The Quarry by Friedrich Duerrenmatt ; Translated from the German by Eva H. Morreale
Greenwich, Conn.: New York Graphic Society, 1962. First American Edition. Hardcover. 162 pages ; 21 cm. $3.50 dust jacket. Owner name on flyleaf. Pages are age toned and unmarked. Binding is firm.
a novel by FRIEDRICH DUERRENMATT translated by Eva H. Moneale
SHOCKING, MACABRE, DEATH-DRIVEN — such words as these are most frequently used in describing the work of Swiss playwright-novelist Friedrich Duerrenmatt. THE QUARRY, a gothic tale in modern dress, is all of these with an added element of chilling suspense.
On the last day of the old year, Hans Barlach, former Police Commissioner, entered a Bern clinic; he had spent his life chasing criminals and was old, tired and sick. But his ever-alert suspicion, a professional trademark, is stirred into life by the sight of a masked face in an old magazine photograph and the memory of a half-forgotten tale of horror.
Five days later he woke from a drugged sleep to find himself locked in a strange duel to the death with the master of a private and voluntary hell, challenged to match his strength against a nihilism which found its final release in scientific torture.
Included in the cast of characters are a murderous dwarf, a fanatical nurse, a Nazi surgeon who operates without anesthetics, a beautiful ex-Communist drug addict, and — most importantly — the mysterious Jew Gulliver, a scarred dweller of the night who recognizes no distinctions in this world save those between the tortured and the torturers.
An unabashed intellectual thriller, THE QUARRY stings the mind awake with its suspenseful narrative and further shocks with biting dialogues of ultimate good and evil.
About the Author
In an interview recently published in Esquire, FRIEDRICH DUERRENMATT was asked what reaction he most preferred his audiences to have to his work. "Fright!" he answered. "That is the modern form of empathy."
Swiss-born, in the village of Konolfingen where his father was a pastor, Duerrenmatt studied philosophy at the Universities of Bern and Zurich and lives today with his wife and three children near the Lake of Neuchatel. In addition to The Quarry, two other novels have been published in the United States — Traps, and The Pledge — but he is most widely known in this country for his play, The Visit, in which Lynn Fontanne and Alfred Lunt fascinated (and frightened) audiences on Broadway and on tour during 1958.
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