The Dead: A Novel (Hardcover)
“A great Faustian fable, and a literary endeavor of historical ingenuity that we now may start to characterize as Krachtian.” —Karl Ove Knausgaard
In Berlin, Germany, in the early 1930s, the acclaimed Swiss film director Emil Nägeli receives the assignment of a lifetime: travel to Japan and make a film to establish the dominance of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi empire once and for all. But his handlers are unaware that Nägeli has colluded with the Jewish film critics to pursue an alternative objective—to create a monumental, modernist, allegorical spectacle to warn the world of the horror to come.
Meanwhile, in Japan, the film minister Masahiko Amakasu intends to counter Hollywood’s growing influence and usher in a new golden age of Japanese cinema by exploiting his Swiss visitor. The arrival of Nägeli’s film-star fiancée and a strangely thuggish, pistol-packing Charlie Chaplin—as well as the first stirrings of the winds of war—soon complicates both Amakasu’s and Nägeli’s plans, forcing them to face their demons . . . and their doom.
"The Dead is the beautiful, brilliant, and utterly mad novel that Thomas Mann would have written had he known the East like Yukio Mishima and loved his adopted Hollywood with the gusto of Nathanael West." —Joshua Cohen
"The Dead is a story of love and sadness in times when the weak were broken by the unforgiving ideologies of fascism and National Socialism . . . I read The Dead twice in a row, first for the story and then for the beauty of the prose." —Sjón
About the Author
Christian Kracht is a Swiss novelist whose books have been translated into thirty languages. The Dead was the recipient of the Hermann Hesse Literature Prize and the Swiss Book Prize.
"Across [The Dead], Kracht leaves clues and tracks (perhaps traps) for the readers to connect (or tumble into), eschewing certainty through deliciously stimulating ambiguity in a remarkable, elegiac, sensual, often grotesque and hilarious novel. a remarkable, elegiac, sensual, often grotesque and hilarious novel." —Jan Wilm, The Los Angeles Review of Books
"The Dead reads like a reboot of J. G. Ballard’s Crash, in a treatment by Wes Anderson, after a weekend spent binge-watching John Schlesinger’s version of The Day of the Locust. The result draws out a comically bleak but shakily ambiguous vision of the coming image-world of fascist politics and Tinseltown productions, and of how both authorized a new power of the screen in startlingly effective ways." —Eric Banks, Bookforum
"[Christian] Kracht is one of the pre-eminent German-language authors of the last twenty years . . . Like any stylist, he courts his own readership and creates his own genre. And still, there is joy [in The Dead] for everyone, prose that astonishes, personal tragedies that mar the heart, and set pieces of outstanding oddness. When one is reading Kracht, one is nowhere else." —J.W. McCormack, Longreads
"Like Cabaret, Christian Kracht’s novel The Dead . . . evokes a brightly colored burlesque Weimar period . . . balance[d] precariously between real and unreal." —Lidija Haas, Harper's Magazine
"Excellent ... some inspired moments and images." —Publishers Weekly