The dark side of On the Road: instead of seeking kicks, the French narrator travels the globe to find an ever deeper disgust for life.
Louis-Ferdinand Celine's revulsion and anger at what he considered the idiocy and hypocrisy of society explodes from nearly every page of this novel. Filled with slang and obscenities and written in raw, colloquial language, Journey to the End of the Night is a literary symphony of violence, cruelty and obscene nihilism. This book shocked most critics when it was first published in France in 1932, but quickly became a success with the reading public in Europe, and later in America where it was first published by New Directions in 1952. The story of the improbable yet convincingly described travels of the petit-bourgeois (and largely autobiographical) antihero, Bardamu, from the trenches of World War I, to the African jungle, to New York and Detroit, and finally to life as a failed doctor in Paris, takes the readers by the scruff and hurtles them toward the novel's inevitable, sad conclusion.
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Behold, the master
This is the novel. There is nothing quite like it, no other author that can sing, taunt, demean and cheer. Céline can write about the aristocracy of a woman's leg or the idiocy of jingoism, all with brilliance, with éclat, with a voice that commands your attention. What makes Céline great is not that he writes of reality, but the hallucinations provoked by reality.
beautifully written but deeply tragic
despite the bleakness of the story, because céline’s writing is so breathtakingly beautiful, so completely raw, so unsparingly truthful, it’s impossible not to respect his artistry. this is an absolutely amazing writer.