Last year, I read Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada, which was a tragic but well-written book, and after reading a bit about Fallada’s life, I wanted to read some of his other books. The first one I was able to find at the library was Little Man, What Now? by Hans Fallada, though I waited until I was in the right mood for it before checking it out.
The story follows a young couple starting a new life together in Germany after the economic collapse of the late 1920s and early 1930s. We see how they struggle to make ends meet, due to the combined problems from unstable employment, the high cost of everyday items, and their occasional mistakes in household budgeting.
This isn’t the most uplifting of books, but the writing is so light and moves along at a nice pace, and something about all the details of their everyday life pulled me in. You do really want the best for them, and you hope things will work out, and it’s hard when they run into various stumbling blocks.
I thought it was an interesting book, at least to see what problems everyday Germans were dealing with in this time period. Knowing what happened shortly after this period in time, you can get a sense of why that is.
I will add that I read an older translation, and I’ve heard that the newer one is much better. I’m curious how it differs, but I think I’ll wait a bit before I look into it.