Additional Book Information
Series: New York Review Comics
Publication Date: October 17, 2017
Voices in the Dark
by Ulli Lust, based on the novel by Marcel Beyer
Germany, in the final years of the Third Reich. Hermann Karnau is a sound engineer obsessed with recording the human voice in all its variations—the rantings of leaders, the roar of crowds, the rasp of throats constricted in fear—and indifferent to everything else. Employed by the Nazis, his assignments take him to Party rallies, to the Eastern Front, and into the household of Joseph Goebbels. There he meets Helga, the eldest daughter: bright, good-natured, and just beginning to suspect the horror that surrounds her...
Based on an acclaimed novel by Marcel Beyer, Voices in the Dark is the first fictional graphic novel by Ulli Lust, whose award-winning graphic memoir Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life appeared in English in 2013. It is the story of an unlikely friendship and of a childhood betrayed, a grim parable of naïveté and evil, and a vivid, unsettling masterpiece.
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Lust, author of the acclaimed graphic memoir Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, turns The Karnau Tapes, Marcel Beyer’s chronicle of a quirky, Nazi-employed sound engineer who befriends a daughter of Joseph Goebbels, into a completely sui generis work: a masterpiece in faded hues, expressionistic pen strokes, and panels laid out to amplify a painful story.
—Boris Kachka, Vulture.com (New York Magazine)
Following her award-winning graphic novel memoir Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, Lust adapts The Karnau Tapes, Beyer’s dense, dark novel set during the collapse of the Third Reich. She is more than up to the task, transmuting the material with visual imagination and insight….It’s a rare adaptation that, rather than simply transcribing the source material, transcends it.
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
Profound, with characters driven to find truths that ultimately prove devastating. Lust's clean, confident lines richly convey everything from a child's discomfort with a haircut to a dog's eagerness to play to Karnau's sheer bliss from a "quivering glottis."...The illustration style and muted color palette (like an aged newspaper) achieve a haunting realism despite cartoonish exaggeration and expressionistic flourishes. Stunning.
—Kirkus, starred review
Ulli Lust really nails my favorite part of storytelling… the small details that create great character.
—Jaime Hernandez, author of Love and Rockets