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Ship, The [Paperback]

Hans Henny Jahnn
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 11.99
Price: 8.90 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Jan 1970
Hans Henry Jahnn was one of the great German prose-writers of the post-war period and a master of the eerie and inexplicable. Interpretations of The Ship, his strange and often startling novel, differ from reader to reader, its brooding, Kafkaesque elements and powerful imagery lingering in the memory.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Peter Owen (1 Jan 1970)
  • ASIN: B004ASND0C
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 11.4 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 299,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a strange voyage 13 Mar 2011
By monica
Really nearer 5 stars, but I don't know how to rate this book objectively. I hardly know how to review it, but I recommend it strenuously to anyone who would revel in discovering a virtually unheard-of work both bizarre and impassioned.

What plot there is is simple: A ship with a mysterious cargo sets sail, following disquieting events dockside, for a destination unknown even to the captain. Aboard with the hastily-assembled crew are the captain's daughter, her stowaway lover, and an enigmatic supercargo. The ship is of a weird construction, with hidden pipes, doorways, and passages; the hold is sealed to protect the secret of the cargo; the cabins are bugged with listening devices; instructions are issued from a nearby but unseen ship. A character somehow disappears, there is a mutiny of sorts, and the abrupt end of the voyage is the result of the stowaway's attempt to solve the ship's mystery.

I read much of this book in small chunks--something I'd never before done with fiction--because I found the atmosphere so overwhelming and the sound of the writing so driving that I wasn't always lingering long enough to truly take in the meaning of the words. Because you're unlikely to be able to leaf through a copy in a bookshop, I've chosen a couple of passages almost at random to give a sense of the prose:

'Millions of ears hear the sound of universal sadness, true or false, and fall prey to it. There exists only one pain, one passion, one death. But they glitter limitlessly in infinity, in motion everywhere. And every ray, the known and the unknown, hums this consuming rhythm, this melody of downfall. He who lays himself open to it founders, goes up in flames, succumbs.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only book you will ever need 22 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase
Having bought this edition, fetchingly garbed in a muddy green, I was obliged to obtain a matching Barbour jacket (the Border), in a deep internal pocket of which I have taken to transporting this volume at all times. You really should not consider any other book - forget your tawdry story books, pay no heed to those so-called works of history or attempts at 'veridical documentation' - The Ship is the only book you will ever need.
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