Living in occupied France during the Second World War, the narrator endures an emotionless, bleak life with German literature as his only love. His passion is suddenly ignited when he harbours a young Jewish man from the Nazis. An intriguing, sparsely told novel.
Then we went to my room, evading the warden’s vigilance, and Hans-Joachim snatched up the book as if it were something we had both secretly been desiring since morning. He liberated the work from its veil of tissue paper, which fell silently wafting through the air. Hans-Joachim opened the book at the first page and began to read aloud.