This bundle includes three great works of European Literature and Daunt Books favourites, recommended by Daunt Bookseller, Thomas
Journey by Moonlight by Antal Szerb is the fantastically moving and darkly funny story of a bourgeois businessman torn between duty and desire. Translated from the Hungarian by the renowned and award-winning Len Rix, Antal Szerb’s Journey by Moonlight is the consummate European novel of the inter-war period.
Joseph Roth’s 1932 novel The Radetzky March must be one of the finest novels to depict the agonising collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The protagonist, Max Demant is a resentful Army Surgeon, too poor to set up his own practise. He also has a beautiful wife who loathes him. He adores her, and that isn’t where his trouble ends. He’s rotund, shortsighted & ugly; intelligent & melancholic. He’s Jewish. Despised by his fellow officers, one attempts to seduce his wife. The ensuing duel at dawn sets the stage for a narrative spanning 3 generations, mirroring the demise of a once great empire and family.
Story of a Secret State by Jan Karski
Proud Poles firmly believed that the Nazis would run out of steam when confronted by their country’s army. Karski, drafted into the Underground Resistance, was subjected to torture, escaped, and when the unthinkable happened – the fall of France – continued to organise firm resistance from within occupied Poland.
Karski introduces himself as a somewhat unlikely hero: a young man who wanted to be a demographer rather than a cavalryman or fighter pilot. Yet he discovered a diamond-hard resourcefulness that enabled him to escape from Soviet captivity – he was among the Polish troops who fled the Nazi Blitzkrieg only to be taken prisoner by the Soviet forces that seized eastern Poland – and to carry microfilmed documents across Nazi-controlled Europe, including Germany itself, to the West.