what they’ve been through, and gazes desperately out the window at his country racing away. With mounting suspense, Andreas is gripped by one thought over all: Is there a way to defy his fate?

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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 April 5, 2011 by Melville House. 144 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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