Enjoy this title right now, plus millions more, with a free trial

Free for 30 days, then $9.99/month. Cancel anytime.

Journey to the End of the Night

Journey to the End of the Night


Journey to the End of the Night

ratings:
4.5/5 (16 ratings)
Length:
19 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Aug 23, 2016
ISBN:
9781515979562
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Louis-Ferdinand Céline's revulsion and anger at what he considered the idiocy and hypocrisy of society explodes from nearly every page of this novel. Filled with slang and obscenities and written in raw, colloquial language, Journey to the End of the Night is a literary symphony of violence, cruelty and obscene nihilism. This book shocked most critics when it was first published in France in 1932, but quickly became a success with the reading public in Europe, and later in America, where it was first published by New Directions in 1952. The story of the improbable yet convincingly described travels of the petit-bourgeois (and largely autobiographical) antihero, Bardamu, from the trenches of World War I, to the African jungle, to New York and Detroit, and finally to life as a failed doctor in Paris, takes the readers by the scruff and hurtles them toward the novel's inevitable, sad conclusion.
Publisher:
Released:
Aug 23, 2016
ISBN:
9781515979562
Format:
Audiobook

About the author


Related to Journey to the End of the Night

Related Audiobooks

Related Articles


Reviews

What people think about Journey to the End of the Night

4.4
16 ratings / 21 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    (I'm not really going for rating this book's worth here, but just thought I'd mention how this was different from my expectations, in case anyone else was looking for the same thing.)When I read about this book it sounded a bit reminiscent of Catch-22 and other such works, so I decided to try it. It is indeed darkly funny at times, but not so consistently, and the main character is so overwhelmingly hopeless I had trouble enjoying it. His humor doesn't seem to give him any relief or amusement, and seems more like depressive or nasty venting. Actually he somewhat reminds me of the television character House (which, considering the misanthropic Bardamu is at one point a doctor, I'm sure comes to other people's minds as well), but just consider what that show would be like if it was a lot less medical mystery and interaction with other characters, and instead was filled with the resigned inner grumblings of the main character.In other words: Interesting, maybe, but not something I want to hand around with for this many pages. I probably would have enjoyed the book more if I hadn't had to finish the entire thing as fast as possible for school, though. Still, I wasn't exactly looking for an upbeat, thigh-slapping good time with this (I'm not an complete idiot ^^), I was prepared for the negativity. It's just not as amusing as I was hoping for, the resigned tone was just a bit much for me.
  • (3/5)
    An incredible journey (the protagonist's life) throughout difficult times. Very intense and realistic, great psychological insights but also quite sad and grim.
  • (5/5)
    Probably my favorite book of all. Without a doubt the one that turned me into a reader. Celine is probably not for every taste. There's no disputing his racism--his anti-semitism. I don't wish to make excuses for it. With all that a great writer and a true innovator. To go beyond that is to hear always a voice constantly that speaks to you. It's very unusual in the world of literature to feel riveted just to the language of a story. He had an unique and a rare talent. The action of the book moves from the battlefields of the first world war to the French colonial empire represented by Cameroon to the New World presented first by New York City and then Detroit and into the Ford automobible factories and then back to Paris into the slums--into the mean spirited world of the lower bourgeoise which leads inevitably to an insane asylum--leads to murder. There is a lot of pathos in Celine. There is a lot of raw language intertwined with raw feeling. There is even more than just a little humor. Celine can make you laugh out loud. He can bring you to tears. It's not an easy ride but to me a worthwhile one. No book or author has ever effected me in quite the same way and I've read this book many times and reread almost all ot his work.
  • (3/5)
    Of course this was wildly revolutionary and changed the world and that sort of thing. On the other hand, it reminds me pretty strongly of the nineteenth century: a hefty dose of Baudelaire and Rimbaud; combined (odd, I admit) with seventeenth and eighteenth century picaresque novels. Does anything happen? Yes, lots of things. Do they have any connection whatsoever? Not really. Are any of them good? One or two, but mostly no. Is it a great book? Well, not any better than Tom Jones. And not close to as savage as Gulliver's Travels. And not as beautifully ugly as the aforementioned French poets. So, y'know. Revolutionary? Not really. Interesting? Sure.

    Now, I must admit two important points: first, nothing pisses me off quite as much as when an author ruins an incredible 300 page novel by writing an okay 450 page one; and the translation, from 1983, makes Celine sound like a slightly grumpier Salinger. I'm not sure that's really the effect he was going for. I assume he's meant to sound like a lower class, under-sexed Sade. So these two things probably ruined my appreciation of the novel. Manheim was (I've been told) a great translator of German literature, and an okay translator of German philosophy. Maybe because he'd translated Mein Kampf and the transcripts from the Eichman trials someone thought he was a good bet for Celine? Darkside and all that? But nope.

    It's also possible that having grown up when I did, the 'shocking' literature of previous ages lacks the shock effect. If you've ever heard moderately sad black metal you'll know that there's nothing misanthropic about Celine. If you've ever heard moderately violent hip-hop, you'll know there's not much violent about him. If you've read McCarthy, you'll know Celine's not all that terrifying. And if you've read anything written in the last 40 years you'll know that he's a literary prude. So. Where does this leave Celine? Basically, as a moralist who loves children and adores people who sacrifice themselves for the good of others. Now *that,* I admit, is shocking.
  • (5/5)
    I can confirm all the prior reviews that discuss Celine's negative view of humanity and life but what is important is that, placed in time, this is an amazing work whose literary style anticipates most of the twentieth century. It has an energy and directness that may have been done by a few previous writers but was not widely used for another few decades. It's not the message, it's the style that makes this book important.
  • (5/5)
    Journey To The End Of The Night is an almost unrelenting blast of misanthropy, mysogyny and nihilism. Tracing the fortunes of Bardamu, a thinly veiled Celine, through his experiences in the trenches of the First World War, French colonial Africa, Detriot and finally Paris it's a narrative marked with Celines disgust at man's folly, malice and greed. What stops it from buckling under the weight of despair, however, is it's darkly comic edge and the occasional satirical asides.The overarching narrative drive is the bittterness and rage at senseless slaughter and the casual indifference to the destruction of mans environment. For a book first published in 1932 it's remarkably relevant!
  • (5/5)
    Please make an effort to include the name of the translators. Once again, which translation is this? It matters!
  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    The book is incredibly inspiring and amusing, translation is great, I just have to admit that I didn’t like a voice too much. But okay, after a while you get used to it.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    I put it down at least twice because I felt I couldn't go on with it for another few hundred pages and then when I finished I felt sad because there weren't a few hundred pages left to go through. A book you live in, and it's a bit grim and oppressive but it grows on you. The humor helps, and it's a very human book, whatever I mean by that. Too bad the author was a Nazi, but what can you do?

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    This is the best book ever written. The foundation of THE BEATS, THE MODERNISTS, THE GONZOS. This is it. Translated from the French. (France must have more great authors per capita than any other country.)

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    A long, beautiful, hilarious, vile, cynical rant about everything and everyone. Bile drips from every page.

    The author-surrogate travels from Paris to the hellscape of the first world war to the dank oppressive heat of a colonial jungle, and the gleaming lonely crowds of New York and Detroit. The author has a keen eye for the ugliness and bitterness and loneliness of modern living, and takes his time to appreciate and lovingly describe each thing he hates.

    This is a fascinating book. Christ, what an asshole.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)
    Soufflé par plusieurs passages explosant de lucidité sur la condition humaine.
  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    "Chin up Ferdinand" Got me through some tough times.This book covers so many years and places, you feel like you've always lived alongside the author by the time it's finished. He allows you inside his head to such a degree, that there is definitely a sense of loss when all those pages are finally over! One of my very favorite books for a long time, though now I think I have forgotten most of it...due to read it again I think.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Journey to the End of Night is like a "hero's journey" story but our hero, Ferdinand Bardamu, is kinda an asshole, but he's not unsympathetic. Bardamu starts by joining the French military and fighting in a war, then travelling to Africa, then on to America (New York and Detroit), then back to France. He works a variety of jobs, fucks a variety of women, and basically has some adventures of an ordinary caliber. His view of humanity is not often pleasant or optimistic, but then the world is full of idiots, jerks, and people with their own agendas. Over and over again the words "night" and "darkness" come up. While sometimes they are literal, mainly they seem to describe the default feelings of many people. A sense of pointlessness or depression, emptiness or tedium, and ultimately death. It takes effort to escape the "night" and often there are only moments of "light" or "day" to break it up. As harsh as it may come across, it's difficult not to see some truth in this viewpoint of the human condition.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Céline's work is a modern day Odyssey fat with pessimism and desperation, the veiled autobiographical travelogue of a down and out narrator. It's influence on Miller and Bukowski, their prose echoing back to it with long screams, is obvious. Much like Miller, the narrative is thick and harsh like smoke, and is easiest to ingest in small bursts, twenty pages at a time. After awhile though it's easy to surrender, to look Bardamu in the eyes and see in them at least a fraction of one's self. Though within the dark and clinching atmosphere, Céline is able to inspire a mature and subtle beauty, conjuring strong and enduring images when he is not throwing out cynical aphorisms that demand to be marked. This is a book that is far ahead of its time, and eighty years later, it is as much a conviction of this time as any other. A rewarding and fulfilling read if one is willing to dirty their hands and trudge through a bit of venom.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (3/5)

    2 people found this helpful

    In a nutshell, here's this book: everything is shit. War is shit. Colonized Africa is shit. The United States is shit. France is shit. Being a doctor is shit. Not being a doctor is shit. Carnivals are shit. Maybe one person in a thousand isn't complete shit, but even if you find a person like that they'll be surrounded by shit, so you'll just keep wandering until you're surrounded by only shitty people again. The rich are shit. The poor are shit. Women are fun to have sex with, but otherwise they're shit. Men are shit. To live is to slog through this endless morass of shit in hopes of finding something better, but you'll never find it, and what awaits you at the end of that stinking bog is death.

    I'm not a nihilist, so the message of this book didn't resonate with me, and I didn't find any of it funny, though some lines were clearly supposed to be. Really, if you aren't a nihilist or huge pessimist who likes having your worldview reinforced, and you already realize that there's a dark, savage side to human nature, I don't see what there is to get out of this book. The characters are flat, the writing is solid, the settings are just sketches. I found this work uninteresting.

    2 people found this helpful

  • (4/5)
    Cynisch-sarcastisch beeld van de werkelijkheid in het eerste derde van de twintigste eeuw. Shockerend, hard, beelden uit goot. Maar tegelijk ongelofelijk krachtig door zijn stijl die de spreektaal van de kleine man lijkt te benaderen. De tweede helft in Parijs heeft wat minder spankracht.
  • (3/5)
    I found the writing good, but the general tone of the book dark and depressing. I was always searching for a light switch, metaphorically speaking.
  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    For the last four years I have made it a point to read diffictult books, and this is the most difficult yet. Not because of syntax or complexity of thought, but because of the unrelenting pessimism of the protagonist's world view. I suspect that he closely mirrors the author, who never resists an opportunity to exemplify the contempt he feels for humanity. After reading this my mind needs a literary cleansing, the chance to read something upbeat and hopeful. Celine is the anti-Jane Austen. Where she celebrates gentility, manners and social connectedness, Celine rubs our faces in bigotry, hypocrisy and misanthropy. His one good character, a prostitute with a heart of gold (spare me!) , is exploited by his protagonist.. If you can get over the bile, this could be a great novel. The author daringly exposes lies that we accept without question, such as patriotism in the service of a war machine and the nobility of sacrifice. His description of the stinking streets of the poor sections of Paris will haunt me. The book is powerfully written and symbolically complex, especially the images of night and light. It's very odd how the protagonist Bardamu is a physician (again mirroring Celine himself) but has no desire to alleviate suffering or dedication to the profession. He just does his job to earn money. Celine never talks about Bardamu's childhood, or why he took up medicine. The book ends very abruptly ("But that's enough of that!") as if Celine got tired of the whole thing.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)
    Il viaggio al termine della notte è l’opera con cui Celine ha modificato, per sempre, il senso della letteratura mondiale. Un’opera fondamentale, necessaria, senza la quale nessun lettore può arrogarsi il diritto di definirsi tale. La scansione letteraria degli ultimi anni della prima metà del secolo scorso di Celine è un capolavoro di provocazione, cultura, rottura, una lotta contro il conformismo, il buonismo, il senso comune. Il viaggio al termine della notte è un romanzo autobiografico con cui Celine racconta la sua guerra, la sua esperienza coloniale, la sua vita da emigrato negli Stati Uniti, il suo ritorno in Francia. E l’aggettivo possessivo serve per attribuire il senso personale, intimo che ha la narrazione di Celine, l’individuo che corre nella notte della ragione, cercando in sé stesso, nel suo edonismo, la ricetta salvifica della vita. Le pagine scorrono e rimane il senso fortissimo delle parole con cui l’autore francese rappresenta i fatti e le emozioni. Scandalizzando, rompendo gli argini della cultura di chi fa cultura per professione, non per cultura, con posizioni tanto irriverenti da sembrare scontate. E la professione di medico di Celine rafforza concettualmente il mestiere dello scrittore, del grande scrittore. Questo romanzo fu rifiutato da Gallimard, il più grande editore francese del secolo, che lo liquidò come un banale romanzo comunista. E così, a seguito di questo clamoroso errore editoriale, entra in scena il piccolo editore Donoel che pubblica un libro che ha scritto la storia. Poi c’è la storia di Celine, anche quella non è una storia comune, non è la solita storia. L’origine del capolavoro che promana da queste pagine.
  • (4/5)
    Cynisch-sarcastisch beeld van de werkelijkheid in het eerste derde van de twintigste eeuw. Shockerend, hard, beelden uit goot. Maar tegelijk ongelofelijk krachtig door zijn stijl die de spreektaal van de kleine man lijkt te benaderen. De tweede helft in Parijs heeft wat minder spankracht.