What a book! Nothing like what the blurbs would have led me to think…!!
When I began this book the other day, I had expected it to be a quick read (though short, it is not really quick at all… in the best sense of that fact); mildly interesting (not gripping, as I found it to be); a narrative account of some future dystopia, a sort of second-rate Brave New World (though that book is itself decidedly already third-rate, fair to speak)…. none of which was true.
This fascinating book is a prolonged mediation on the problem of modernity qua Technik
…, placed like a nut, inside a brief narrative shell – much like Bernhard’s The Loser – though the narrative voice is sharper, restless, insightful, and far less neurotic then Bernhard… something of a cross at times, as I commented before, between Chandler and Céline. It is the product of an intelligent, ruthlessly honest, and restless mind.
The book was written in 1957, when Jünger was 62. He lived another 40 years, remarkably. His life was marked by tragedy, both personal and historical -- one son was killed in the War, in 1944; the other committed suicide in 1993. A very interesting figure.
At any rate, the book is flawless, not a false note in it – and gets a high recommendation.