It is summer, 1929, and in a small German town a storm is brewing. The shabby reporter Tredup leads a precarious existence working for the "Pomeranian Chronicle" - until he takes some photographs that offer the chance to make a fortune. In Kruger's bar, the farmers are plotting their revenge on greedy officials.
.I stare at the coffee I poured myself, and I think: caffeine is a poison that stimulates the heart. There are plenty of instances of people killing themselves with coffee, hundreds and thousands of them. Caffeine is a deadly poison, maybe almost as deadly as morphine. Why didn't it ever occur to me before: coffee is my friend!' Drawing on Hans Fallada's own history of addiction, these two stories and are written with a remarkable, tough, spartan clarity. As a man desperately, haplessly tries to get enough morphine to make it through the day and a drunk embezzler struggles to get himself arrested, they are at one second crushing, the next darkly comic.
This book includes A Short Treatise on the Joys of Morphinism and Three Years of Life.
'It was what we call in the trade a potato...' Tales of low-lifes and grifters trying to make ends meet in pre-War Germany. Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.