The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum : Or: How Violence Develops and Where it Can Lead, Paperback

The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum : Or: How Violence Develops and Where it Can Lead Paperback

4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Katharina Blum is pretty, bright, hard-working and at the centre of a big city scandal when, at a carnival party, she falls in love with a young radical on the run from the police.

Portrayed by the city's leading newspaper as a whore, a communist and an atheist, she becomes the target of anonymous phone calls and sexual threats.

Her life ruined by the distortions of a corrupt press, she shoots the offending journalist and gives herself up for arrest.

Step by step and with an affecting forensic clarity, Katharina's story is reconstructed for the reader, gradually disclosing and entire panorama of human relationship and motive.

The novel is a masterful comment on the law and the press, the labyrinth of social truth and the relentless collision of fact and fiction.




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Review by

Saw the film of this today and was reminded what a fine piece of work it is. Katharina is a remarkably sympathetic character, her dignified life ripped up just as love gives her the hope of happiness. The blinkered police and self-serving tabloid press give the novel further resonance, but it is Katharina's intensely sad story that lingers.

Review by

I remember reading some of Böll's work when I was in high school and didn't really like it back then. Perhaps it's because I'm older now, but I was pleasantly surprised by this work.I really enjoyed Böll's dry tpe of humour, his critique of newspapers and the gossip press, and the way he writes his story. It's a relatively simple tale, told in a pretty straightforward kind of way, and even though he gives away the final outcome right at the beginning, it never gets boring.

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