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An Untouched House: W.F. Hermans

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9781782274445: An Untouched House: W.F. Hermans
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A Spectator and Sunday Times Book of the Year

'The kind of book that stays with you for ever' -- Guardian

'Shocking' -- Sunday Times


Towards the end of the Second World War, a weary partisan fighting with the Red Army in Germany comes across a grand, abandoned house, seemingly untouched by the devastation sweeping the land. Exhausted, he falls asleep in the living room, but wakes to find a Nazi patrol marching up the garden path. His only hope is to pose as the house's owner, but how will he keep up the pretence when the real owner returns?

Dazzling, dark and scorchingly violent, with the breakneck pace of a thriller, this timeless classic is a vivid depiction of what happens when the mask of decency is cast aside in the savagery of war.

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Review:

A Spectator and Sunday Times Book of the Year

'I was struck by the compressed farce and horror in the 1951 Dutch novella An Untouched House by Willem Frederik Hermans, in David Colmer's new translation' -- Spectator, Books of the Year

'Profoundly unsettling and haunt the mind for long afterwards' -- Sunday Times, Books of the Year

'I was overwhelmed' -- Sam Jordison, Guardian, Choose your Book of 2018

'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' -- Guardian

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

'Taut... dark, thrillerish story, ably translated by David Colmer, carries the pungent tang of authenticity' -- New Statesman

'Bleak, hilarious, angry, ruthless and plain. [Hermans is] as alarming as a snake in the breadbin. He's also hugely entertaining' -- Scotsman

'The Dutch have hailed him as their greatest novelist, and now, slowly, Europe is getting to know him' --Milan Kundera, Le Monde

'By any light, this eloquent marvel teases, bewilders and unnerves' -- Times Literary Supplement

'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

'A violent climax without equal in modern literature' -- Cees Nooteboom

'As disturbing and powerful as anything by Joseph Heller or Kurt Vonnegut' --Michel Faber, Guardian

'Underrated' -- Ian McEwan, TLS

'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 (blog)

'Not for the faint-hearted' -- Lizzy's Literary Life (blog)

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

'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)

'Disturbing, haunting, and brilliant... an excellent antidote to misty eyed nostalgia for blitz or Dunkirk spirit' -- Desperate Reader (blog)

'A literary tour de force' -- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

'Not only would Dutch literature be considerably less without Hermans; so would European literature' --Suddeutsche Zeitung

From the Back Cover:

A partisan fighting with the Red Army comes across a grand abandoned house, seemingly untouched by the devastation sweeping the land. Exhausted, he falls asleep in the living room, but wakes to find a Nazi patrol marching up the garden path. His only hope is to pose as the house's owner, but how will he keep up the pretence when the real owner returns? Dazzling, dark and scorchingly violent, with the breakneck pace of a thriller, this timeless classic is a vivid depiction of what happens when the mask of decency is cast aside in the savagery of war.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781939810069: An Untouched House

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ISBN 10: 193981006X ISBN 13: 9781939810069
Publisher: Archipelago, 2018
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