ITEM CODE: L14-03
TITLE: The Silent Angel
AUTHOR: Heinrich Böll
BINDING: Hardcover with Dust Jacket
Publisher: St. Martin Press (New York 1994)
Copyright: 1992 by Verlag Kiepenheuer & Witsch; English translation copyright 1994 by Breon Mitchell
Edition: First Edition, First Printing
DESCRIPTION: Rare and Collectible First Edition, First Printing from this Nobel Laureate.
Translated from the German by: Breon Mitchell
Book in fine condition, red top-stain, in near fine unclipped dust jacket with light rub to surface and along edges, creases to top end of jacket spine; light rub to head and tail caps and fore corners of cover boards; light dust to text block edges, pages are clean and unmarked; spine is solid, binding tight.
The late Nobel Prize winner's first novel, written in 1950 and hitherto untranslated... The central figure, Hans Schnitzler, a former bookseller and burned-out army deserter, stumbles around in the surreal detritus of bombed-out Cologne. He escaped the firing squad when another soldier, Willy Gompertz traded uniforms with him. Now he must deliver the news to the dead man's sick widow, Elizabeth. While negotiating to buy a false ID from a doctor, he steals a coat belonging to Regina Unger, who eventually gives blood to save Elizabeth Gompertz's life. Further fleshing out this small group, Boll introduces Elizabeth's wealthy father, Herr Doktor Professor Fischer, a lawyer, philologist, and important patron of the bookseller from whom Schnitzler learned his trade. Schnitzler and Unger, both shellshocked by the horrors of war, fall in love by degrees and finally huddle together in a starved, gray, mingy state of grace... [Böll] depicts the damage done to the country with a kind of horrified poetry.
"The Silent Angel is a classic novel of an exile returning home, a book that may have required the passage of over forty years of time to be appreciated... as a poetic and tragic story of a man and a woman surviving in a destroyed city... One sees incredible parallels between [Böll’s story] and that of the American novelist Paul Austere.” - Die Zeit