A SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
“A jewel of a rediscovery . . . . A riveting, noirish, intensely filmic portrait of an ambivalent fugitive, cornered but not captured, safest when in motion, at greatest risk when forced to rest.”
—The Wall Street Journal
Berlin, November 1938. Jewish shops have been ransacked and looted, synagogues destroyed. As storm troopers pound on his door, Otto Silbermann, a respected businessman, is forced to sneak out the back of his own home. Turned away from establishments he had long patronized, and fearful of being exposed as a Jew despite his Aryan looks, he boards a train. And then another. And another . . . until his flight becomes a frantic odyssey across Germany, as he searches first for information, then for help, and finally for escape. Taut, immediate, infused with acerbic Kafkaesque humor, The Passenger is an indelible portrait of a man and a society careening out of control.
Twenty-three-year-old Ulrich Boschwitz wrote The Passenger at breakneck speed in 1938, fresh in the wake of the Kristallnacht pogroms, and his prose flies at the same pace. Long considered lost, the original manuscript was only recently discovered in the German archives and has now been published throughout the world and universally hailed as a masterpiece.