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A Small Death in Berlin


Berlin between the wars.

A time of change, a time of upheaval.

Paul von Pryzgodski was a young Prussian man whose life had led him to expect heroism, but instead he found failure.

In the closing hours of the First World War, Paul is wounded, and he wakes up in a strange French hospital, with no recollection of how he got there, and no idea which side has won the war.

He staggers out of the hospital and jumps on a train to Berlin, only to find that everything has changed – and not for the better.

His father is comatose, and his beloved aristocratic mother has now been reduced to running a house for ‘working girls’.

Not only that but his childhood sweetheart, Cilly, has also lost her innocence, and is no longer the girl he used to know.

Desolate and alone, Paul struggles to find a place for himself back home, and after a string of failed jobs, he finds himself embarking on an unusual career path.

In a whirlwind of champagne, glitz, glamorous women and sordid affairs, Paul discovers a side to himself that he never knew existed …

A Small Death in Berlin was originally published as Just a Gigolo and is based on the film of the same name.


“Brilliant. An ironic and darkly comic exposition on the futility of war.” The LA Times

“Beautifully told. Is the film of the book as good as the book of the film?” The Daily Mail

“As sharp as a diamond. A tragic farce that slashes at the wasted heroism of soldiers to reveal the horror and ludicrousness of war.” The Guardian

“Already becoming a cult classic that reaches far beyond the obsession of David Bowie fans. With overtones of the frantic generation between the wars, brilliantly shown in Christopher Isherwood’s Cabaret, it joins the pantheon of books written about the lost generation destroyed in the Great War. ” The Toronto Sun

“In the genre of Evelyn Waugh’s Sword of Honour trilogy. The tragedy of war overlaid with black humour.” The Sunday Times

The Odyssey¬†Press is a literary imprint of Endeavour Press – the UK’s leading independent digital publisher. We publish new and classic literary fiction, literary biographies and works with literary tropes and themes.

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