At the Edge of the Night (unabridged)

Audio Sample

Friedo Lampe

At the Edge of the Night

Read by Jot Davies


Banned by the Nazis, the haunting novel At the Edge of the Night (Am Rande der Nacht), by the German writer Friedo Lampe, is a work of magic realism. This poignant book, beautifully translated by Simon Beattie, was, in Lampe’s own words, ‘born into a regime where it could not breathe’; he hoped that one day it might rise again. It evokes the sensations and impressions of a sultry September evening on the waterfront of Bremen, with its charm and tenderness, squalor and lust. The plot contains a stream of images with many characters: children, old and young people, men and women, townsfolk, performers, students and sailors. Its depiction of raw reality was unacceptable to the Nazis: the book was seized by them in December 1933 and withdrawn from sale.

At the Edge of the Night is a powerful and thought-provoking novel that offers a unique perspective on the experience of the Second World War. Lampe’s prose is lyrical and evocative, and his characters are complex and multi-dimensional. The book is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of the war or the human experience of conflict. It drew praise from Hermann Hesse, who first read it in 1933 and said that ‘what struck us at the time… as so beautiful and powerful has not paled, it has withstood; it proves itself with the best, and captivates and delights just as then’.

Audiofile – Earphones Award
  • Running Time: 5 h 00 m

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    Digital ISBN:978-1-78198-483-3
    Cat. no.:NA0595
    Produced by:Produced by Chris Barstow for Tall Story Audiobooks at The Perfumery
    Translated by:Simon Beattie
    Released:November 23
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Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

With a flair for dramatic dialogue and intense, unsettling imagery, narrator Jot Davies accentuates the vivid dreamlike qualities of this 1933 novel by the openly gay German author Friedo Lampe. At a river’s edge on a single warm summer’s evening, a group of characters ranging from sailors to students to lovers and a father-son magic act interact in this early example of magic realism. Davies expertly keeps the focus on the rapport between the characters as the story gently wanders into the taboo – homoerotic relationships and interracial romance. The book was soon banned by the Nazis, mostly likely because it was too sublime, too dangerous, and too beautiful to ignore. An extraordinary narration of a rare, extraordinary literary find.

B.P., AudioFile

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