The Train Was On Time
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The Train Was On Time

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  956 ratings  ·  71 reviews
Heinrich Böll’s taut and haunting first novel tells the story of twenty-four-year-old Private Andreas as he journeys on a troop train across the German countryside to the Eastern front. Trapped, he knows that Hitler has already lost the war ... yet he is suddenly galvanized by the thought that he is on the way to his death.

As the train hurtles on, he riffs through prayer...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published March 18th 2011 by Melville House (first published 1949)
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Ben Loory
my first heinrich boll; good stuff! reminded me some of anna kavan's Ice, though much more realistic. also it was strange that i read it after The Driver's Seat, as the two had very similar storylines... person travels in a straight line toward death, unwilling and/or unable to turn aside. not scathing like the driver's seat, however... sadder, haunted, beautiful.

there's a quality about post-war european books i really love; they have this air of profundity which i guess is a product of exhausti...more
In The Train Was on Time Heinrich Boll creates a new space in literature, a magical plane where humans are more vapor than corporeal, where dream and reality become entangled in a greater symmetry. Andreas, the hero of the story, is a young German soldier being shipped off back to the front, to some city in Poland (a city whose name he only learns about, or recollects, later in the novel), during WWII. The war is in its final stages but he and his fellow soldiers are not certain about what is ha...more
درد هایی در این دنیا هست ، به آن عظمت که دیگر در برابر آن ها از اشک کاری ساخته نیست .
Aug 07, 2009 Mazel marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: roman
En 1943, un soldat allemand repart au front en train, avec la certitude qu'il mourra avant son arrivée, il ne sait comment.

Il rencontre d'autres soldats (aux histoires assez tristes) et les suit dans une virée en Galicie ; puis croise une prostituée qui travaille pour la résistance polonaise. On s'en doute, cela finit mal ;

la littérature allemande sur cette période est rarement optimiste. Mais c'est bien écrit, dans un style simple. L'intérêt principal réside dans cette page d'histoire peu con...more
Mohsen Rajabi
برای کسی که با نثر هاینریش بُل آشنایی نداشته باشد، نه تنها این کتاب، بلکه همه کتاب های این نویسنده، عجیب و تاحدودی سخت خوان هست. ولی کافیست عاشق تک گویی و درونیات شخصیت ها باشی، تا نه تنها این کتاب، که همه آثار هاینریش بُل را، بخوانی و لذت ببری.

قطار به موقع رسید، داستان لحظات و ثانیه هایی است که از دست می دهیم... داستان عمری است که می گذرد و می رود. از همان اوائل که نویسنده با کلمه "بزودی" بازی می کند، مدام در ذهن من این آیه از قرآن می آمد که: «و اذا جاء اجلهم لا یستقدمون ساعة و لا یستاخرون» (و...more
Cooper Cooper
This is the first novel, written in 1947, by Nobelist Heinrich Böll, who had served in the German army for six years during WWII. The story takes place in 1944 during the five-day train ride of a young soldier from leave in Germany to the Russian front and certain death. The trip is spent inside the protagonist’s mind as he tries to figure out exactly where and when he will be killed, and as he flashes back on his brief life, especially on his one “love”—a pair of beautiful eyes (“the Eyes”) he...more
Andreas is a 24 year old German soldier in WW2, he has been in the army for four years, it's the end of the war now. He is on a train that is taking him and his fellow soldiers to what is a sure death.
Andreas hasn't been kissed, he hasn't had sex, he has never been in love(except perhaps for a strangers dark eyes) something that could be an obsession or love, he and we will never know.
During the train ride we experience his mental and emotional disintegration, you could say it's an accelerated p...more
The first half or so of this short novel is very slow, so slow and a bit repetitive that one may wonder if it's even worth continuing. But in the second half it becomes clear that what I originally mistook for repetitiveness was actually a reoccurring leitmotiv, what was slow was the planting and germination of ideas and images. By the time the protagonist, Wehrmacht soldier Andreas, spends the night with a Polish prostitute, Olina, in the second act, the story has blossomed into something haunt...more
Michael Armijo
Enter the twilight zone...

This is a remarkable book that is only about 100 pages long. The author, Heinrich Boll, won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1972. It's clear as to why he won the Prize after reading this book. It's a well-written European Classic. I forget how I discovered it. I think I saw it listed as required reading for a Literature class somewhere in New York. It's about a German Soldier and his adventure on a train as he envisions and wonders how he will die. The 'Twilight Zone'...more
"Happiness washes away many things, just as suffering washes away many things."

A line from the novel I suspect I will not shake for a long time.

Like a terrible confession...a bit desperate and despairing. Poignant and disturbing streamofconcious that allows the reader to inhabit the mind of Andreas while he processes his experience/s. One gets the impression that Boll (no umlaut capability) deflects some of his own experience onto his descriptively named characters, or that he develops in one c...more
Mohamad Yoosofi
اغلب داستان‌های هاینریش بل حکایت‌گر جدال و آشوب درونی آدم‌ها است؛ جدال و آشوبی که بسیاری وقت‌ها با دل‌هره‌های جنگ و جنگ‌زدگی پیوند می‌خورد. شخصیت اصلی این داستان، آندره‌آس، در آغاز، هنگام خداحافظی از یکی از آشنایانش، جمله‌ای را به‌زبان می‌آورد که از هراس بی‌اندازه‌ی او از مرگ حکایت می‌کند: «به‌زودی خواهم مُرد.» این جمله، و به‌ویژه قید «به‌زودی‌»اش طنین گنگ و غریبی از هراس او را در سراسر داستان می‌پیچاند و وحشتی شدید را مدام به جانش می‌اندازد. او مرگ خود را حتمی می‌پندارد. در ادامه، با سربازهای د...more
Farzane Fahimian
بزودی. بزودی. بزودی. این بزودی کی خواهد بود ؟ چه کلمه ی هراس انگیزی است این: بزودی. بزودی ممکن است یک ثانیه ی دیگر باشد . بزودی می تواند یک سال طول بکشد. بزودی کلمه ای است هراس انگیز: این بزودی آینده را در هم می فشارد، آن را کوچک می کند و دیگر هیچ چیز مطمئنی در کار نخواهد بود؛ هر چه هست دودلی و تزلزل مطلق خواهد بود. بزودی هیچ نیست و بزودی چه بسا چیزهایی است. بزودی همه چیز است . بزودی مرگ است ...

September 1943.

A young German soldier boards a troop train bound for the Eastern front which is collapsing under the heavy onslaught of the Russians. Andreas must be the most reluctant soldier in the whole of Hitler's Wehrmacht. Above all else, he is convinced that he will meet his death at the end of the line.

Over the next three days, Heinrich Boll recreates the soldier's train journey in faithful, dreary detail. His companions are Willi, quick on his feet and in perpetual need of a shave, an...more
Andreas wordt door zijn vriend Paul naar de trein gebracht. Zijn verlof zit er op en hij moet zich melden aan het oostfront. Vlak voor hij in de trein stapt spreekt hij zijn angst uit: ik ga binnenkort dood! Maar wanneer is binnenkort? Een paar dagen later? Een week?
De gedachte blijft in zijn hoofd.
Hij maakt kennis met twee andere militairen. Ze spelen kaart. Drinken. Eten. Maar toch: 'binnenkort...'

De lezer voelt en denkt met hem mee.

Andreas probeert zich voor te stellen hoever hij zal komen n...more
Elnaz Izadyar
"چه کلمه‌ی هراس انگیزی است این: بزودی. بزودی ممکن است یک ثانیه‌ی دیگر باشد. بزودی می‌تواند یک سال طول بکشد. بزودی کلمه‌ای است هراس انگیز. این بزودی آینده را در هم می‌فشارد، آن را کوچک می‌کند و دیگر هیچ چیز مطمئنی در کار نخواهد بود، هیچ چیز مطمئنی؛ هرچه هست دودلی و تزلزل مطلق خواهد بود. بزودی هیچ نیست و بزودی چه بسا چیزهائی است. بزودی همه چیز است. بزودی مرگ است..."
به زیبایی حوادث جنگ رو نشون میده ،چیزی که برام جالب بود این بود که وقتی "آندره آس"که یک آلمانی بود می خواست دعا کنه دعای یهودی ها هم می کرد و همیشه به یاد یهودی ها بود!!! اوایل مثل یک رمان معمولی بود و تاحدودی هم خسته کننده ولی از جایی که "آندره آس"به اون فاحشه خانه میره و با اون دختر لهستانی آشنا میشه داستان فوق العاده جذاب میشه وپایان خیلی قشنگی هم داره
Beautiful, elegaic prose about the guilt and suffering of a young German soldier on his way to the Polish front in 1944. He believes that he is a doomed man, and this colors his every experience in a way that somehow makes each moment of the life that remains him simultaneously beautiful and absurd.
Delara Hazegh f
"خیلی از مردم وقتی ببینند چیزی دارند که مورد علاقه ی فرد دیگری است، آن چیز ناگهان برایشان عزیز می شود. چیزی که یک لحظه ی دیگر ممکن است آن را به دور بیاندازند برایشان مهم و قیمتی می‌شود،زیرا یک نفر دیگر مشتاق داشتن آن است و می خواهد از آن استفاده کند... "
Kamran Samadi
فضای رمان به سالهای جنگ جهانی دوم تعلق داره
خیلی جالبه که بیش از نصف داستان تو یه کوپه قطار نقل می شه و با این وجود اصلا خسته کننده نیست

ولی شخصا فکر می کنم که رمان « عقاید یک دلقک » هم که از هاینریش بل بود ، کار بهتری باشه

і неможливо зрозуміти, чи це ми відчуваємо долю, яка неодмінно нас наздожене, чи самі її для себе вигадуємо – і, вигадуючи, вже творимо.
Marilyn Moreau
Powerful, Boll excercises remarkable restraint in what could be an overwrought story and instead renders it exquisitely.
Farhan Khalid
I don’t want to die, but the terrible thing is that I'm going to die

The somber outlines of the city moved past the window

When would this Soon be?

[The blood] flowed back into his heart ,circling, circling, life was circling

And all the pulse beat said was: Soon!

What a terrible word: Soon

Soon can mean in one second, soon can mean in one year

Soon is terrible word

This soon compresses the future, shrinks it, offers no certainty, no certainty, whatever

It stands for absolute uncertainty

Soon is nothing a...more
Aug 24, 2013 RØB rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to RØB by: Jeff Sjerven
The WikiPedia entry on Heinrich Böll lists all of his novels as works that he is "best-known" for, EXCEPT for this one. Weird! This is the only one I know. I got it from Jeff Sjerven one day a coupla years ago. I enjoyed it, and actually found it very compelling. I was eager to read more and more every time I picked it up. A co-worker saw the title, read it aloud, and said "that sounds like an extremely boring book," hah hah! I guess it is pretty post-modern--not a lot HAPPENS in it, it's a lot...more

It's 1943 and 23-year old German soldier Andreas is returning from Paris to his military unit in eastern Poland (an area that is now Ukraine), via several trains. He is convinced the war is already lost, and even more convinced that in the next few days, somewhere at the end of his journey, he will die. This thought obsesses him. He seems to be having memory lapses; he needs to look at a map to recognize the names of towns he will pass through, and it isn't until near the end of the book that he...more
Wolfe Tone
"Ich will nicht sterben", schrie er, "ich will nicht sterben, aber das Schreckliche ist, dass ich sterben werde... bald!"

Heinrich Bölls haunting tale of a young, terrified and above all doomed soldier who knows he is going to die in the near future, but still has no choice but to follow his path. It leads him and some of his comrades to a ragged old whorehouse somewhere on the eastern front.

A story of deep humanity and love amidst total destruction and death. A short burst of light and beauty, b...more
عجب کارِ پر زحمت وحشتناکی است این وقت کشتن. هی باید به طرف این عقربه ی ثانیه شمارکه به صورت نامريی در پشت افق به سرعت برق به دور خود می چرخد یک چیز سنگین پرت کرد و هی باید دانست که با وجود اینها دارد می چرخد، بی بروبرگرد جلوتر می رود...
رواية رائعة في الحقيقة ، عمل ابداعي عظيم لم اقرأ رواية علي مستواها في فترة طويلة مضت

ابداع الحبكة ، ابداع القصة مأساة الإنسانية في 170 صفحة

عاش هاينريش بول
Iñaki Tofiño
Había leído las Confesiones de un payaso hace años y lo cierto es que no me gustó nada, pero esta vez he caído rendido ante un texto triste pero tierno y finalmente esperanzador. Ha sido fácil identificarse con Andreas, un alemán de a pie obligado a ir a la guerra sin comerlo ni beberlo, ¡un soldado que olvida su fusil en casa y reza por los judíos deportados!, un hombre corriente, alejado de la retórica militarista de los dirigentes de su país.
Las guerra son una mierda, se mire como se mire. Es...more
Maksims Trivaškevičs
Boll is Boll- you cant beat that.
Khaled Abdel
عذبة… ممتعة… اعجبتني للغاية
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  • Draußen vor der Tür
  • Fräulein Else
  • Patterns of Childhood
  • Irretrievable
  • Little Man, What Now?
  • The Oppermanns
  • جای خالی سلوچ
  • Diary of a Man in Despair
  • Mephisto
  • میرا
  • Montauk
  • Berlin Stories
  • Professor Unrat
  • Simplicissimus
  • Die neuen Leiden des jungen W.
  • Transit
  • Königliche Hoheit
  • The Sleepwalkers
Heinrich Böll became a full-time writer at the age of 30. His first novel, Der Zug war pünktlich (The Train Was on Time), was published in 1949. Many other novels, short stories, radio plays and essay collections followed, and in 1972 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature "for his writing which through its combination of a broad perspective on his time and a sensitive skill in characterizatio...more
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