Mother Night

Mother Night

eBook - 2011
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Best known now by the 1996 Nick Nolte film of the same title, Mother Night (1961) is a dazzling narrative of false, shifting identity. The story tells of the odyssey of Howard Campbell, Jr., the book's protagonist, and is a paradigm of shifting loyalties, ambiguous commitment, and tales of personal compromise. Campbell is an American emigre in Germany at the time of Hitler's ascension; he is married to a German, his relations with the Nazi regime are excellent, and he agrees to spy for them and to become a broadcaster for the regime; but then, increasingly disaffected, Campbell becomes a double agent, then perhaps a triple agent, sending coded messages to the Allies. After the War, he is tried for war crimes but is exonerated. The novel is written in memoir format from the point of view of the exiled Campbell, who, indifferent to outcome, plots suicide. Here is a moral tale without a moral, or perhaps, according to Vonnegut, a tale with several morals. Vonnegut, a science fiction writer in his early career, knew the science fiction community very well, and it is more or less accepted that the conflicted and indecipherable Howard Campbell is modeled upon John W. Campbell, Jr. (1910-1971), the great editor of Astounding and Analog whose decades long rightward drift led him to endorse George Wallace in 1968.
Publisher: [United States] : RosettaBooks : Made available through hoopla, 2011.
ISBN: 9780795319044
0795319045
Branch Call Number: eBook hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital

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msemos
Jul 28, 2015

interesting read about a man that did some terrible things that he knew were wrong but apparently for a good reason. so are we what we think or what we say and do?

WVMLStaffPicks Sep 17, 2014

The fictional memoirs of an American awaiting trial in Israel for broadcasting Nazi propaganda to his countrymen from Germany during World War II. Unbeknownst to his accusers, his broadcasts actually contained coded Allied communications as part of the US war effort. What makes this not just another spy novel—filled with plot twists and adventure though it is—is the subtle, sarcastic humour afforded by Vonnegut’s uniquely dry, detached, and simple style of writing.

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Juli420
Jun 16, 2012

THis book is one of those that is hard to put down. A funny, but thought provoking satire, I couldnt help but take away the idea that nothing in this life is as simple as it seems. When we pretend to be someone else, we come dangerously close to loosing who we really are. In the end the only one who can ever really judge us and decide our fate, is ourselves. Truly a great book.

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