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A sprawling saga of the collapse of a culture, its economy and government and the common man's struggle to survive it all. Set in Weimer Germany soon after their defeat in WWI, a young gambler looses it all in Berlin and flees the city for the countryside. However, he is greeted by a defeated German army that has camped there to foment insurrection. Somehow, amidst all the chaos, he finds romance. This fast-moving thriller is also a fascinating piece of history, written in lyrical prose that carries a powerful emotional punch.
Prior to WWII, the novels of German writer Hans Fallada (born Rudolf Ditzen) were international bestsellers. But when Jewish producers in Hollywood made his 1932 novel, Little Man, What Now? into a major motion picture, the rising Nazis began to take note of him. His struggles increased after he refused to join the Party and was denounced by neighbors for "anti-Nazi" sympathies. Unlike many other prominent artists, however, Fallada decided not to flee Germany. By the end of World War II he'd suffered an alcohol-fueled nervous breakdown and was in a Nazi insane asylum, where he nonetheless managed to write--in code--the brilliant subversive novel, The Drinker. After the war, Fallada went on to write Every Man Dies Alone, based on an actual Gestapo file, but he died in 1947 of a morphine overdose, just before it was published.