'Gaudy, wild, raw, amusing, rollicking and ragged, boiling with life, on intimate terms with death and evil - but in the end, contrite and fully tired of a world wasting itself in blood, pillage and lust' Thomas Mann

First published in 1668, Simplicissimus tells the picaresque, brilliantly described adventures of a boy swept up in the Thirty Years War and the terrible things that he experiences. Some of it is realistic, some fantastical, but the overall effect is an unmatched picture of Europe torn apart by an endless, sadistic, futile war from which nobody can escape. Simplicissimus was rediscovered in twentieth century Germany and is now established as one of the essential works of German literature. As Thomas Mann wrote: 'It is a story of the most basic kind of grandeur - gaudy, wild, raw, amusing, rollicking and ragged, boiling with life, on intimate terms with death and evil - but in the end, contrite and fully tired of a world wasting itself in blood, pillage and lust, but immortal in the miserable spendour of its sins.'

  • Penguin
  • Published 1st March 2018
  • 560 Pages
  • £12.99