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Ferdinand, the Man with the Kind Heart

Hofmann, Michael, Keun, Irmgard
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (Penguin Classics)
Published: April 1, 2021
ISBN: 9780241441336
192 pages
Country of publication: United Kingdom


Newly translated by Michael Hofmann, the touching final novel from the author of Child of All Nations’I don’t think I’m that unusual, and I don’t think I’m crazy either’Bombed-out Cologne after the war is a strange place to be. The black market in jam and corsets is booming, half-destroyed houses offer opportunities for stealing doors and eggcups, and de-Nazification parties are all the rage. Ferdinand – daydreamer, former prisoner of war, wearer of a curious jerkin – drifts around the city, observing life’s absurdities, strenuously avoiding his fiancee and drinking brandy with his fabulous cousin.

When he gets a job as a ‘cheerful adviser’ to those down on their luck, will Ferdinand’s fortunes change too?Irmgard Keun’s exuberantly funny and touching final novel takes the tiny moments of triumph and defeat in one man’s life, and turns them into a moving portrait of the human spirit.

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