Books: The Insane Metropolis

GUIGNOL'S BAND (287 pp.)—Louis-Ferdinand Cèline—New Directions ($5).

A Beethoven fan once said that the only way to get the real "feel" of his master's voice was to turn the phonograph up to maximum volume, lie on the floor, fasten one end of a rubber hose over the bellowing speaker, the other into one's ear. A simpler way of being pounded to jelly is to read a novel by France's Louis-Ferdinand Cèline. No rubber hose can convey the feel of Cèline, nor can his own favorite exclamations, such as "Bam!", "Bang!", "Zoom!", "Zimm!", "Rrpp!",...

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