Irmgard Keun

Ferdinand, the Man with the Kind Heart

Ferdinand, the Man with the Kind Heart


Bombed-out Cologne after the war is a strange place to be. The black market in jam and corsets is booming, half-destroyed houses offer opportunities for stealing doors and eggcups, and de-Nazification parties are all the rage. Recently released from a prisoner-of-war camp, Ferdinand drifts around the city, strenuously avoiding his fiancée and drinking brandy with his fabulous cousin. But is this any way to go on?

Told with Keun's characteristic humour, irony and generosity of spirit, this is a wry portrait of a man, a city and a nation that asks how we go on living even in the face of total defeat.

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