Curzio Malaparte was a disaffected supporter of Mussolini with a taste for danger and high living. Sent by an Italian paper during World War II to cover the fighting on the Eastern Front, Malaparte secretly wrote this terrifying report from the abyss, which became an international bestseller when it was published after the war. Telling of the siege of Leningrad, of glittering dinner parties with Nazi leaders, and of trains disgorging bodies in war-devastated Romania, Malaparte paints a picture of humanity at its most depraved.
Kaputt is an insider's dispatch from the world of the enemy that is as hypnotically fascinating as it is disturbing.
Curzio Malaparte spent most of World War II as an Italian consul to other fascist states: Germany, Romania, Finland. His novelistic account of the war, surreptitiously written, presents the conflict from the point of view of those doomed to lose it. Malaparte's account is marked by sharp, lyrical observations, as when he encounters a detachment of German soldiers fleeing a Ukrainian battlefield: "When Germans become afraid, when that mysterious German fear begins to creep into their bones, they always arouse a special horror and pity. Their appearance is miserable, their cruelty sad, their courage silent and hopeless." Bleak and hopeless indeed, Malaparte's is a remarkable testimonial.