All for Nothing

Narrated by: Grover Gardner
Length: 11 hrs and 20 mins
4 out of 5 stars (30 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A wealthy family tries - and fails - to seal themselves off from the chaos of post-World War II life surrounding them in this stunning novel by one of Germany's most important postwar writers.

In East Prussia, January 1945, the German forces are in retreat, and the Red Army is approaching. The von Globig family's manor house, the Georgenhof, is falling into disrepair. Auntie runs the estate as best she can since Eberhard von Globig, a special officer in the German army, went to war, leaving behind his beautiful but vague wife, Katharina, and her bookish 12-year-old son, Peter. As the road fills with Germans fleeing the occupied territories, the Georgenhof begins to receive strange visitors - a Nazi violinist, a dissident painter, a Baltic baron, even a Jewish refugee. Yet in the main, life continues as banal, wondrous, and complicit as ever for the family, until their caution, their hedged bets, and their denial are answered by the wholly expected events they haven't allowed themselves to imagine.

All for Nothing, published in 2006, was the last novel by Walter Kempowski, one of postwar Germany's most acclaimed and popular writers.

A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice.

©2018 Walter Kempowski, Anthea Bell, Jenny Erpenbeck (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about All for Nothing

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All for Nothing

The characters and scenes are vivid with detail. There is both horror and humor as you are plunged into the chaos that overtook ordinary people’s lives at the end of the war. I think it is a masterpiece.

7 people found this helpful

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Stark and dramatic; Gardner another good performance

This is a stark and dramatic novel without much authorial interference. Sentences built on strong verbs and nouns. Hemingway is famous for this style, a style Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound, members of the Paris writer’s group, were his foundational mentors. Gardner gives another fine Audible performance, although I think I would have preferred a warm woman’s voice. There are so many to recommend. As a whole this is a austere novel with characters one cares, a plot that moves forward without getting bogged down.