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A Small Circus

A Novel

It is the summer of 1929, and in a small German town, a storm is brewing.

Tredup, a shabby reporter working for the Pomeranian Chronicle, leads a precarious existence . . . until he takes some photographs that offer him a chance to make a fortune.

While Tredup contemplates his next move, the town is buzzing. Farmers are plotting their revenge against greedy officials, a mysterious traveling salesman is stirring up trouble, and all the while, the Nazi party grows stronger as the Communists fight them in the street.

As the town slowly slips into chaos, Mayor “Fatty” Gareis does everything in his power to seek the easy life.

As tensions mount between workers and bosses, town and country, and Left and Right, alliances are broken, bribes are taken, and plots are hatched, until the tension spills over into violence.

From the brilliant mind of one of Germany’s most celebrated writers, A Small Circus is a genuine and frightening tale of small-town Germany during a time of unrest. It belongs in the collection of every reader who has enjoyed his break-out classics.

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“Uncommonly vivid and original.”—Robert Musil

“Real love and real humanity.”—Hermann Hesse

“The best account of small-town Germany ... so terribly genuine, it is frightening”—Kurt Tucholsky

“This novel's genius ... lies in Fallada's ability to reveal ... as well as to analyze the macabre game of musical chairs that was the Weimar Republic. Fallada gives us front-row seats to Germany's decade-long quest for a sacrificial scapegoat that culminated in the Nazi takeover. ... Two years after Alone in Berlin's runaway success, A Small Circus continues the Fallada revival that owes so much to the efforts of its translator, the poet Michael Hofmann .”—André Naffis-Sahely, Independent

“Fallada creates characters with Dickensian prodigality, each yokel, hack, pig and pen-pusher brought to life in Michael Hofmann's beautifully judged translation ... a generous, life-affirming treat.”—Jake Kerridge, Telegraph

“Michael Hofmann ... comes as close as possible to giving us Fallada's work in all its coarse, humorous, immediate, tragic glory.”—Charlotte Moore,Spectator

“Not for the first time, all praise is due to Michael Hofmann's art and feel for nuance. His translation catches the many voices - some exasperated, others bewildered, a few downright angry - that make this bold, exuberant and candid narrative sizzle with life and the relentlessly shocking reality of it all.”—Irish Times

“Fallada's own experiences as a regional journalist in north Germany underlie the action, and it is this sense of realism, combined with an ear for dialogue and an acute understanding of human frailty, that make the novel such an authentic portrayal of an imploding era.”—Ben Hutchinson, Observer

“Uncommonly vivid and original.”—Robert Musil

“Real love and real humanity.”—Hermann Hesse

“The best account of small-town Germany ... so terribly genuine, it is frightening”—Kurt Tucholsky

“This novel's genius ... lies in Fallada's ability to reveal ... as well as to analyze the macabre game of musical chairs that was the Weimar Republic. Fallada gives us front-row seats to Germany's decade-long quest for a sacrificial scapegoat that culminated in the Nazi takeover. ... Two years after Alone in Berlin's runaway success, A Small Circus continues the Fallada revival that owes so much to the efforts of its translator, the poet Michael Hofmann .”—André Naffis-Sahely, Independent

“Fallada creates characters with Dickensian prodigality, each yokel, hack, pig and pen-pusher brought to life in Michael Hofmann's beautifully judged translation ... a generous, life-affirming treat.”—Jake Kerridge, Telegraph

“Michael Hofmann ... comes as close as possible to giving us Fallada's work in all its coarse, humorous, immediate, tragic glory.”—Charlotte Moore,Spectator

“Not for the first time, all praise is due to Michael Hofmann's art and feel for nuance. His translation catches the many voices - some exasperated, others bewildered, a few downright angry - that make this bold, exuberant and candid narrative sizzle with life and the relentlessly shocking reality of it all.”—Irish Times

“Fallada's own experiences as a regional journalist in north Germany underlie the action, and it is this sense of realism, combined with an ear for dialogue and an acute understanding of human frailty, that make the novel such an authentic portrayal of an imploding era.”—Ben Hutchinson, Observer

More books from this author: Hans Fallada