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The Antichrist by Joseph Roth
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The Antichrist

by Joseph Roth

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341510,001 (3.75)None
Long out of print in English, this dizzying hybrid of novel, essay, and polemic has less to do with religion than with what Roth sees as the disintegrating moral fabric of the modern world Written while Roth was in exile from Germany and his native Austria following the rise of Nazism, this work was composed in caf©?s across free Europe after all his works in German went up in flames. Such events no doubt influence the apocalytic tones of The Antichrist's protaganist, J.R., a journalist hired by an inscrutable media mogul hellbent on exposing evidence of the "Antichrist" throughout the world. This mission leads J.R. to authoritarian political regimes such as Red Earth (the Soviet Union) but also other poisonous terrains like The Land of Shadows (Hollywood)--it becomes all too clear that it is Roth's mission to chart the whole of civilization's slide into moral and political chaos. But herein lies the extraordinary strength and appeal of this work, as Roth is powerfully and even hilariously prescient. Mixing the diatribe with his trademark sardonic wit, he miraculously predicts the advent of the Holocaust, globalization, multimedia--even the paparazzi. Combining beautiful but savage writing with visual imagery out of a Coen Brothers movie, this is an invaluable addition to the Roth canon in English.… (more)
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A couple of years ago I read and loved Joseph Roth’s What I Saw: Reports from Berlin 1920-1933, a collection of fascinating essays about Germany on the cusp of fascist rule, so an apocalyptic novel about the rise of Hitler seemed promising. I had hoped for something similar to Hans Keilson’s heartbreaking The Death of the Adversary, but it turns out The Antichrist is not a novel at all, just fragments of memories, fantasies, and harangues haphazardly stuck together. I can certainly understand the urgency of wanting to let the world know about the horrors of Hitler, but this book doesn't quite accomplish it. ( )
  giovannigf | Aug 26, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joseph Rothprimary authorall editionscalculated
Panchyk, RichardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Panchyk, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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