About the Book Reviews
About the Book
This poignant novel, beautifully translated by Simon Beattie, was, in Lampe’s words, ‘born into a regime where it could not breathe’; he hoped that one day it might rise again. It has no one main character, but evokes the sensations and impressions of a sultry September evening on the waterfront of Bremen, with its charm and tenderness, squalor and lust. It contains a stream of images with many characters: children, old and young people, men and women, townsfolk, performers, students and seamen. Things happen as they happen, horrible things, touching things. Its depiction of raw reality was unacceptable to the Nazis: the book was seized by them in December 1933 and withdrawn from sale.
‘At the Edge of the Night appeared in 1933. I read it at the time with great interest, as German prose writers of such quality were rare even then… And what struck us at the time… as so beautiful and powerful has not paled, it has withstood; it proves itself with the best, and captivates and delights just as then.’ Hermann Hesse