Mother Night

A Novel
CD - unabridged
Audio (5 discs)
Product Number: BN8892
Released: Aug 04, 2015
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781511323802
Narrator/s: Victor Bevine
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
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Best known now by the 1996 Nick Nolte film of the same title, Mother Night (1961) is a dazzling narrative of false, shifting identity. The story tells of the odyssey of Howard Campbell, Jr., the book's protagonist, and is a paradigm of shifting loyalties, ambiguous commitment, and tales of personal compromise. Campbell is an American emigre in Germany at the time of Hitler's ascension; he is married to a German, his relations with the Nazi regime are excellent, and he agrees to spy for them and to become a broadcaster for the regime; but then, increasingly disaffected, Campbell becomes a double agent, then perhaps a triple agent, sending coded messages to the Allies. After the War, he is tried for war crimes but is exonerated. The novel is written in memoir format from the point of view of the exiled Campbell, who, indifferent to outcome, plots suicide. Here is a moral tale without a moral, or perhaps, according to Vonnegut, a tale with several morals. Vonnegut, a science fiction writer in his early career, knew the science fiction community very well, and it is more or less accepted that the conflicted and indecipherable Howard Campbell is modeled upon John W. Campbell, Jr. (1910-1971), the great editor of Astounding and Analog whose decades long rightward drift led him to endorse George Wallace in 1968.

Author(s): Kurt Vonnegut

All formats/editions

Author(s): Kurt Vonnegut
Product Number EB00159875
Released: Dec 27, 2013
Business Term: 2 Year
Publisher: The Dial Press
ISBN: #9780440339076

Professional reviews

"Vonnegut's story of Howard Campbell, a Nazi propagandist being tried in Israel as a war criminal after WWII, picks up extra meaning with Victor Bevine's flat tones. These are contrasted with the strong emotions and accents of the novel's other characters, a narrative technique that dramatizes the central issue of Vonnegut's story: what is real? Was Howard really an American agent during the war, as he claims? Who is he now? What is Vonnegut up to? Is he showing us a hero so worn out by the horrors of war that he hasn't the strength to get at the truth? Or is he depicting a villain who hides behind invisibility and ambiguity? Author and narrator give us a powerful story, and much to consider. S.W. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine"

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