By Heinrich Böll
Böll's recognized competition to fascism and warfare informs this relocating tale of a unmarried day within the lifetime of traumatized soldier Robert Faehmel, scion of a kin of winning Cologne architects, as he struggles to come back to dull lifestyles after the second one global battle. An come across with a war-time nemesis, now an influence within the reconstruction of Germany, forces him to confront deepest stories and the injuries of Germany's defeat within the international Wars.
Translated by means of Patrick Bowles
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Extra info for Billiards at Half-Past Nine
Almost none of them are sold to private citizens. Full-size turnpike cruisers no longer earn much of a market share, and for those die-hards who still want one from the Ford Motor Company, the Mercury Grand Marquis is the same car in fancier clothes for about the same money, so it mops up the private sales. Which makes private Crown Vics rarer than red Rolls-Royces, so the subliminal response when you see one that isn't taxicab yellow or black and white with Police all over the doors is to think it's an unmarked detective's car.
He dropped his eyes automatically to his speedometer, which was showing more than ninety. Felt the cold oh-shit stab in his chest. Eased off the gas while he calculated how late he was already and how far he still had to go and what his best approach to these guys should be. Humility? Or maybe I'm-too-important-to-be-hassled? Or what about a sort of come-on-guys, I'm-working-too camaraderie? The sedan pulled alongside as he slowed and he saw three people, one of them a woman. Radio antennas all over the car.
Lots of syrup. Maybe an egg. He would have come out a half hour after she blew town. He could be sitting next to some cheerful trucker now, listening to rock and roll on the radio. On the other hand, he could be bruised and bleeding in a police cell, with an arraignment date coming up. "So start over," he said. "Just say what you've got to say. But first, drive us out of this damn ditch. I'm very uncomfortable. And I could use a cup of coffee. " "I think so," she said. "Yes, there is. " "So let's go there.
Billiards at Half-Past Nine by Heinrich Böll