Book Review: The Devil in the Flesh by Raymond Radiguet

Those who study literary theory view World War I as a key element in the development of modernist literature. And while French author Raymond Radiguet published only one novel before his death at age 20, that work, The Devil in the Flesh, is a prime piece of evidence for this viewpoint.

It’s not surprising that […]

Book Review: The Druggist of Auschwitz by Dieter Schlesak

“A human being, like a dog, can get used to anything!”

So says Adam Salmen, a fictional narrator in Dieter Schlesak’s The Druggist of Auschwitz: A Documentary Novel. But what Salmen and others imprisoned in the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II got “used to” is staggering, so much so that it continues to […]

Book Review: My Friend Jesus Christ by Lars Husum

Seeking redemption, let alone finding it, can be a long and tortuous path. But what happens if Jesus Christ — or at least a man claiming to be Jesus Christ — is making suggestions here and there? That’s the road on which Nikolaj Jensen is set in Danish writer Lars Husum’s first novel, My Friend […]

Book Review: Cain by José Saramago

In an Oxford lecture earlier this year, literary critic James Wood suggested that the “New Atheists” might be well served by looking to the modern novel. He says atheists — and some Christian fundamentalists — insist too much on polemic literalism. Novels, he said, are a vehicle to explore theological arguments and make real the […]

Book Review: After Midnight by Irmgard Keun

It is difficult to conceive of coming of age in a society where politics permeates and controls all aspects of life, from relationships to what you say or do. Even firsthand accounts of life in places like Nazi Germany are limited because they can largely reflect only the perspective of the author. As a result, […]