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Short Treatise on the Joys of Morphinism

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  176 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
'...I stare at the coffee I poured myself, and I think: caffeine is a poison that stimulates the heart. There are plenty of instances of people killing themselves with coffee, hundreds and thousands of them. Caffeine is a deadly poison, maybe almost as deadly as morphine. Why didn't it ever occur to me before: coffee is my friend!'

Drawing on Hans Fallada's own history of a
Paperback, Penguin Mini Modern Classics, 69 pages
Published 2011 by Penguin Classics (first published January 1st 1991)
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Sam Quixote
Mar 03, 2015 Sam Quixote rated it really liked it
Hans Fallada was a German writer from the first half of the 20th century who struggled alternately with addiction to alcohol, morphine, ether and cocaine for most of his adult life. This small book collects two autobiographical stories - Short Treatise on the Joys of Morphinism and Three Years of Life - the first of which is a harrowing account of his time as a morphine/cocaine junkie, and the second addressing his self-imposed jail-time for stealing to finance his alcoholism.

Of the two, Short T
Mar 18, 2014 BrokenTune rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Review first posted on BookLikes:

Hans Fallada was a troubled soul.

Fallada was one of the eminent writers of the Weimar Republic who found their art just as change of politics made it increasingly difficult - even impossible - to practice it.

Nowadays, Fallada is not well known outside of Germany - possibly with the exception of the odd enthusiast, and I wager that even in Germany his books are true classics - meaning that people may remember some of his rat
Mar 11, 2017 Myriam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
'Ook aan jou denk ik, mijn lieve meisje dat ik allang kwijt ben, mijn enige geliefde is nu de morfine. Die geliefde is kwaadaardig, ze kwelt me mateloos, maar beloont me ook meer dan een mens kan bevatten. Ach, vrouw, wat was je bekrompen. Ik reikte telkens boven je uit, en steeds als ik dacht je bereikt te hebben, bleek ik heel ergens anders - : deze geliefde is werkelijk in mij. Ze vult mijn hersenen met een lucide, helder licht, en in dat schijnsel zie ik dat alles ijdel is en dat ik enkele l ...more
Matt Kelly
Mar 02, 2013 Matt Kelly rated it it was amazing
I stumbled upon Hans Fallada this week with the re-release of three of his books. Then I noticed that one of these mini classics were by him so I thought I'd start there. Both stories revolve around his, presumably, real life struggle with addiction, one with morphine and the other alcohol. I can't wait to read more of his work, both stories were excellent.
Martin Raybould
Aug 13, 2015 Martin Raybould rated it liked it
This is short but contains very little joy. Addiction to morphine and drink are, instead, presented starkly as causes of a downward spiral of dependency and despair. Honest and scary.
Adam  McPhee
Feb 06, 2014 Adam McPhee rated it it was amazing
Old Hans just needs his fix. Behold:

I'm thinking about you too, sweetheart, long-lost sweetheart, I have a new sweetheart, she's called Morphine. She's angry with me, she makes life a misery, but she also rewards me more than I can fathom.
How limited you used to be, woman. I always reached past you and over you, I thought I'd reached you, but actually I was somewhere completely different … This girl, though, she gets under my skin. She fills my brain with clear, candescent light. I know that ev
Mark Easton
Feb 20, 2013 Mark Easton rated it it was amazing
Twisting a misshapen day between the forlorn and existential abyss of addiction and the halcyon reverie of salvation, Fallada's short treatise is a brave yet hopeless ode to morphine. The volume's second story, Three Years of Life, is a dark tale of imprisonment and debasement, brought about by the anti-hero's grovelling addiction to drink.

Acutely journalling the tragicomedy of human existence, both stories offer little hope other than the woes of addiction can, with fortitude, be replaced by ot
Nov 28, 2012 Alix rated it it was ok
Very evocative of true addiction - now I never want to read morphine. Still I wouldn't want to read it again.
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Hans Fallada, born Rudolf Wilhelm Adolf Ditzen in Greifswald, was one of the most famous German writers of the 20th century. His novel, Little Man, What Now? is generally considered his most famous work and is a classic of German literature. Fallada's pseudonym derives from a combination of characters found in the Grimm fairy tales: The protagonist of Lucky Hans and a horse named Falada in The Goo ...more
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