Description : Death on the Installment Plan is a companion volume to Louis-Ferinand Céline's earlier novel Journey to the End of Night. Published in rapid succession in the middle 1930s, these two books shocked European literatue and world consciousness. Nominally fiction but more rightly called "creative confessions," they told of the author's childhood in excoriating Paris slums, of serves in the mud wastes of World War I and African jungles. Mixing unmitigated despair with Gargantuan comedy, they also created a new style, in which invective and obscenity were laced with phrases of unforgettable poetry. Céline's influence revolutionized the contemporary approach to fiction. Under a cloud for a period, his work is now acknowledged as the forerunner of today's "black humor."
Description : It is Germany near the end of World War II, the Allies have landed, and members of the Vichy France government have been sequestered in a labyrinthine castle, replete with secret passages and subterranean hideaways. The group of 1,400 terrified officials, their wives, mistresses, flunkies, and Nazi “protectors”—including Céline, his wife, their cat, and an actor friend—attempt to postpone the postwar reckoning under the constant threat of air raids and starvation.
Description : Celine is best known for his early novels Journey to the End of the Night (1932) and Death on the Instalment Plan (1936), but this delirious, fanatical and unreasonable account of the life of Semmelweiss predates them both. Ignacz Semmelweiss (1818-1865) was a doctor, now regarded as the father of the cure to antisepsis. His fellow doctors rejected both his reasoning and his methods, thereby causing many thousands of deaths in maternity wards across Europe. While originally written as a thesis towards his medical doctorate in 1924, it was not published until 1936.
Description : One of the last major untranslated works by France's most controversial author, London Bridge is a riotous novel about the London underworld during World War I. Picking up where Guignol's Band (1944; English translation 1954) left off, Céline's autobiographical narrator recounts his disastrous partnership with a mystical Frenchman (intent on financing a trip to Tibet by winning a gas-mask competition); his uneasy relationship with London's pimps and whores and their common nemesis, Inspector Matthew of Scotland Yard; and, most scandalously, his affair with a baronet's 14-year-old daughter, an English angel whose descent into vice is suspiciously smooth. He dreams of escaping with her to America to start a new life, but he, his mystical partner, and his under-aged mistress finally awake to reality crossing windswept London Bridge. Written in his trademark style-a headlong rush of slang, brusque observation, and quirky lyricism, delivered in machine-gun bursts of prose and ellipses-Céline re-creates the dark days during the Great War with sordid verisimilitude and desperate hilarity, expertly captured in Dominic Di Bernardi's racy translation.
Description : R C Sherriff’s Journey’s End is a syllabus text and the most famous play about World War One. First staged in 1928, this book tells the story of what went into the making of this extraordinary and powerful trench drama. It outlines Sherriff’s career from humble insurance clerk to infantry officer and his unforgettable 10 months on the western front before he was invalided home, lucky to be alive. Sherriff poured into his first professional play his personal experience of living in a front-line dug-out. Using his diary and letters home, the book charts his emotional life under fire and relates it directly to the play, its events and its characters. It also tells the story of Journey’s End’s incredible box office success across the world, a triumph which made its shy young author famous overnight. Taking in the history of the show right up to the most recent productions, Journey’s End: The Classic War Play Explored is a meditation on Journey’s End’s achievement as a war document, its fascination for audiences when it was first staged and its continuing grip on theatregoers and students today.
Description : Completed the day before his death in 1961, Rigadoon, the most compassionate of Celine's novels, explores the ravages of war and its aftermath. Often comic and always angry, the first-person autobiographical narrator, with his wife and their cat in tow, takes the reader with him on his flight from Paris to Denmark after finding himself on the losing side of World War II. The train rides that encompass the novel are filled with madness and mercy, as Celine, a physician, aids refugees while ignoring his own medical needs.
Description : Longing for the Bomb traces the unusual story of the first atomic city and the emergence of American nuclear culture. Tucked into the folds of Appalachia and kept off all commercial maps, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was created for the Manhattan Project by the U.S. government in the 1940s. Its workers labored at a breakneck pace, most aware only that their jobs were helping "the war effort." The city has experienced the entire lifespan of the Atomic Age, from the fevered wartime enrichment of the uranium that fueled Little Boy, through a brief period of atomic utopianism after World War II when it began to brand itself as "The Atomic City," to the anxieties of the Cold War, to the contradictory contemporary period of nuclear unease and atomic nostalgia. Oak Ridge's story deepens our understanding of the complex relationship between America and its bombs. Blending historiography and ethnography, Lindsey Freeman shows how a once-secret city is visibly caught in an uncertain present, no longer what it was historically yet still clinging to the hope of a nuclear future. It is a place where history, memory, and myth compete and conspire to tell the story of America's atomic past and to explain the nuclear present.
Description : Synopsis High School Memoirs: A Journey in Surrealism is a tear-jerking, hilarious ride for a less-than-ordinary High School student who battles bullies and librarians to become King of the Classroom. Set in a small Catholic High School on the north side of Chicago, author Sean Cusack takes us on a surrealistic journey through four fun-filled years of triumph and tragedy in this unique epic. The journey begins with Sean Cusack entering St. Bernadin High School in August of 1995 as a very young and innocent Freshman student. He focuses on several life changing experiences in his infant days of High School that change him forever. Innocence Lost traces the steps Sean Cusack took that ultimately lead him on a path toward frequent battles with students and the school faculty and Administration. As a Sophomore, The Ride most certainly takes us on a ride through fights, vandalism, and verbal debacles that continued to steer the vengeful ship that Sean Cusack had been building since a Freshman. He now had become the ships Captain as it set sail. The Ride takes us through many strange and mysterious encounters that add more of a surrealist element to this budding melodrama and comedic satire. Sean Cusacks roses bud Junior Year in Forever Remembered, when he becomes a charismatic hero and leader of a rebellious group of students that pillage and plunder the school and faculty in wild and zany antics. Forever Remembered embodies the humorous and more imaginative side of Sean Cusack as the journey through High School becomes more surreal. Senior Year wraps up the trials and tribulations that Sean Cusack had endured thus far in his High School experience culminating into one person after years of battling the Defunct Administration. He is molded by evil as the rebellious youth becomes totally hellbent on crippling the school. In the end, he loses friends, respect from teachers, but most of all, he loses faith in his cause, yet ends his High School experience with a fantastical and triumphant bow. Sean Cusack proves that not all High School stories are the same in this turbulent and chaotic autobiography. High School Memoirs: A Journey in Surrealism chronicles a strange and unique history that is truly a step above the rest.