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Count Luna

Count Luna

By Alexander Lernet-Holenia
Translated from the German by Jane B. Greene

"No one could predict the trajectory of phases—from illumination to horror—of Lernet-Holenia's Count Luna. I hyperventilated as it ended and remain astounded. What cinematic poetry!"—Patti Smith

"Masterly: expertly handled, leading to a wholly unexpected conclusion"—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Dauntless panache, fast-moving, cleverly convoluted, terrific."—Eileen Battersby, Irish Times

A phosphorescent thriller, twisted comedy, and softly keening death song, Count Luna starts precipitously and then accelerates. Almost as in a police procedural, the novel opens in 1950s Rome with the search for an Austrian aristocrat who has vanished into the catacombs. But the story begins earlier, during WWII, when the rich Alexander Jessiersky finds himself inadvertently involved in sending a certain Count Luna to a Nazi concentration camp. After the war, and after a series of mysterious events, Jessiersky becomes convinced that Luna has survived and is seeking revenge. Massively paranoid, he decides to hunt Luna down—and in years-long chase after the spectral count finally takes him deep into the netherworld of the catacombs...and beyond.

Paperback
192 pages
5.2 x 8.1 inches
New Directions, 2020
Originally published in 1955
ISBN 9780811229616
Historical Fiction, World War II, Mystery

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