Written in an encrypted notebook while incarcerated in a Nazi insane asylum and discovered after his death, The Drinker may be Hans Fallada’s most breathtaking piece of craftsmanship. It is an intense yet absorbing study of the descent into drunkenness by an intelligent man who fears he’s lost it all.
This is a Hybrid Book.
Melville House HybridBooks combine print and digital media into an enhanced reading experience by including with each title additional curated material called Illuminations — maps, photographs, illustrations, and further writing about the author and the book. The Melville House Illuminations are free with the purchase of any title in the HybridBook series, no matter the format.
About the Author
Hans Fallada was an internationally bestselling German writer who, unlike his peers Mann and Brecht, remained in Germany after the Nazi take-over. After one of his books was made into a Hollywood movie with a Jewish producer, he was prevented from publishing abroad. At war's end he was incarcerated in an insane asylum, and died soon thereafter.
A. L. Lloyd (1908-82) was born in London and emigrated to Australia in his teens, where he worked as a farmhand and shepherd. It was in Australia that he first became interested in folk song. On his return to England, he was introduced to a group of left-wing intellectuals that included Dylan Thomas and A. L. Morton, who in turn led him to the Communist Party, of which he was to become a life-long member. Along with Ewan MacColl, Lloyd was instrumental in the British post-war folk revival, as a prolific writer, performer and broadcaster.
“ This is an heroic book, brave, fearless and honest. It is necessary reading.”
—The Sunday Times (London)
“ Genuinely tragic and beautiful...[Fallada’s] perfectly horrifying, horrifyingly perfect novel is the story of himself rejected by society and returning the insult.”
"In a publishing hat trick, Melville House allows English-language readers to sample Fallada's vertiginous variety accompanying the release of Michael Hoffman's splendid translation of Every Man Dies Alone with the simultaneous publication of excellent English versions of Fallada's two best-known novels, Little Man, What Now? (translated by Susan Bennett) and The Drinker (translated by Charlotte and A.L. Lloyd). The Drinker, which Fallada wrote in 1944 while he was locked up in a criminal asylum for attacking his estranged wife, is a memoirish novel in which a country merchant describes his unrepentant, gloating slide into alcoholism and failure."
-- New York Times Book Review