Published by Cappelen Damm in Norwegian translation at the beginning of this Year, the novel THE RAFT OF THE MEDUSA (Zsolnay 2017) by Austrian writer Franzobel was met with the warmest welcome by critics in Norway. In fact: It was one of the novels most talked about this season.

»mesterlig gennemført […] fremragende fremstilling […] en grufull og levende beretning […] skildringene er detaljerete og billedrike, persontegningene originale og treffsikre […] Boken er en påminnelse om det tynne skillet mellem sivilisasjon og barbari, et vrengebilde og en perversjon av demokratiet og verdiene vi flagger. Når alt kokker ned til et spørgsmål om overlevelse, pulveriseres våre idealer raskt, og vi ender opp med å dreppe og fortære de svakeste blant oss, som vi under andre omstendigheter ville ha beskyttet« – Stavanger Aftonbladet, Norway

»Franzobel utvider den historiske romanensgrenser.[…] «Medusas flåte» er en fremragende roman fordi den harselerer med både høy og lav, offisersmakt og sjøfolk. Ikke minst på detaljplanet er den imponerende, i persontegningene, i skildringen av livet om bord i seilskuta. At synsvinkelen uanstrengt skifter mellom hovedpersonene og den allvitende fortelleren, gir framstillingen ytterligere spenstighet.[…] «Medusas flåte» er en av de mest utfordrende og givende samtidsromanene man kan gi seg i kast med.« –Klassekampen, Norway

And don’t miss Helge Jorheim’s 3 page review of the book: https://dagens.klassekampen.no/2019-04-27/historiens-forlis

The novel – based on the historical sinking of French frigate Medusa – was published in Germany in fall 2017. And went on to be:

  • shortlisted for the German Book prize 2017
  • winner of the Bavarian Book Prize 2017
  • winner of the Nicolas Born Prize 2017
  • paperback edition highlight title at btb spring 2019
  • rights sold to France (Flammarion), Italy (Saggiatore), Norway (Cappelen Damm)

≫A powerful epos.≪ Die Welt

» A disturbing masterpiece.« Carsten Otte, Der Tagesspiegel

»A linguistic masterpiece full of ironic references and a study of human behaviour.« Ruth Renée Reif,Der Standard

»Das Floß der Medusa is a report as shocking as it is fascinating about the limits of human civilization. A portent today, as it was two hundred years ago.« Günter Kaindlstorfer, WDR5

»With this book, the 49-year-old Austrian has moved definitively into the master class of literature.« Ulf Heise, MDR

Three barrels of wine, one barrel of water and a bag of rusks for 147 people on raft adrift in the ocean: Franzobel’s impressive novel about the cost of survival.

July 18, 1816, eleven o’clock in the morning: Off the West coast of Africa, the captain of the Argus spots a raft of about twenty metres in length. What he sees makes his blood run cold: hollow eyes, parched lips, hair stiff with salt, burned skin full of wounds and blisters … The emaciated, naked bodies that are the last 15 of the original 147-man group who have survived two weeks at sea after the sinking of the frigate Medusa.

A true story – one of the greatest disasters in seafaring history – forms the backdrop for Franzobel’s epochal novel that hones in on the core of humanity. What significance do morality and civilization take on in an extreme situation where survival is all that matters?