Morenga has a fascinating story and Timm tells it with an ingenious mix of fact and fiction. Recounted through the eyes of Gottschalk, an engaging fictional military veterinarian, the narrative blends quotations from actual historic sources with gripping accounts of everyday life and military excursions. As he has repeatedly shown himself to be, Timm is a master storyteller, and his imagined scenes and characters are as real as the factual material he weaves into the story. The parallels between past events and later German history with its notions of the Untermensch (subhuman) and racial inferiority are subtly brought to mind while significant philosophical, political, and human issues are at play. Morenga is an intriguing novel of scope and significance and it has been well served by Breon Mitchell's fine translation.
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