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76 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Infatuation With The Queen of Alcohol
I first read Hans Fallada's 'The Drinker' eight years ago and my second reading of it confirms all its macabre power to haunt its readers. Written in just two weeks in a German lunatic asylum in 1944, this hypnotic, compelling story of a respectable businessman's alcohol-induced descent into squalour and psychic collapse will sober its merriest reader. Based on events in...
Published on 16 Jun 2005 by jonathanlaird27

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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not embedded
In this semi-autobiographical novel, Hans Fallada tells the story of a human struggle for survival: a small businessman fighting against a slow suicide through alcoholism.

In his introduction, J. Willett, interprets the story of the fall of the drunkard as a symbol of the fate of the Nazi State, although the book was written before the end of WW II...
Published on 21 April 2011 by Luc REYNAERT


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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book holds the reader throuhout, 16 Oct 2010
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Mr. M. E. Harris "Mal" (Gwent) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Drinker, The (Paperback)
a classic read outlining the hidden dangers of alcoholism and the depths of despair it can reduce one to. Buy it for a friend with a drinking problem with discretion!!
M.H.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am very happy ith their service, 14 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Drinker, The (Paperback)
I am very happy with the service they provided. I have no complaints and I will gladly use them again, which I have.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely convincing., 29 May 2013
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This review is from: The Drinker (Kindle Edition)
Fallada's characters are always so well drawn and utterly convincing.
Given the topic of alcoholism, it is a tribute to the writer's skill that the story can still enthrall.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Drinker is a toast to a life gone wrong, 4 April 2013
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This review is from: Drinker, The (Paperback)
Fallada vividly and accurately entered into the mind of somebody slipping into alcoholism with all its self justification of actions taken or otherwise. You can taste the schnapps and feel the after effects as the anti-hero stumble to his demise. A match for other Fallada classics.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not embedded, 21 April 2011
By 
Luc REYNAERT (Beernem, Belgium) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Drinker, The (Paperback)
In this semi-autobiographical novel, Hans Fallada tells the story of a human struggle for survival: a small businessman fighting against a slow suicide through alcoholism.

In his introduction, J. Willett, interprets the story of the fall of the drunkard as a symbol of the fate of the Nazi State, although the book was written before the end of WW II.
However, the novel doesn't transcend the personal problems of the main character.
The story isn't embedded in a global social context. One doesn't read one evaluation, one comment, one reference or even one hint about the political, social or economic situation in Germany or about the ongoing war. There is even not one sentence about the human condition in general. The whole book is centered on and limited to a not very interesting subject: a drunkard.

The book shows more Hans Fallada's total loss of confidence in the `little men' (of his novel `Little Man, what now?'), who joined or supported massively the Nazi Party in Germany. They are personified here in the drunkard's nemesis, Lobedanz (`the lowest scoundrel and hypocrite I ever met in my life'), a `little man' from the `shed district', who became a tiny landlord for working men, as well as a thief and an extortionist.

Moreover, the psychological analysis is not groundbreaking or very deep.
All in all, this novel is a perfect example of what his one time backer, G. Lukács, called `false subjectivity'.

Only for Hans Fallada fans.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Narcissist, 3 July 2011
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This review is from: The Drinker (Kindle Edition)
As Fallada's novel 'Every Man Dies Alone' is also known as 'Alone in Berlin' so should 'The Drinker' be known as 'The Narcissist'.

As he tells his tale of descent into alcoholism and mental turmoil, Erwin Sommer says of his fellow 'sufferers'..."The medical officer must have been able to see there was more in me than in the others, I had more to lose, I was more sensitive, too, and more prone to suffering than these utterly dull, stupid fellows" (p.250) A deluded, self-pitying and grandiose character who has no sympathy or thought for anyone but himself. As such,The Drinker is an honest and truthful insight into a man suffering from the grips of alcoholism and, in my amature psychologist mode, some kind of narcissistic personality disorder.

It has been said that Erwin is loosly based on Fallada himself. If so, Fallada has been brutually honest and frank and laid bare a character who, in all honesty, I felt no sympathy for and cared for even less. The story is told from Erwin's perspective so we only ever hear his voice and his views on what is happening. Erwin very rarely shows empathy or sympathy for those around him or regret for any wrong doings against others. The blame for his woes and ills are often laid at the feet of others, and, more often than not, his wife. Erwin would have very little understanding of what self responsibility means.

Alcoholism, indeed many addictions, can be extremely selfish, unforgiving and uncaring for those who happen to be around. Fallada portrays this wonderfully in the character of Erwin (himself?). That said, I found him to be an incredibly frustrating character who wound me up no end. As a result, I would agree with the previous reviewer who said that the heart breaking descent of Erwin felt 'banal'. Unfortunately, it did. However, I would like to believe that this was as a result of Fallada's writing and that it may have been intentional with alcoholism being the destructive, delusional, grandiose, and self pitying metaphor for the character that is Erwin Sommer.
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Drinker, The
Drinker, The by Hans Fallada (Paperback - 20 Aug 2010)
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