• His work reaches the highest level of creative originality and stylistic perfection

    Daily Telegraph
  • Böll combines a mammoth intelligence with a literary outlook that is masterful and unique

    Joseph Heller, author of Catch-22
  • My most-admired contemporary novelist

    John Ashbery
  • We must be grateful to the Penguin European Writers series, a precious venture in these dark times

    John Banville
  • From the moment I stepped on board the troop train with Private Andreas, concerns pertaining to my own world fell away completely. Holding this impelling book is tantamount to holding the young soldier's fate in one's hands. It is impossible to let go.

    Claire-Louise Bennett, author of 'Pond'
  • Böll's novel blows a stent in the human heart, and shows us the terror there. It feels more necessary than ever

    Anna Funder, from the introduction
  • This is the best book I have read this year; not by miles, but by whole astronomical units; I am stunned by it as if by a blow. It is *astonishing* to the extent that I cannot convey to you its power - how gradually one lies clutching the book wrenched into pieces by the imagery and by the extravagant profundity with which the soldier's fear and desire and unhappiness is felt...

    Sarah Perry, bestselling author of The Essex Serpent and Melmoth