Das Floß der Medusa


by Franzobel

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Three barrels of wine, one barrel of water and a bag of rusks for 147 people on raft adrift in the ocean: Franzobel’s impressive novel about the cost of survival.July 18, 1816, eleven o’clock in the morning: Off the West coast of Africa, the captain of the Argus spots a raft of about twenty metres in length. What he sees makes his blood run cold: hollow eyes, parched lips, hair stiff with salt, burned skin full of wounds and blisters … The emaciated, naked bodies that are the last 15 of the original 147-man group who have survived two weeks at sea after the sinking of the frigate Medusa.A true story – one of the greatest disasters in seafaring history – forms the backdrop for Franzobel’s epochal novel that hones in on the core of humanity. What significicance do morality and civilisation take on in an extreme situation where survival is all that matters?»With this book, the 49-year-old Austrian has moved definitively into the master class of literature.« Ulf Heise, MDRSHORTLISTED FOR THE GERMAN BOOK PRIZE 2017

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