6 Recommended non-English Language Books

This week’s blog post is devoted to 6 non-English language works of fiction, all of which I read in English. They are presented in chronological order. Click on the links to read my reviews.


Candide by Voltaire (1759) 


Candide came about as a direct result of Voltaire’s anger at the reaction within elements of The Church to The Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755, and what he viewed as the absurd theorising about why bad things happen to good people(more)

Author’s nationality: French

My Rating: Amusing


Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1877)

Anna Karenina

Tolstoy’s opus is set against a backdrop of the emancipation of the serfs, the Pan Slavism movement, political change and technological advancement. The story follows three interrelated families — the Oblonskys, Levins and Karenins(more)

Author’s nationality: Russian

My Rating: Good


The Metamorphosis and Other Stories by Franz Kafka (Metamorphosis: 1915)

The Metamorphosis

Gregor Samsa wakes up one morning to find that he has been transformed into a beetle. This awkward situation is exacerbated when Gregor’s boss turns up at his house seeking an explanation for his non-attendance at work that day(more)

Author’s nationality: Czech

My Rating: Quite good


Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse (1927)


Steppenwolf is a complex and influential book that achieved cult status in the 1960’s when it was embraced by the counter-culture as a reaction against the modern world. The psychological impact of this highly original and thought provoking(more)

Author’s nationality: German

My Rating: Quite good


The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth (1932)


Joseph Roth’s most famous and acclaimed novel is in essence a meditation on the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The author successfully captures the pomp, pageantry and formality of the dwindling years of the Habsburg dynasty(more)

Author’s nationality: Austro-Hungarian

My Rating: Excellent


Death And The Penguin by Andrey Kurkov (1996)

Death And The Penguin

Death And The Penguin is a bizarre and bleak tragicomedy that combines political and social commentary.  The book can be viewed as a satire of the corrupt and organised crime ridden society that replaced communism(more)

Author’s nationality: Ukrainian

My Rating: Quite good




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