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The Clown by Heinrich Boll
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The Clown (original 1963; edition 1971)

by Heinrich Boll, Leila Vennewitz (Translator)

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1,631224,440 (3.94)26
Member:nabeelar
Title:The Clown
Authors:Heinrich Boll
Other authors:Leila Vennewitz (Translator)
Info:McGraw-Hill Companies (1971), Edition: First Edition (first pb), Paperback, 247 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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The Clown by Heinrich Böll (1963)

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» See also 26 mentions

English (14)  Spanish (2)  German (2)  Italian (2)  French (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (22)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Hans Schneir is a professional clown, whose life as we meet him is falling apart, having been stung by the departure of his love, Marie. He's already maligned by his parents, former Nazi-enablers who now profess postwar inclusiveness. Alcohol is his salve, and his once remunerative career has fizzled. In essence, one long monologue of existential malaise, with Hans the face of a guilt ridden Germany. Well written, but his splenetic refrain grows old after so many pages. ( )
  JamesMScott | Jun 1, 2016 |
::Sobs::
Damnit, Henrich!
This book left me lingering in sadness, crawling around, desperately searching for any sort of comfort and consolation from the cruel world.
This is a devastating tale of a hysterical yet somber clown, Hans. He was left alone by all his loved ones to fend for himself after his girlfriend left him for another man, and shortly after his career went down into a heaping pile of quicksand. This is his moments of healing after attempts to reconcile with selfish family members, the humor comes when he rips into a few questionable characters.
I laughed as hard as I could to forget the pain that Hans felt as he relived horrible yet tender moments of heartbreak and grief.
I relate a lot to this story, as I always seem to be the outcast when it comes to religion, I can also relate to the harrowing tale of being thrown to the sharks with minimum protection and zero finances despite having wealthy relatives who cast me as a black sheep for career/life choices because they “have a reputation to withhold.”
Damnit Hans, come be my roommate and babysitter! All I ask in return is that you entertain my family for free food and board and I will help you get yourself back on your feet- no strings attached, except you must promise to never be sad again. :(

“There's nothing more depressing for people than a clown they feel sorry for. It's like a waiter coming up in a wheelchair to bring you your beer."

Unforgettable,
I will read more from this author someday, when I recover from all the strong waves of emotion this stirred.
5 solid strong stars for a character I will never forget. Recommended for anyone who wants a break from fluff and fantasy and wants a raw gritty emotional tale from an unforgettable familiar point of view.
( )
  XoVictoryXo | May 31, 2016 |
I first read this in my early 20s, and again in my late 30s, and I recommend it. It’s a funny book about Hans Schnier, a melancholy unbeliever who clowns for a living in postwar Germany. His home is Bonn, the baby capital of what was then West Germany, and it’s the awkward period around 1950 (after the war but before the “economic miracle”) when it was hard to see the point of being German. On top of that, his true love Marie has left him, and Hans blames the Catholic Church. Sidelined by an injured knee and bad press, with only one deutschmark left in his pocket, he starts phoning all the relatives, friends, Catholics, and “repentant” Nazis he knows, partly to pass the time, but also to hit them up for cash.
2 vote Muscogulus | Mar 4, 2013 |
Uno dei libri della mia vita. Una pietra miliare della letteratura del 900.
  Lilliblu | Aug 4, 2012 |
The first time I read this book I was in high school and focused on the social satire of post-war Germany and in particular the hypocrisy of religion and politics. This time around, with the perspective of many many years, what caught me was more the question of love vs. religion and social mores and the role of an artist as social critic - can an artist really function when, like Hans, he pisses off everybody? Still an excellent and thought-provoking book. ( )
2 vote AramisSciant | Jun 8, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (74 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Böll, Heinrichprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Araújo Cardalda, LaureanoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Plas, Michel van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Steen, KnutIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vargas Llosa, MarioForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vennawitz, LeilaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vennewitz, LeilaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Through the eyes of a despairing artist, Hans Schneir, who recreates in his pantomimes incidents in people's lives with honesty and compassion, Boll draws a revealing portrait of German society under Hitler and in the postwar years.

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