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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great GatsbyAlongside The Big Sleep and Wuthering Heights, I was introduced to The Great Gatsby in high school. I wrote an essay about the themes of illusion and reality in both Gatsby and a novel called The Last Resort, which I thoroughly detested. Part of that may have been the incredibly disparity in my instant affection for the former and tedious acceptance of the latter.

Since the first few pages, The Great Gatsby has captivated me like no other novel. It’s followed me through life, giving me a connection and new meaning at almost every turn. Reading it again, I’m back where I began, imagining myself as Gatsby, perhaps through some urge to be the protagonist of my own life, rather than a side character.

Published in 1925, The Great Gatsby was not an instant success, only gaining its status after the author’s death. Following the larger-than-life Jay Gatsby, narrator Nick Carraway describes one summer in 1922 where his and Gatsby’s lives intertwine with tragic consequences.

It almost seems foolish to attempt to review The Great Gatsby, as so much has been written about in the past 90 years. For me, the most enduring reason to praise the novel is the quality of Fitzgerald’s writing. In just over 50,000 words, he creates a great American mythology. Even in just a few hundred pages, no character is underwritten, no image is under-drawn and manage passages take on such lyrical beauty that they might have stretched for ages under the pen of a less-skilled craftsman.

A mysterious and often suspicious character, Gatsby’s story is revealed over the course of the novel through his conversations with Nick and long-lost love for Nick’s cousin Daisy Buchanan. We learn how Gatsby created his own personality, built a life and became rich, all to find a way back to his dream of meeting Daisy again. On the way to trying to recapture the past, he either becomes corrupted or takes on enough rumour that he might as well be.

Sarah Churchwell writes in her essay The Great Gatsby Delusion, “For Fitzgerald, Gatsby’s vast wealth is a sign of the failure of the American dream, not its success.” Its testament to Fitzgerald’s incredible ability that many miss this reading of the novel. With Gatsby, the story reads you as much as you read it. It can give you hope, but it can also teach you that the means you might need for the ends, make the ends impossible to capture. As Fitzgerald writes of Gatsby, “his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it.”

Nevertheless, The Great Gatsby has always given me hope. No matter its message, I have always read it to mean that our dreams are what make us great, not average. It reminds me to dream big, to dream romantic and most of all, just to dream.

The Great Gatsby is one of TIME’s Best 100 Novels, one of The Guardian’s Best 100 Novels and one of Le Monde’s 100 Books of the Century.

About the Author

F. Scott Fitzgerald is widely known for writing The Great Gatsby, often called the best American novel. He is also renowned for his other novels and short stories, chronicling the 1920s.

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Hound of the BaskervillesMore years ago than I like to think about, my dad bought me a complete Sherlock Holmes collection from a bookshop in Newark marketplace. I’ve still got the same book today and return to it every few years, unable to do anything but read each mystery in order. The cover has come off and the font is tiny, but it includes illustrations by Sidney Paget and mimics layouts from The Strand.

The volume seems so dense that it’s countless passages of reason and deduction must spill out into the house at night and slip into my mind. Yet it’s often been The Hound of the Baskervilles that I’ve thought about, with its sense of creeping thrills and unworldly beasts standing alone from the many others. This is parent thanks to Paget’s immaculate work. There’s an image of a man alone on the moor that I see in my mind today just as clear as any of Holme’s great solutions.

The Hound of the Baskervilles is the third full-length Sherlock Holmes novel, following A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four (the latter of which is also on my list to read). It’s also the first story Holmes appeared after his supposed death in The Final Problem, albeit this story is set earlier in his life.

The Hound of the Baskervilles follows Holmes’ investigation into the death of Sir Charles Baskerville, who passed away in circumstances all too similar to a legend that had plagued the Baskervilles for centuries, that of a cursed hell-hound which stalks the men of the family.

Sending Watson to live with the incoming heir, Henry, Holmes sets out to follow a series of seemingly unconnected leads to prove the hound is no immortal spectre but flesh and blood.

Unlike most Holmes stories, with The Hound of the Baskervilles, Doyle puts tone and atmosphere to the forefront. Where most follow a series of unsolvable clues and deductions, Hound takes times to set up characters and a sense of place. There’s a clear influence in every scene set on the moors of Wuthering Heights as the tension a chills build to crescendo.

Perhaps it’s because Doyle has already tried to rid himself of Holmes, but The Hound of the Baskervilles works almost without the famous detective. In fact, for much of the novel, we follow Watson as he attempts to solve the riddle along. As Dauntless Media explain, this “decision also robs the book of the opportunity to watch Holmes and Watson working together”, a key reason the stories had been so poplar.

It almost feels like Doyle is laughing at us by making his most famous Sherlock Holmes book nothing like a Sherlock Holmes book, even down to Holmes’ absence. It’s a testament to the underrated brilliance of Doyle that it’s this novel more than any other he’s remembered for.

The Hound of the Baskervilles is one of Le Monde’s 100 Books of the Century.

About the Author

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is best known as the creator of legendary detective Sherlock Holmes, whom he featured in 4 novels and 56 short stories. Doyle wrote novels beyond Holmes but will always be remembered for his impact on crime writing.

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

For Whom the Bell TollsErnest Hemingway is one of a small class of writers, along with names like Dickens, Austen, and Proust, who can simultaneously terrify and excite a reader. Perhaps most like Jane Austen, we’re often judged not by which of their books we’ve read but whether we’ve read something by them. It’s the mark of a truly great author that one can’t choose a single piece of work, like we might with a Fitzgerald or Salinger.

For me, Hemingway has always been a name that I feared to read. His works seem weighty, almost too highly revered even among “books you must read” lists. The beauty of my reading project is that I must meet head-on writers whose names are new to me as well as those I’ve long avoided tackling through one fear or another.

Published in 1940, For Whom the Bell Tolls is based on Hemingway’s experiences during the Spanish Civil War, which had ended the previous year. Like the earlier A Farewell to Arms, it follows a love story against the backdrop of a major and recent conflict.

For Whom the Bell Tolls tells the story of American Robert Jordan as he fights for guerrillas during the war. Experienced with explosives, Jordan is set to destroy a key bridge but finds the local resistance difficult to work with. He also begins to fall in love with a Spanish girl, Maria, who has lost her family to the fighting.

There are many highlights in this novel, not least of which is enjoying Hemingway’s unique and persuasive style of writing. It sits somewhere between journalism, history and adventure. Yet, no matter how truthful and grounded he writes, Hemingway never forgets the main job of any novel, to entertain. In the hands of a lessor writer, For Whom the Bell Tolls would have been a great adventure story, from Hemingway it’s an epic of war, humanity, love and sacrifice.

In their original review of the novel TIME described For Whom the Bell Tolls as:

1) a great Hemingway love story; 2) a tense story of adventure in war; 3) a grave and sombre tragedy of Spanish peasants fighting for their lives.

This seems to me a fair summary and a clipped-down opinion that Hemingway would have approved of. Unique in my project to date, Hemingway is an author I know that I’ll return to again and again for the sheer quality of his work. The novel is, as all great works are, many things to many people. The discussion around For Whom the Bell Tolls is not whether it’s a masterpiece, but for which of many reasons each reader believes it is.

For Whom the Bell Tolls is one of Le Monde’s 100 Books of the Century

About the Author

Ernest Hemingway was born in 1899 and found fame as a writer of novels, short stories and articles. Hemingway is known for his understated realism as a writer, winning both Nobel and Pulitzer prizes in the 1950s.

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

The Big SleepMuch like my introduction to Tintin, I was first passed a copy of The Big Sleep by a favourite teacher. This time is was well into Secondary School, either GCSE or A Level years and it was my English teacher, Mr Dawson. Beyond my family, he was most responsible for both my love of reading and long-standing dream of writing my own stories.

Following a class reading of The Adventure of the Speckled Band, which I’d read before and was something of a naïve expert on, he brought a copy in and offered it to me as a loan. For some reason, the book sat in my room until he gently reminded me that he’d need it back. Shocked at my forgetfulness, I raced through the pages in a few nights and returned it the same week.

The connection to Sherlock Holmes seemed at once clear and distant. The novel’s detective, Phillip Marlowe, is as determined, intelligent and single-minded as his predecessor. Yet, this was something new too. He was involved in his case like Holmes rarely seemed to be, messing around with victims and suspects. Where Holmes intervened to solve a crime, Marlowe almost seems to propel it forward and wasn’t too bothered with loose ends. Without Mr Dawson and that book loan, I might not have come to appreciate detective fiction’s diversity.

The Big Sleep, I soon learned many years ago, is the first novel to feature Phillip Marlowe. Published in 1939, it builds an a number of Chandler’s many short stories featured in Black Mask. The story follows the Private Detective as he investigates the blackmail of a wealthy family’s wild-child daughter. Before long, Marlowe uncovers much more than he’d being paid to find and the bodies start mounting up.

In truth, the plot of the novel is only marginally relevant. It’s purposefully loose and messy, something Chandler makes no apology for. The real genius is in the atmosphere of mystery, double-dealing and noir that the author builds with every turning page. Perhaps even more so, the flawless characterisation of the deeply flawed central character (even here I hesitate from labelling Marlow as our hero as he’s no such thing, although more riotous than he’d care to admit).

Genius is a strong word but highly used with Chandler, who has long since shaken off any reputation for writing ‘detective fiction’. In his review of the novel, Robert McCrum quotes another literary titan:

The Big Sleep transcends its genre, moving WH Auden to write that Chandler’s thrillers “should be read and judged, not as escape literature, but as works of art”.

Reading The Big Sleep is essential to understanding why we read anything. It’s a mix of pure entertainment, mystery and literary art. There’s a reason its been chosen in top 100 lists by Time, Le Monde and The Guardian. Consider this essay your personal English teacher, reaching out with an opportunity to change how you think about what novels can achieve.

The Big Sleep is one of Time’s Best 100 Novels, one of The Gurdian’s Best 100 Novels and one of Le Monde’s 100 Books of the Century

About the Author

Raymond Chandler was born in 1888 and is best known for popularising ‘hard-boiled’ detective fiction. His lead character Phillip Marlowe is considered the archetypal private detective. Chandler died in 1959.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Little PrinceIt’s almost impossible having now read The Little Prince, but I seem to remember a time before I knew about it. I certainly only read it for the first time recently, but the image of the cover seems to have been with me since before my memories begin.

Like many books, I picked this copy up for next to nothing at a book fair. I’d promised myself one novel from my long list and, despite finding several options, I returned for this one. It seemed so slender and simple that it couldn’t be anything other than a joy to read. So often I find myself skipping over spine after spine, almost overwhelmed by the serious reading to be done that finding a book so enchanting as this was a wonderful surprise.

The Little Prince itself comes from less auspicious beginnings. Its author, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, crashed in the Sahara in 1935 whilst flying a two-man plane to Vietnam. Marooned for four days with his copilot, Saint-Exupery survived the heat and dehydration until rescued by a passing Bedouin. Both experienced hallucinations and mirages before rescue.

Drawing on this experience, the novella is the reminiscence of a Pilot who once crashed in the desert, only to meet the Little Prince of the title. An unusual and unworried figure, the Prince tells the pilot about his journey to Earth from his home planet, where he and a single rose are the only residents.

As he travels through space, the Prince meets all manner of men, each representing typical flaws of what we’re told is “adult” life. He finds a King with no subjects, a businessman endlessly counting stars and, among others, a man eternally lighting and snuffing a lamp. In a few words, it’s clear the absurdity of each of these men and why the Prince continues travelling. In the Pilot, he seems to find something close to a soulmate, sharing a love of childish art and passing on wisdom he has learnt.

The great success of The Little Prince is it’s ability to raise the most dramatic of questions in the simplest ways. Like Animal Farm, it pushes allegory to absurdity yet speaks to children as if it is only they who still have hope of learning from it.

As Adam Gopnik writes in The New Yorker, The Little Prince teaches that “the world conspires to make us blind to its own workings; our real work is to see the world again.” Perhaps it is children, not yet blinded, who have that chance.

The Little Prince is a perfectly judged short novel, mixing childish imagination with intelligent criticism of the world around us and ourselves for accepting it the way it is. Perhaps that’s why it seems to begin before it’s read and endure after its closed. It’s an eternal reminder of who we all are, passed down for over 75 years so far, with much longer to follow.

The Little Prince is one of Le Monde’s 100 Books of the Century

About the Author

Antoine de Saint-Exupery was born in France in 1900. Most famous for The Little Prince, he vanished in 1944 while flying a reconnaissance mission for the Allies. His body was never recovered.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence

Lady Chatterley's LoverLady Chatterley’s Lover was the first novel on my list that came with a stigma attached. I, like many others, had only heard of it in relation to its sexual content and the obscenity trial of the 1960s. Thanks to this, I had low expectations of the story as I imagined that being famous for including a few choice words meant there was little else of merit in the writing.

The book was also the first that I found no great personal connection with. There’s no story or emotion attached to discovering or reading the novel, and no great theme from my life to take from this review. For a novel about passion, the story left me cold.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover was first published in 1928 but an unabridged version wasn’t available in the UK until 1960. A notorious trial began, centred on Lawrence’s language, including fk and ct. The publisher, Penguin, escaped conviction as the novel was considered to have “literary merit”.

The novel itself is a simple story of an upper class woman having an affair with her gamekeeper when her husband becomes partially paralysed and distances himself. It exposes the tensions of class in the period between the world wars, the industrialisation of Britain and its impact on nature.

The strongest theme of the novel is that of physical, emotional and intellectual intimacy. Lawrence suggests that all are connected and none is more valuable than another. While the aristocracy pursue intellectual intimacy, this leaves a coldness as experienced by Lady Chatterley. Even Mellors, the gamekeeper, is disturbed by his estranged wife’s solely physical sexuality. By starting a relationship of both mind and body, they begin to discover a natural and deeper connection.

Throughout the novel, these themes are at the surface of Lawrence’s writing. There’s little depth to what can feel like a well-written essay rather than an absorbing novel. Alongside this, a modern reader, knowing the history of the novel, is likely awaiting the next crude word more than slipping into the story. This makes the story hard to engage with and the relationship between Lady Chatterley and Mellors difficult to empathise with.

It’s interesting that in searching for wider opinions on Lady Chatterley’s Lover, the BBC adaptation seems to outweigh any literary criticism. Time has not been kind to the novel and it seems to be known for its historic importance and language more than anything. Perhaps that’s enough though.

Lawrence’s impact on what we can read is phenomenal. It’s easy to forget that what we take for granted today once needed a jury to push through a loophole just to go on sale. As a legacy, that’s one worth being passionate about.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover is one of Le Monde’s 100 Books of the Century.

About the Author

DH Lawrence was born in 1885 and is known for his novels Sons and Lovers, Women in Love and Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Heavily censored on publication in 1928, Lady Chatterley’s Lover was later the focus of a famous obscenity trail in 1960. Lawrence died in 1930, aged just 44.

The Blue Lotus by Herge

The Blue Lotus by Herge

The Blue LotusTintin has long played a part in my life, through the large comic-style albums I owned as a child, to the reissued collection I’m halfway through today. In between there’s been the old cartoon series of films and the 2011 motion capture experiment from Steven Spielberg.

What grounds my love of Tintin is my own adventure creating a comic in primary school. Called The Giggle, I wrote and drew about half an issue each week with two friends. After collecting a series of A4 sheets of paper, my dad would photocopy them at work and we’d staple then distribute them around school. We didn’t produce many, but they were a labour of love.

On leaving the school, and so my tenure as the comic’s sole editor, one of my teachers bought me a copy of Explorers on the Moon as a thank you for giving him The Giggle each week. As soon as I read the story, my fascination with the little Belgian reporter began.

The Blue Lotus is the fifth title in the Adventures of Tintin series and follows on from the previous collection, Cigars of the Pharaoh. Many consider the story the best in the canon. Beginning in India, The Blue Lotus follows Tintin as he uncovers a mystery surrounding Shanghai and the opium trade. As the reporter digs deeper, he finds plans running far deeper than drug smuggling and stumbles across some old friends.

The beauty of The Blue Lotus is more than a collection of parts, it’s the wider success of the format itself. In taking an already well-worn character and placing him in a tightly plotted adventure with high stakes, sharp drawing, sparse dialogue and clever imagery, Herge created a masterpiece of any type of novel.

After writing my reviews, I like to read what others have written about the book and tend to reference one or two comments in my own article. With The Blue Lotus I’ve found it difficult to find good writers talking about the book, leading me to believe this is because it’s a comic or graphic novel. That’s a shame, as the story quality here is no weaker for it being drawn. The themes, plot and characters work just as well as a regular novel and it’s refreshing to read in another format. I hope that books like this begin to get serious recognition as new writers find voices in major literary publications.

I find it impossible to stay away from Tintin and, once I start, fruitless to try to put one of Herge’s stories down. The Blue Lotus is not my favourite Tintin collection, yet the story itself is one of the best. It deals with international themes of war, politics and crime before you realise what you’re reading. It’s not the first Tintin book you should read, but if you do it’s unlikely that it will be your last.

The Blue Lotus is one of Le Monde’s 100 Books of the Century.

About the Author

Herge was born in 1907 and is famous around the world for creating Tintin. First published in 1929, The Adventures of Tintin spans 24 titles and has sold over 200 million copies.

Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan

Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan

Bonjour TristesseAs with The Lost Honour of Katherina Blum, Bonjour Tristesse and Francoise Sagan were unknown to me before I began my reading challenge. Similarly to Heinrich Boll’s novel, discovering another non-English novel has been a delight and feels well overdue.

Since writing out my list of books I’d like to read, the title of this novel has stuck in my mind, despite never seeing it before. The superficial link in my limited memory is to La Tristesse Durera, a track by the Manic Street Preachers that takes its own title from the reported last words of Vincent van Gogh, “the sadness will last forever.”

With the title lodged rather firmly in my head, I happened upon an old copy of the novel at Tynemouth Book Fair (well worth a visit) and bought it for a few pounds, knowing nothing about it. The cover features a young girl that’s more than reminiscent of the 1928 film The Passion of Joan of Arc. On further reading, the edition I found is from 1974 and was translated by Irene Ash.

Written when Sagan was just a teenager, Bonjour Tristesse would remain popular throughout and beyond Sagan’s life, with all future works inevitably compared to her first novel. The book was filmed in 1958 and released to a middling response at the time, but has since grown in stature.

The plot of Bonjour Tristesse is little more than a short story. It follows the thoughts and manipulations of a girl, Cecile, spending the summer with her father and two women competing for his affections. Fearing the end of her easy life when one woman stakes her claim on her father, Cecile plans to end the relationship.

The great success of the novel is not the slight plot, but the atmosphere Sagan builds within the mind of Cecile. Her desperation to cling on to what was already a quite soulless lifestyle and the lengths she will go to make for a strange mix of understanding and pity. It’s easy to connect with Cecile, even when her actions go beyond our own experience, simply because they are such human actions.

Reading the novel, a nagging familiarity played in my mind and it was only in researching this review that I understood what it was. As Richard William’s writes in The Guardian, Sagan’s “acceptance of melancholy [is] more reminiscent of F Scott Fitzgerald than of her French literary heroes.” It is, as is The Great Gatsby, a short and sad tale.

Easily readable in a single sitting, Bonjour Tristesse is an enjoyable piece of mood literature. Its depiction of the depressing lengths some will go to to protect even a sad life is perfectly written and captures brilliantly the energy and misery of youth.

Bonjour Tristesse is one of Le Monde’s 100 Books of the Century.

About the Author

Francoise Sagan was born in France in 1935 and published her first and most famous novel Bonjour Tristesse at age 18. Sagan died in 2004, aged 69, after writing 20 novels and several plays.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by 
Agatha Christie

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by 
Agatha Christie

As a Poirot and Agatha Christie fan, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is the first novel on my to-read list that I have read before. Probably more than twice. And seen the TV adaptation. Despite my familiarity with the story, and its famous twist, it was the most engrossing book I’ve read so far. The mystery works just as well if you know the secrets or don’t.

My first memories of Agatha Christie’s works begin with a bookcase that used to live in my house growing up and the full collection my dad owned. He still has them today, hardcover, red books with delicate ribbons to mark your page. They were the nicest books we owned so always took on a special reverence whenever I looked at them. I still think of her books that way, as something just that bit more wonderful than anything else.

Christie knows how to tell a story. Her books are more consumed than read, pages and chapters fly past before you realise how late it is. Alongside this, she plots a scientific murder case for Poirot to unravel. The result is a masterclass in detective fiction – enough adventure, mystery and surprise.

I won’t go into the plot in any detail, as it should be followed free of any conceptions or biases. Safe to say it’s a detective story unlike any other.

A word for Poirot himself, created in earlier books but perfected here. He is determined and just, annoying and pompous. A mischievous reference to Holmes and Watson both acknowledges Christie’s debt and highlights this fantastic addition to the genre. Like Sherlock Holmes, Poirot has stood the test of time – he is a character so well drawn that he will always be intriguing for writers and filmmakers to adapt.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is a real mystery for the first-time reader, one of Christie’s best. For second and subsequent readings, the fun becomes following the clues and red herrings. The novel also serves as a good introduction to Poirot, with the narrator acting as a surrogate for the reader (in the same way Captain Hastings does in the earlier books).

This novel, now over 90 years old, teaches us how to break the rules. Christie changed mystery writing forever with Roger Ackroyd. It’s no surprise that mystery writers agree, voting the book the best ever crime novel in 2013.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is one of Le Monde’s 100 Books of the Century.

A Note on the Author

Agatha Christie was born in 1890 and wrote over 60 detective novels, as well as 14 short story collections and the world’s longest running play, The Mousetrap. She created legendary characters Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, as well as And Then There Were None, which has sold over 100 million copies to date. Christie died in 1976 at the age of 85.

The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum by Heinrich Boll

The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum by Heinrich Boll

The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum
The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum

The best part of my project to read some of the best books ever written is finding completely new authors. I’d never heard of Heinrich Boll or this novel before adding it to my Library list. Reading a book with no expectations can have startling effects.

Like A Room of One’s Own, I read this novel in a few days. It’s gripping almost throughout, with only a slight middle-act sag. Much of this comes from the unusual structure that leads with the conclusion, leaving the rest of the novel to catch up to where we began. In another writers hands, this could have fallen flat, but Boll crafts incredible suspense and intrigue along the journey. His greatest achievement in Katharina Blum is taking the reader more than a mile in Katharina’s shoes.

The book is a reflection on the power of tabloid journalism and its power over what we believe. It follows a series of events in the life of an ordinary women taunted and hunted by the media. Short and sharp, its criticism of reported news (and the people who report it) has grown in power as the breadth of the media has expanded in recent years. I hope that this book is required reading on any journalism course it captures the power of the pen by unfolding a personal tragedy and reminds us that every tabloid story has a real human at its heart.

A quick and gripping read, this isn’t a challenge like many classics. You can read Katharina Blum in a single sitting if you wish. Its deep and dark and clever, but it never pretends it shouldn’t also entertain.

This is also a good book to read if you’re interested in modern journalism and the power of the press. If events like the Leveson Enquiry and the Snowdon Leaks have caught your eye, you’ll learn a lot from Katharina Blum. Bolls use of a reporting style, acting as sources to the reader, helps to retain trust and authority in the story. Using Katharina would have raised questions over reliability and have an omniscient narrator would have conflicted with the theme of the novel.

Opening with the conclusion and then leading back to it is a genius method of highlighting the theme of the novel the corrupting power of the tabloids. This isn’t a book about a single event, but the many small events that lead to it. A great example of a way a theme can appear in structure as well as text.

Despite its age, Katherina Blum has perhaps never seemed so apt as it does today. As Lisa Hill points out in her 2008 review of the novel, the free press can in some circumstances be just as dangerous for the individual as a censored one.

The Lost Honour of Katherina Blum is one of Le Monde’s 100 Books of the Century.

A Note on the Author

Heinrich Boll was born in 1917 and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1972. One of Germanys foremost post-war writers, Bolls most famous work remains Katherina Blum. Boll died in 1985 at the age of 67.