ABOUT THIS BOOK
It is 1943. A German submarine commander and an American pilot are stranded on a rubber life raft, floating alone in the middle of the ocean, with nothing between them but a bottle of whiskey, some cigarettes, a few chocolate bars, and a pack of chewing gum. Both sit, hoping to be rescued, but there is no hope in sight. The stage is thus set for this hypnotic existentialist parable, a rediscovered classic in the literature of World War II.
In a terse, almost clinically exact style, Nothing in Sight distills the brutal essence of what it is to die alone. Much more than a story of war, this short novel presents the memories, dreams, and hallucinations of two soldiers as they drift toward death. With nothing in sight on the horizon, Jens Rehn directs our view inward, into the minds of both men as they question the meaning of life, the existence of God, and the possibility of enduring human relationships. As the drama unfolds, each man recalls fragments of his past through the delirium of thirst and pain. The American soldier, his arm severed, dies first of gangrene. The German dies in agony a week later. Their life raft sinks into the vastness of the ocean.
Reissued two years ago in Germany, Nothing in Sight was hailed by critics there as a singular achievement. The work is presented here in a crystalline English translation for the first time, given new life for generations of readers to come.