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the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction

Child of All Nations

Irmgard Keun

[an overview of the reviews and critical reactions]

general information | review summaries | links | about the author

To purchase Child of All Nations

Title: Child of All Nations
Author: Irmgard Keun
Genre: Novel
Written: 1938 (Eng. 2008)
Length: 195 pages
Original in: German
Availability: Child of All Nations - US
Child of All Nations - UK
Child of All Nations - Canada
Kind aller Länder - Deutschland
  • German title: Kind aller Länder
  • Translated and with an Afterword by Michael Hofmann

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Why we haven't reviewed it yet:

Had a go at it, but Kully was just a tad to precious, and the constant financial struggles as seen through the young girl's eyes quickly wearing

Chances that we will review it:


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Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
Financial Times . 8/2/2008 Adrian Turpin
The Guardian . 7/2/2009 Chris Ross
Literary Review . 3/2008 Francis King
London Rev. of Books . 10/4/2008 Jenny Diski
New Statesman . 28/2/2008 Katharine Hibbert
The Times . 8/2/2008 Elaine Feinstein
TLS . 18/1/2008 Michael Caines

  From the Reviews:
  • "Even in a book as short as this one, the device of the ingenue narrator could become a little arch. What saves Child of All Nations from this fate is the telegraphic urgency of Keun's writing, which conjures entire cities from the smallest of details. (...) If this book has a fault, it is (as Hofmann points out in his afterword) that it fades away in the final pages." - Adrian Turpin, Financial Times

  • "A superbly unpatronising depiction of innocence and a child's poignant recognition that, the delights of Marseille and Manhattan notwithstanding, home is where your parents are, however imperfect they may be." - Chris Ross, The Guardian

  • "Kully is a cheerful, perceptive narrator, and Irmgard Keunís re-creation of a childís voice, aided by Michael Hofmannís nimble translation, rarely descends into whimsy. Child of All Nations offers a plausible, compelling snapshot of an unconventional existence at an extraordinary time." - Katharine Hibbert, New Statesman

  • "What continues to resonate as we put the book down, however, are the moments of helpless separation and longing; poignant images of even harsher times." - Elaine Feinstein, The Times

  • "Its use of the present tense ("We're now in Amsterdam, our third day already") helps give Child of All Nations the hint of a travelogue, albeit one brought on by necessity." - Michael Caines, Times Literary Supplement

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge (and remind and warn you) that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

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Child of All Nations: Reviews: Other books by Irmgard Keun under review: Other books of interest under review:

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About the Author:

       German author Irmgard Keun lived 1905-1982

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