368 pages

Trade Cloth

List Price US $26.99
ISBN: 9781942658504


ISBN: 9781942658511

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“Charyn’s blunt, brilliantly crafted prose bubbles with the pleasure of nailing life to the page in just the right words. Cesare is by no means lightweight fare, but it’s provocative, stimulating and deeply satisfying.”

Washington Post

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“A breakneck adventure. . . . It’s a dark art to make a subject this grotesque quite this much fun.”

Wall Street Journal

“Darkly resonant. . . . [A] convention-upturning tour de force.”

Washington Independent Review of Books

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“Spectacular. . . . This extraordinary tour de force showcases [Charyn] at the top of his game.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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“[An] edgy, hallucinatory, full-throttle fable.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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“[Charyn’s] taut story line is full of surreal visuals and elaborate illusions.”


“A complex and detailed story of the inner workings of the German Third Reich during World War II. . . . Highly recommended.”

Library Journal

“Charyn has created a terrific cast of original characters who speak in a language that reflects the selfish and predatory nature of that time. . . . He tells a fascinating story of resistance against evil with a great deal of energy.”

Historical Novels Review

“Deftly written and original. . . . Unreservedly recommended.”

Midwest Book Review

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“Charyn conjures up a narrative punctuated with powerful imagery. . . . In a novel full of its share of the grotesque, it takes an artist with a precise touch such as Charyn to achieve such artful results.”

Comics Grinder

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On a windy night in 1937, a seventeen-year-old German naval sub-cadet is wandering along the seawall when he stumbles upon a gang of ruffians beating up a tramp, whose life he saves. The man is none other than spymaster Wilhelm Canaris, chief of the Abwehr, German military intelligence. Canaris adopts the young man and dubs him “Cesare” after the character in the silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari for his ability to break through any barrier as he eliminates the Abwehr’s enemies.

Canaris is a man of contradictions who, while serving the regime, seeks to undermine the Nazis and helps Cesare hide Berlin’s Jews from the Gestapo. But the Nazis will lure many to Theresienstadt, a phony paradise in Czechoslovakia with sham restaurants, novelty shops, and bakeries, a cruel ghetto and way station to Auschwitz. When the woman Cesare loves, a member of the Jewish underground, is captured and sent there, Cesare must find a way to rescue her.

Cesare is a literary thriller and a love story born of the horrors of a country whose culture has died, whose history has been warped, and whose soul has disappeared.

Wingate Prize Long List

Excerpt from Cesare

Jerome Charyn talks to the Literary Hub about the books that inspired his new novel Cesare and with Stay Thirsty Magazine about the way history shapes all his work.