Books: Teutonic. Nightmare

THE CANNIBAL (223 pp.)—John Hawkes —New Directions ($1.50).

Anybody with an ambition to write the strangest novel of 1950 will have to beat John Hawkes's first novel, The Cannibal. Written by Harvardman Hawkes at 23, The Cannibal is a dizzying surrealist vision of postwar Germany, in which, among other oddities, a monkey screams "Dark is life, dark, dark is death," a duke hacks a fox to death and invites his landlady to dine on the meat, and one-third of Germany is ruled by a solitary American G.I.

At first glance the story seems a freakish flight into simple lunacy, but once all expectations...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!