Andrew's Reviews > Little Man, What Now?

Little Man, What Now? by Hans Fallada
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's review
Oct 04, 2010

really liked it
Read from October 05 to December 10, 2010

Fallada was a very troubled man. Alcoholic, drug addict, depressive, sometimes violent, wholly self-destructive. That he wrote very straight-forward books, focused on the details of ordinary lives, with very few allusions to the extraordinary happenings going on all around, seems almost impossible. (His final book, Every Man Dies Alone, is the exception.)

He wrote at great speed (at least two of his better books were written in less than a month), with few revisions. This, and his early training as a provincial newspaper reporter, probably explain the apparent simplicity of his writing. He's a very good storyteller, not a great writer in a self-consciously literary tradition.
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Reading Progress

10/04/2010 page 96
10/11/2010 page 96
25.0% "I have put this aside while I concentrate on the book about Arthur Greiser. This had nothing to do with the quality of the books, but simply with the fact that things having to do with Poznan are of special interest to me and tend to get moved to the head of the line."
12/25/2010 page 384
100.0% "It's a gentle, sad book set in a troubled time -- 1932, the worst year of the depression, the collapse of the Weimar Republic, the rise of the Nazis. One has to know that historical context. Fallada focuses on the lives of a salesman and his young wife. Fallada was part of a literary trend known as New Objectivism, which arose in response to Expressionism. In art terms, imagine Edward Hopper after Georg Grosz." 1 comment
10/28/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Tocotin (new)

Tocotin Oh yes, that was a depressing book. I remember a particular scene when the main character lost his job as a shop clerk because a client, the famous actor, thought him rude or something (I read it long time ago when I was in high school). Btw, the "little man" of the English title was translated into Polish as "gray man", and has entered the Polish language this way, meaning a typical, common person.

Happy New Year Andrew!

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