A more intense realization of the horrors of the Great War has never been written.

Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker

Louis-Ferdinand Céline, as if declaiming from his grave, thunders back to life: that inimitable, scorching, and monstrously powerful voice roars at us anew in this long-lost novel

Available Jun, 11 2024


Fiction by Louis-Ferdinand Céline

Translated by Charlotte Mandell

Céline had long claimed that Death on the Installment Plan was part of a trilogy, and that the manuscripts of War and London had been stolen by the Resistance from his apartment, when he fled for his life—an abhorred collaborator—from Paris. Few believed him, but then, mysteriously, the manuscripts came to light in 2020. Greeted rapturously in France (“a miracle,” Le Monde; “the discovery of a great text,” Le Point), War is sure to generate more controversy abroad. Though much revered as “the most blackly humorous and disenchanted voice in all of French literature” (London Review of Books), Céline is also reviled for his infamous antisemitic wartime pamphlets.

War begins with Ferdinand waking in shock on the battlefield, grievously injured, with all his comrades sprawled out dead around him: it’s a scene of visceral horror, carnage, and pain.

The novel’s key idea—that trench warfare lodges itself in the soldier’s head forever, goes on destroying him, cuts him off from those who have not been on the front, and makes the hypocrisies of their safe world repugnant—drives itself under the reader’s skin, powered by the sheer velocity of Céline’s voracious, gritty, raw, graphic style.

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Portrait of Louis-Ferdinand Céline

Louis-Ferdinand Céline

20th century French writer and physician

A more intense realization of the horrors of the Great War has never been written.

Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker

War has its own sinister charm, and it provides a further hallucinated contribution to Céline’s case against war… In Search of Unlost Terror might be a title for the book.

Michael Wood, London Review of Books

Inimitably rowdy: the missing link between the Marquis and Henry Miller. ‘He drank coffee as if he were drinking gold.’ You read that, and you could die happy.

Michael Hofmann

Céline’s furious style is in full force, and is well served by the brevity of the text. Devoted fans will rejoice.

Publishers Weekly

Guerre is breathtaking. Its immediacy, its ostinato of physical pain, its lewd and desperate milieu of wounded soldiers in a field hospital behind the front lines, will either repel or draw you with its sardonic wit and glints of tenderness and trapdoor twists of narrative.

Kai Maristed, World Literature Today