Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Wolf Among Wolves” as Want to Read:
Wolf Among Wolves
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Wolf Among Wolves

by
4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  235 ratings  ·  30 reviews
This sweeping saga of love in dangerous times – the 1923 collapse of the German economy, when food and money shortages led to rioting in the streets and unemployed soldiers marauding through the countryside—is deemed by many to be Hans Fallada’s greatest work. Yet its 1938 publication made his publisher so fearful of Nazi retribution that he told Fallada, “If this book des ...more
Paperback, 816 pages
Published May 25th 2010 by Melville House (first published 1937)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Wolf Among Wolves, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Wolf Among Wolves

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 747)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Helen
OMG, I never reviewed this book? Bad Helen!

This was an incredibly important read for me. It's a story of life in Germany running up to World War 2, told by a master of realism.

It's shortly after World War 1. Money is worthless, being devalued by the hour; there are tales of men pushing a wheelbarrow full of money to the store to buy a loaf of bread. Whatever sum you agreed to work for at the beginning of the day won't buy you a quart of milk by the end of the day.

Wolf, one of the lucky young v
...more
Jane Schoelkopf
This is the most amazing book ever. It vividly portrays unstable aura of the Weimar republic and the excesses of 1930s Berlin, but is above all a gripping story, about Wolf's fall from grace and decline into gambling addiction, and how he sets out to win back his girlfriend, who is pregnant unknown to him. Hard to describe the epic nature of this book - only to say it reminds me of the convoluted intrigue of a Dickens novel, with all the twists and turns, vivd detail and a rip-roaring story. Let ...more
Tim
In his Philosophical Dictionary, Voltaire distinguished between history and fable. The former, he said, is "the recital of facts represented as true" whereas fable is "the recital of facts of facts represented as fiction." In terms of historiography, that is a fair distinction. In terms of grasping history, though, fiction may be as effective as a history book.

The recent revival of German novelist Hans Fallada's works is a case in point. Last year, his novel about personal integrity and resistan
...more
Cooper Renner
Second Reading: This is both panoramic and tightly focused. The book is, to me, slow to get started as Fallada introduces us to the lives of the large cast of characters. But his look at the characters individually is quite focused and sharp. Unlike many history books, which feel too distanced, this novel thrusts the reader right into the economic despair of 1923 Germany, with absurdly runaway inflation and a nation on the skids. Fallada's characters are distinct and individual, humanly full of ...more
John Gaynard
Germany 1923: with exponential deflation, ever-rising poverty in the cities, and the French occupation of the Ruhr in the background, Fallada follows the fortunes of three ex-soldiers who had fought together in WWI but who now, like most of their countrymen, are struggling to make sense of the present state of chaos.

The soldiers move from hunger-, drink-, cocaine-, prostitution- and gambling-stricken Berlin to what they imagine will be a better life in the countryside, however their hopes are di
...more
Courtney
I must first point out that this is the first book by Fallada I've read. I haven't read the currently popular Every Man Dies Alone, but I plan to in the near future. This is probably one of the longest books I've ever read and like other long books (Marjorie Morningstar, Forever Amber) this book tend to wander a lot. The central story revolves around Wolfgang "Wolf" Pagel ( I kept asking myself if Fallada intentionally incorporated the protagonist's nickname into the title).
Pagel starts the book
...more
Rashmi
I am a slow reader; I read this 800-page novel in ten days. It is gripping, suspenseful, powerful, painful, bleak, brutal. Fallada describes how runaway hyperinflation caused the financial and moral collapse of post-WWI German society and demonstrates how differently people can react to extreme deprivation and hardship. He writes with both touching empathy and unsentimental clarity. I agree with the critics who hail this as Fallada's masterpiece.
Jon
I knew very little of conditions in Germany after the armistice and it was great from historical side of things. The narrative was a bit like a soap opera but there were many passages of interesting observations of social strata and life choices.
Walton
This is the best book I read in 2010 - incredible narrative power, detailed character development and a comprehensive evocation of the ethical dilemmas facing people in Weimar Germany.
Charles Vella
Another great book about Germany after the first world war. Some of the characters even seem to live happily ever after, which doesn't often happen with books set in that time and place. It is a huge book, and occasionally you wonder whether Fallada's forgotten about one of his characters because some of them disappear for so long, but they all show back up in the end. The German hyperinflation is almost a character in the story as everyone tries to manage in an economy where paper money essenti ...more
Lisa
Wolf Among Wolves is the fourth novel that I have read by Hans Fallada. It was his sixth book, published in 1938 just before the outbreak of World War II. It follows on from Fallada’s attempts to deflect unwelcome attention from the Nazis by writing children’s stories and other non-political material, and because it is a critique of the chaotic Weimar Republic, Goebbels was very pleased with it. Unfortunately for Fallada, far from deflecting Nazi attention, the success of this brilliant novel en ...more
Adam  McPhee
Supposedly the Nazis disliked that name for themselves. Evidently it was coined by Hitler's detractors because it's a shortening of the party name that also resembles a colloquial nickname for a clumsy or foolish peasant. (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?t...) I suspect it stung all the more because their strongest support generally came from rural areas. I don't know what I'm getting at here except that this amazing novel is about the corruption and weakness of the German countryside.

The bo
...more
Knautiyal
Like most, I came to this book through "Every Man Dies Alone", which I read earlier this year and very much enjoyed.

Though the novel is set in the Germany of the Weimar Republic, a period of history much more obscure to most Americans than the Nazi era of "Every Man Dies Alone", it deals with the same central question - how does one maintain their human dignity in a time of moral turmoil?

The action follows a large cast of characters through a few months of 1923, a year in which the Reichsmark r
...more
Carl Triggs
3 and 1/2 stars.
Classic Hans Fallada and a joy for appreciators of his work. As always the characters have depth. The central character, Wolfgang Pagel, has flaws in a similar way to many of Fallada's characters. In Pagel's case his gambling addiction is outlined and explored psychologically.
Fallada also captures the mood of the time perfectly, almost explaining why German history took the course that it did in the years that were to follow. We feel the hunger that Pagel's partner, Petra Ledig
...more
Lindsey
I don't think I could ever write anything about this epic novel that would do it justice, amazing, profound. The writing is journalistic and matter of fact in style with few breaks for proselytizing, which makes Fallada's revelations about his characters that much more illuminating. A great eye for human nature, human flaws and human triumphs. It's not surprising that Fallada never fell victim to Nazi propaganda, although he suffered for his dissent.

A pure writer, a necessary book. In my opinio
...more
Adrian
I've read 420 pages and with some 300 plus to go, I'm pulling the plug. Fallada is a great writer but the multiplicity of ever increasing characters dealt with in rotation, some interconnected with others and some not was just too much. I didn't see where it was going. This novel is set in 1923 Germany and it's easy to see how the underlying money problems of this society are creating uprootedness but I think I'd just rather read a history of it. So often reading fiction I find myself wondering ...more
maven
I struggled with this book a bit at first, especially with so many characters to keep track of. I eventually got into it a bit, but with mixed feelings. I was interested enough to finish the book, but I'm not sure I enjoyed the whole experience. The many typos and poorly edited translations in this edition didn't help either. Just ok.
Shirlyn
can't say I love it, but didn't hate it either, took along time to read, sometimes difficult due to wording and language and switching almong characters. But just felt enough interest to finish. Interesting view and information about the average person trying to survive in the chaotic economy after WWI
Josh Trapani
This saga of hyper-inflationary 1920s Germany is a major undertaking for the reader, but a worthy one to understand the people and the time. It's not the place to start with Fallada - go with "Every Man Dies Alone" - but for the fan, it is a must and will not disappoint.
Janet
Mar 30, 2011 Janet rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hard core literary readers
As much as I wanted to learn more about Germany and Hitler, I just coudn't get through this book. I'm feeling quite UNintellectual...especially since I'm thoroughly enjoying the book I picked up after this one. I Love You, Nice To Meet You is much more my style these days...
Lewis Weinstein
Published in 1938 ... depicts the catastrophe in Germany caused by hyper-inflation by showing its impact on several interesting characters. I plan to have my major German character (in the novel I'm writing) read this book and reflect on his own experiences in 1923.
James Coon
This excellent saga takes places during the period of hyperinflation in Germany, mostly in 1923. Do not be put off by the book's length of nearly 800 pages. It goes very quickly and maintains the reader's interest throughout.
Karlo Mikhail
felt the conclusion did not give justice to the entire novel. still a masterpiece in terms of depicting the lives of ordinary people during times of economic crisis and political unrest
Jane Rocks
The adventures of a young man in Germany during the hyper inflationary times between the 2 world wars. It took me a while to get into this story but it was well worth reading.
Laurel
Fantastic historical novel. 793 pages long and worth the hours of reading. Thank you Melville House for publishing the unabridged edition.
Britt
I read up to 200 pages and I stopped. The thing is the writing is excellent but I just couldn't get into it!
Maria
Highly recommend for its clear-eyed look at human nature in the face of impending doom (rise of hitler).
Shelley Goltara
Large cast of characters to keep track of but very interesting story lines
Ann
this is one of the best books i've ever read.
Capsguy
Jul 24, 2011 Capsguy marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german
Recommended by Alex.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 24 25 next »
  • What I Saw: Reports from Berlin 1920-1933
  • The German Lesson
  • Das siebte Kreuz
  • The Butcher's Tale: Murder and Anti-Semitism in a German Town
  • The Stechlin
  • The Ghosts of Berlin: Confronting German History in the Urban Landscape
  • The Island of Second Sight
  • Diary of a Man in Despair
  • Indian Summer
  • The Sleepwalkers
  • Der Turm: Geschichte aus einem versunkenen Land
  • The Oppermanns
  • Mephisto
  • Billiards at Half-Past Nine
  • The Quiet Twin
  • Lotte in Weimar: The Beloved Returns
  • The Weimar Republic: The Crisis of Classical Modernity
  • Berlin Stories
227026
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
More about Hans Fallada...
Every Man Dies Alone Little Man, What Now? The Drinker A Short Treatise on the Joys of Morphinism Wer einmal aus dem Blechnapf frißt

Share This Book