Details

ISBN-10: 193981006X
ISBN-13: 9781939810069
Publisher: Archipelago Books
Publish Date: 10/23/2018
Dimensions: 6.10" L, 5.50" W, 0.50" H

An Untouched House

Translator: David Colmer
Afterword by: Cees Nooteboom

Price: $16.00

In stock

Overview

Originally published as Het behouden huis by De Bezige Bij, Amsterdam, 1951″–Copyright page.

A brooding meditation on violence by a classic post-war Dutch writer who has drawn comparisons to Joseph Heller and Kurt Vonnegut.

A mesmerizing, dark meditation on the legacy of war. An interloper and opportunist makes a grand house his own in the chaos of a war-torn countryside, only to find himself involved with occupying forces and enraged locals.

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Reviews
One of Ian McEwan's 'most underrated books'

Profoundly unsettling . . . haunt[s] the mind for long afterwards. The Sunday Times, A Book of the Year

Those who do simply open and read will find themselves immersed in a nightmare miniature where philosophical musing gives seamless way to beautiful but unyielding cruelty...this newer translation by David Colmer seems to better capture the unsettling horror. – Ben Murphy, Full Stop

Although An Untouched House is brief, it is worth pacing oneself and absorbing its remarkable density. Hermans is the architect of a masterful story – concise but expansive in vision...a lucid, exhilarating account. – Peyton Harvey, Zyzzyva

Hermans's novella is a bleak depiction of the absurdity of war, which knows no winners. – Felix Haas, World Literature Today

A shocking Dutch classic... remarkable... It takes an hour or two to read, but An Untouched House is the kind of book that stays with you for ever. – The Guardian

From the opening pages, the translator David Colmer brilliantly evokes the laconic tone of a narrator who proves intelligent, resourceful and increasingly deranged... By any light, this eloquent marvel teases, bewilders and unnerves.Times Literary Supplement

This novella is a fascinating portrait of a solipsistic mind, a scrupulous rendering of the erosion of human empathy that resonates in these uncivil times. – Christopher Byrd, Vulture

'I was struck by the compressed farce and horror in the 1951 Dutch novella An Untouched House.' – Sam Leith, choosing An Untouched House as a Spectator Book of the Year

Taut... dark, thrillerish. – New Statesman

Shocking... properly unsettling... It would certainly be good to have a lot more of Hermans's work available here. – Sunday Times

A stark, funny and graphic exploration of the folly of war... Bravo Pushkin Press for seeking out yet another international gem. – A Life in Books

An expertly crafted story... A small novel that packs a strong, hard punch. Complete Review

As disturbing and powerful as anything by Joseph Heller or Kurt Vonnegut. –Michel Faber

Hermans is as alarming as a snake in the breadbin... hugely entertaining. – The Scotsman

Crackling with uneasy tension... A beautiful new edition of a powerful and timeless, slim Dutch masterpiece, written in a spare and crisp style that brings to mind Camus. The Lady

Disturbing, haunting, and brilliant... an excellent antidote to misty eyed nostalgia for blitz or Dunkirk spirit. – Desperate Reader

A violent apotheosis without equal in modern literature. A sadistic universe that offers no room for escape. - Cees Nooteboom

Unsurpassed in its stylistic precision, unsettling in its language, dialogue, atmosphere, humour. –Harry Mulisch

[Hermans] granted me a silence in which I could hear this novel's voice in all its purity, in all the beauty of the unexplained and the unknown. –Milan Kundera

'A literary tour de force. – Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Short but powerful novella... I was filled with admiration for its unflinching depiction of what happens when war numbs the human heart and destroys empathy. – The Book Jotter (blog)

Praise for Hermans' The Darkroom of Damocles

I didn't know more [than a few facts about Hermans or his life]. But that wasn't necessary to delight in his novel. Works of art are gnawed at by a frenzied pack of comments and facts and their din renders the singular voice of a novel or a poem inaudible. I finished Hermans' book with a sense of gratitude for my ignorance; it granted me a silence in which I could hear this novel's voice in all its purity, in all the beauty of the unexplained and the unknown. . . I dove into this novel, intimidated at first by its length, then surprised at having read it without stopping. Because this novel is a thriller, a long chain of events in which the suspense never lets up. The events (which take place during the War and in the years immediately after) are described in a dry, exacting manner, detailed but swift; they are terribly real, yet skirt the limits of plausibility. I was captivated by this aesthetic: a novel smitten with the real and at the same time fascinated by the improbable and the strange. – Milan Kundera, Le Monde

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Details

ISBN-10: 193981006X
ISBN-13: 9781939810069
Publisher: Archipelago Books
Publish Date: 10/23/2018
Dimensions: 6.10" L, 5.50" W, 0.50" H
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