The Glass Pearls (Faber Editions): 'A wonderful noir thriller and tremendous rediscovery' - William Boyd

Category: Book
By (author): Pressburger, Emeric
Introduction By: Quinn, Anthony
Series: Faber Editions
Subject:  FICTION / Classics
  FICTION / General
  FICTION / Literary
  FICTION / Thrillers / Suspense
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Published: October 2022
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 7.80in x 5.08in x 0.75in
List Price:
$ 22.50
Our Price:
$ 20.50
(9% Off)
Available to order

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

For fans of The Passenger, this thrilling tale of an ex-Nazi surgeon hiding in plain sight in 1960s London by the celebrated filmmaker is a lost noir gem, introduced by Anthony Quinn and narrated on audio by Mark Gatiss.

'Stunning: incredibly good, tense and compelling and morally complex.' Ian Rankin
'This extraordinary novel had me hooked from start to finish.' Sarah Waters
'An outstanding novel: gripping, tense and darkly unsettling. ' Jonathan Freedland
'A wonderfully compelling noir thriller and audacious and challenging act of imagination.' William Boyd

Nothing is more inviting to disclose your secrets than to be told by others of their own ...

London, June 1965. Karl Braun arrives as a lodger in Pimlico: hatless, with a bow-tie, greying hair, slight in build. His new neighbours are intrigued by this cultured German gentleman who works as a piano tuner; many are fellow émigrés, who assume that he, like them, came to England to flee Hitler. That summer, Braun courts a woman, attends classical concerts, dances the twist. But as the newspapers fill with reports of the hunt for Nazi war criminals, his nightmares become increasingly worse .

'A haunting, remarkable novel, as startlingly original as any of Pressburger's films.' Nicola Upson
'A dark and harrowing window on the past: the ending will haunt your dreams.' Janice Hallett

Review Quote*"Deserves to be recognized both for its own virtuosity, and as an important addition to the genre of Holocaust literature … A master class in rendering the banality of evil … Magnificent." - Paris Review
Biographical Note

Imre József Pressburger was born into a Jewish family in Austria-Hungary in 1902. He studied engineering at Prague and Stuttgart universities before moving to Weimar-era Berlin in 1926. There he fell on hard times and lived on the streets for a period before publishing his first short story in 1928. Two years later he started writing scripts for UFA, the dominant German studio of the time. With the rise of the Nazis in 1933, Pressburger lost his job in the purge or Jewish employees and fled to Paris. His mother and many other relatives subsequently died in the Holocaust. In 1935 he relocated to London, anglicising his name to Emeric and meeting the director Michael Powell. Starting in 1942 they shared credit for writing, producing and directing fourteen films under the banner of their production company, The Archers. Their classic films include The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, A Matter of Life and Death, Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes. In the early 1960's he wrote two novels, Killing a Mouse on Sunday and The Glass Pearls. After a long period in the critical wilderness, Pressburger was made a fellow of Bafta in 1981 and of the BFI in 1983. Pressburger married twice and was survived by a daughter, Angela. He died in Suffolk in 1988.

Anthony Quinn was born in Liverpool in 1964. From 1998 to 2013 he was the film critic for the Independent. He is the author of eight prize-winning novels - including Curtain Call, Freya, Eureka, Our Friends in Berlin, and London, Burning - and a memoir, Klopp: My Liverpool Romance.