The Guiltless
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The Guiltless

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  70 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Murder, lust, shame, hypocrisy, and suicide are at the center of The Guiltless, Hermann Broch's novel about the disintegration of European society in the first three decades of the twentieth century. Broch's characters—an apathetic man who can barely remember his own name (Broch mostly refers to him as A.); a high-school teacher and his lover who return from the brink of a...more
Paperback, 292 pages
Published October 1st 1987 by North Point Press (first published 1950)
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May 22, 2012 Jimmy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: the guileless
Recommended to Jimmy by: the gutless
How do I rate a book whose quality and style varies from chapter to chapter, though it holds together thematically and plotwise as a novel? It's an intriguing and frustrating read.

At the end there is a "Making of" chapter that talks about how the book came into being. Turns out half of these were short stories Broch wrote at different times. He thought it would be more marketable if he tied them all together into a novel, so he wrote the other half of these with that purpose in mind. There are a...more
Broch writes about the "zeitgeist" in Germany during the period between the two world wars. This is a novel only in a very loose sense, but not quite a collection of short stories either. There are distinct storylines: suicidal lovers, a drunken philosophical debate, a story about a man who rooms in a house with a baroness and her mother, and some religious/political musings, but they are interrelated and read as though they are attacking a larger theme. The title and afterword suggest that the...more
amazing, amazing, amazing.
back in the 1990s I discovered Hermann Broch & The Sleepwalkers thanks to an essay by Milan Kundera. It became my favorite book instantly & Broch joined my pantheon of favorite visionary masters (Nabokov, Kafka, Queneau, Calvino, Kundera, Sontag). words like "favorite" & "masterpiece" fall sadly short in these cases. Encountering the works of these people lifts the experience of literature to the level of profoundly enriching existence itself. Incredibly, Th...more
The fourth star is for the first short story - which must be one of the best short stories ever written in any language.
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Austrian writer, considered one of the major Modernists.
More about Hermann Broch...
The Sleepwalkers The Death of Virgil The Spell Pasenow oder die Romantik The Anarchist

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