Journey to the End of The Night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline

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Journey to the End of Night is the first novel of Louis-Ferdinand Céline. This semi-autobiographical work describes antihero Ferdinand Bardamu. His surname, Bardamu, is derived from the French words Barda—the "pack" carried by World War I soldiers—and mu, the past participle of the verb mouvoir, meaning to move. Bardamu is involved with World War I, colonial Africa, and post-WWI America (where he works for the Ford Motor Company), returning in the second half of the work to France, where he becomes a medical doctor and establishes a practice in a poor Paris suburb, the fictional La Garenne-Rancy. The novel also satirizes the medical profession and the vocation of scientific research. The disparate elements of the work are linked together by recurrent encounters with Léon Robinson, a hapless character whose experiences parallel, to some extent, those of Bardamu. As its title suggests, Voyage au bout de la nuit is a nihilistic novel of savage, exultant misanthropy, combined, however, with cynical humour.

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The 95th greatest fiction book of all time


This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 6th on For The Love of Books (For The Love of Books)
  2. - 6th on Le Monde's 100 Books of the Century (Le Monde)
  3. - 8th on The 25 Favorite Books of 100 Francophone Writers (Telerama)
  4. - 13th on El Pais Favorite Books of 100 Spanish Authors (El Pais)
  5. - 51st on The 100 Greatest Novels of All Time: The List (The Observer)
  6. - 76th on 100 Essential Books (Bravo! Magazine)
  7. - Världsbiblioteket (The World Library) (Tidningen Boken)
  8. - Donald Barthelme’s Reading List (Believer Mag)
  9. - Top 100 Works in World Literature (Norwegian Book Clubs, with the Norwegian Nobel Institute)
  10. - Best Books Ever (bookdepository.com)
  11. - The Bigger Read List (English PEN)

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