The Train Was on Time
10%
off

The Train Was on Time

3.84 (2,441 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Introduction by 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 1 business day


When will my order arrive?

Available. Expected delivery to the United States in 6-9 business days.


Not ordering to the United States? Click here.

Description

'Boell's novel blows a stent in the human heart. . . It feels more necessary than ever.' Anna Funder, from the introduction

'This is the best book I have read this year; not by miles, but by whole astronomical units; I am stunned by it as if by a blow. It is *astonishing* to the extent that I cannot convey to you its power' Sarah Perry, bestselling author of The Essex Serpent and Melmoth

Twenty-four-year-old Andreas, a disillusioned German soldier, is travelling on a troop train to the Eastern Front when he has an awful premonition that he will die in exactly five days. As he hurtles towards his death, he reflects on the chaos around him - the naive soldiers, the painfully thin girl who pours his coffee, the ruined countryside - with sudden, heart-breaking poignancy. Arriving in Poland the night before he is certain he will die, he meets Olina, a beautiful prostitute, and together they attempt to escape his fate...

'His work reaches the highest level of creative originality and stylistic perfection' Daily Telegraph

'Boll combines a mammoth intelligence with a literary outlook that is masterful and unique' Joseph Heller, author of Catch-22

'My most-admired contemporary novelist' John Ashbery

'From the moment I stepped on board the troop train with Private Andreas, concerns pertaining to my own world fell away completely. Holding this impelling book is tantamount to holding the young soldier's fate in one's hands. It is impossible to let go.' Claire-Louise Bennett, author of Pond
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 128 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 7mm | 96g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0241370388
  • 9780241370384
  • 153,243

Review Text

His work reaches the highest level of creative originality and stylistic perfection Daily Telegraph
show more

Review quote

This is the best book I have read this year; not by miles, but by whole astronomical units; I am stunned by it as if by a blow. It is *astonishing* to the extent that I cannot convey to you its power - how gradually one lies clutching the book wrenched into pieces by the imagery and by the extravagant profundity with which the soldier's fear and desire and unhappiness is felt... -- Sarah Perry, bestselling author of The Essex Serpent and Melmoth Boell's novel blows a stent in the human heart, and shows us the terror there. It feels more necessary than ever -- Anna Funder, from the introduction From the moment I stepped on board the troop train with Private Andreas, concerns pertaining to my own world fell away completely. Holding this impelling book is tantamount to holding the young soldier's fate in one's hands. It is impossible to let go. -- Claire-Louise Bennett, author of 'Pond' We must be grateful to the Penguin European Writers series, a precious venture in these dark times -- John Banville My most-admired contemporary novelist -- John Ashbery Boell combines a mammoth intelligence with a literary outlook that is masterful and unique -- Joseph Heller, author of Catch-22 His work reaches the highest level of creative originality and stylistic perfection * Daily Telegraph *
show more

About Heinrich Böll

Heinrich Boell won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1972. Born in Cologne in 1917, Boell was raised in a pacifist Catholic family who later opposed Nazism. After an apprenticeship at a bookseller's, he was drafted into the Nazi Wehrmacht before being sent to an American prisoner-of-war camp in 1945. After the war he enrolled at university, but dropped out to write about his shattering experiences as a soldier: The Train Was on Time was his first novel and he went on to become one of the most important postwar German authors. Boell served for several years as the president of International P.E.N. and was a leading defender of the intellectual freedom of writers throughout the world. He died in 1985.
show more

Rating details

2,441 ratings
3.84 out of 5 stars
5 26% (632)
4 40% (970)
3 28% (689)
2 5% (126)
1 1% (24)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X