The Twilight World

The Twilight World

The first novel from iconic filmmaker Werner Herzog

Summary

'A potent, vaporous fever dream; a meditation on truth, lies, illusion and time' - NEW YORK TIMES

'Herzog's writing bristles with the same eerie and uncompromising energy as his films. His jungle pulses with hallucinatory life' - Sam Byers, Guardian

In his first novel, the great filmmaker, Werner Herzog, tells the incredible story of a Japanese soldier who defended a small island for twenty-nine years after the end of World War II.

Hold the island until the Imperial army's return. You are to defend its territory by guerrilla tactics, at all costs... There is only one rule: you are forbidden to die by your own hand. In the event of your capture by the enemy, you are to give them all the misleading information you can.

In 1944, on Lubang Island in the Philippines, with Japanese troops about to withdraw, Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda was given orders by his superior officer. So began Onoda's long campaign, during which he became fluent in the hidden language of the jungle. Soon weeks turned into months, months into years, and years into decades - until eventually time itself seemed to melt away. All the while Onoda continued to fight his fictitious war, at once surreal and tragic, at first with other soldiers, and then, finally, alone, a character in a novel of his own making.

The Twilight World immortalizes and imagines Onoda's years of absurd yet epic struggle in an inimitable, hypnotic fever dream. It is a moving and profound meditation on the purpose and meaning we give our lives.

Reviews

  • A beautiful little novel, with Herzog's slight prose ideally capturing the mind of the lonely Onoda... Nobody else could have written The Twilight World. It is pure Herzog
    Sunday Times

About the author

Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog has produced, written and directed more than fifty feature and documentary films, including the multi-award-winning Grizzly Man, Aguirre, The Wrath of God, Fitzcarraldo, My Best Fiend, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Nosferatu, Lessons of Darkness, Littler Dieter Needs To Fly, Into the Inferno, Meeting Gorbachev and Encounters At The End of the World. He has also directed many operas and published more than a dozen books of prose including Conquest of the Useless and Of Walking In Ice. The Twilight World is his first book in decades.
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