Celine's novel, first published in 1932 marked a turning point in French literature, and in World literature as well. Inspiring many others Celine's tale is a fictional autobiography of Ferdinand Bardamu, which is partly based on and inspired by the real author's experiences. Starting in France at the beginning of the First World War we follow Bardamu through his experiences, and then on to colonial Africa, onwards to America, and then back to Paris.
Celine shows his nihilistic viewpoint with the deepest darkest humour and Rabelasian fantasy. This isn't an easy read, it pulls you in and holds you viscerally not letting you go. Don't try to analyse it, just lose yourself in the written word and see where this novel takes you. To a certain extent this will get under your skin, whatever your personal feelings towards the author, as he writes about the things he sees around him with such anger and annoyance. Showing up the stupidity of Man even if you don't finish this book it is well worth reading about the war and colonialism.
Written with such power Celine really shows his contempt for his fellow Men, but in a way that is darkly humourous. A book of hate and despair this is a book arguably for all time showing us some of the stupid and destructive things that still are carried on. This is an uncomfortable read, mainly as Celine writes with such power.