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A Small Circus: A Novel

A Small Circus: A Novel

By Hans Fallada
Translated by Michael Hofmann

“This novel's genius...lies in Fallada's ability to reveal..as well as to analyze the macabre game of musical chairs that was the Weimar Republic. Fallada gives us front-row seats to Germany's decade-long quest for a sacrificial scapegoat that culminated in the Nazi takeover....Two years after Alone in Berlin's runaway success, A Small Circus continues the Fallada revival that owes so much to the efforts of its translator, the poet Michael Hofmann.”—André Naffis-Sahely, Independent

“Michael Hofmann...comes as close as possible to giving us Fallada's work in all its coarse, humorous, immediate, tragic glory.”—Charlotte Moore, Spectator

It is summer, 1929, and in a small German town a storm is brewing. The shabby reporter Tredup leads a precarious existence working for the Pomeranian Chronicle - until he takes some photographs that offer the chance to make a fortune. In Kruger's bar, the farmers are plotting their revenge on greedy officials. A mysterious travelling salesman from Berlin, Henning, is stirring up trouble - but no one knows why. Meanwhile the Nazis grow stronger and the Communists fight them in the streets. And at the centre of it all, the Mayor, 'Fatty' Gareis, seeks the easy life even as events spiral beyond his control. As tensions erupt between workers and bosses, town and country, Left and Right, alliances are broken, bribes are taken and plots are hatched, until the tension spills over into violence.

Hans Fallada's raw, darkly humorous account of a town rife with corruption, greed and brutality, first published in 1931, was written as Weimar Germany collapsed around him. It is an extraordinary novel about the failure of governments and the failings of people. Michael Hofmann's brilliant, colloquial translation brings this work of intrigue and foreboding to English readers for the first time.
 

Paperback
592 pages
Arcade Publishing, Reprint edition 2015 
Originally Published in 1931
5.8 x 1.5 x 8.2 inches
ISBN 9781628724325
Historical Fiction

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