|Train Was on Time, the (1956) [Novel]|
by Heinrich Böll
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Young Andreas, a soldier in the German infantry, is returning to his unit on the Eastern front in 1944 after a short leave in Paris. Hitler has already lost his war, and the train rolls across Germany into Poland as over the corpse of a continent. Andreas senses that death awaits him. He knows intuitively that he will never again see his native land, once the train crosses the border. And yet he lived through the the tedium of the trip with the scenes of his short life flashing through his mind, playing cards with two anonymous comrades, drinking and eating with them and spending one last night with a Polish prostitute in Lvov, knowing all the time that the remaining hours, the minutes, the seconds of his life are rushing away.
With a mounting suspense the author leads his hero through these last days to a terrifying climax, which, through Andreas' final vision, comments obliquely on war and upon the Nazi attempt to conquer the world.
Original title: Der Zug war pünktlich
Genre: Fiction→ Historical→ World War II→ General
Fiction→ General Fiction