A powerful story of the shattering effects of the First World War on both a family and a country – from Hans Fallada, bestselling author of Alone in Berlin
'You only want to tyrannise, you're only happy when we're all trembling before you. You're just like your Kaiser. He who doesn't obey is shot down…'
Gustav Hackendahl's will is law. Known as 'Iron Gustav', he runs his family and his Berlin carriage business with stern, unyielding discipline. But his children have wills of their own, and soon they slip from his control – some to better lives, some towards disaster. As war breaks out and Gustav's beloved Germany is devastated by hardship and violence, he finds everything he believes in destroyed. Can the man of iron endure, or even change?
Brutal and moving, written with Hans Fallada's gift for capturing the small tragedies of ordinary lives,Iron Gustav is a heartbreaking family chronicle and an unflinching portrayal of the First World War and its aftermath.
"This remarkable work, now complete after 76 years, could well be one of the finest novels any of us will ever read. Hans Fallada really was that most rare creature, a born novelist who was also a witness."
"Every so often you come across a book so finely wrought that you have no doubt about its status as a literary classic. Iron Gustav is one."
Wall Street Journal
"A superb German classic, certainly worth reading nowadays, here in Israel."
Salit Kretz, YNET