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The End of a Mission by Heinrich Böll

The End of a Mission (1966)

by Heinrich Böll

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Dutch (2)  English (1)  Hebrew (1)  Danish (1)  All (5)
'The End of a Mission' is centred around an absurd criminal case in 1960s Germany, in which a father and son are accused (and do not deny) setting fire to an army jeep as a sort of avant garde protest against modern Germany. The trial is a cosy affair, ignored by the press at the request of the local government, and involving an incestuous group of friends and relations, acting for both sides safe in the knowledge that the outcome is pre-determined. A comic cast of characters is allowed to turn the trial into a comfortable charade.
'The End of a Mission' is a bit of a one-joke book, and I didn't find it particularly funny. The Boll I have read in the past is at his best when at his driest, and I don't think the sort of absurd humour he was attempting here suited him. It read like farce in places, which is never a good thing in my opinion. Humour is, of course, very subjective, but the book relied heavily on comic absurdity that just didn't work. The writing was also strangely dense, and for a very small book it was fairly hard work. There were a few moments where I could see the shoots of something deeper poking through, and at times he touched on some of the themes that made 'Katherine Blum' a fantastic book, but it was not often enough, or coherent enough for me.
  GlebtheDancer | Apr 28, 2009 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Heinrich Böllprimary authorall editionscalculated
Vennewitz, LeilaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wielek-Berg, W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Presso la pretura di Birglar fu celebrato ai primi di autunno dell'anno passato un processo sul cui svolgimento l'opinione pubblica ebbe notizie molto scarse.
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