Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Classics
Pages: 288
Publication Date: November 15, 2016


by Hans Herbert Grimm, translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch

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An NYRB Classics Original

Seventeen-year-old Schlump marches off to war in 1915 because going to war is the best way to meet girls. And so he does, on his first posting, overseeing three villages in occupied France. But then Schlump is sent to the front, and the good times end.

Schlump, written by Hans Herbert Grimm, was published anonymously in 1928 and was one of the first German novels to describe World War I in all its horror and absurdity, and it remains one of the best. What really sets it apart is its remarkable central character. Who is Schlump? A bit of a rascal and a bit of a sweetheart, a victim of his times, an inveterate survivor, maybe even a new type of man. At once comedy, documentary, hellhole, and fairy tale, Schlump is a gripping and disturbing book about the experience of trauma and what the great critic Walter Benjamin, writing at the same time as Hans Herbert Grimm, would call the death of experience, since perhaps if anything goes, nothing counts.


A lost classic of anti-war literature is revived in a fresh, vigorous translation...a welcome contribution to the literature of the Great War and its discontents.

The boisterous and often brutal story of a young German’s military service during World War I, Grimm’s long-lost novel is a clear-eyed account of life during wartime…Grimm’s is a bloody picaresque with a fairy tale hero at its center…. Present-day readers will be touched and saddened by his enthusiasm.
Publishers Weekly

An unusual, original and charming addition to that great army of WWI novels.
The Times (London)

A century after the Great War, Schlump reappears in Jamie Bulloch’s excellent new translation and the extraordinary story of its rediscovery probably warrants a novel of its own...exceptional.
The Independent

One of the great First World War novels, about a German soldier in a French village, who falls in love with it. It’s full of criticism of how the war was conducted by Germany, so when Hitler came in, it was burnt.
—Michael Morpurgo, Daily Mail

The best of German war books so far.
—J.B. Priestley