Against the World

November 1, 2020
Against the World

On its publication in German, Against the World was hailed as animmediate classic. “One of the most spectacular debuts of recentdecades,” said Kulturspiegel, while Der Spiegel went even farther:“Against the World is the book of books.” Now English-languagereaders will get their first chance to see what German readers havealready learned: this is a big, ambitious, over-the-topmasterpiece.Set in the East Friesia region of Germany in the mid-1970s,Against the World tells the story of Daniel Kuper, the nominal heirto a drugstore dynasty, and his struggle to free himself from thepetty suspicions and violence of small-town life. A delicate,secretive boy with too much imagination and too few opportunities,he becomes the target of outrage and fear when strange phenomenaconvulse the town: snowfall in summer, inexplicable corn circles, aboy dead under the wheels of a train, swastikas crudely daubed onwalls. Fingers point, and they single out Kuper. The more he triesto prove his innocence, the more fierce the accusations, until hisonly option is open war against the village and itsinhabitants.An unforgettable debut, Against the World is an epic account ofgrowing up an outsider, and the pain, violence, and betrayal thataccompany exclusion.