Summary (Masterplots II: World Fiction Series)
In this, one of Heinrich Böll’s most structurally complicated works, the history of the Faehmel family over a fifty-year period is narrated by several family members. Through monologue, memory, and flashbacks, historical and personal events since the turn of the century are recounted, mirroring political and social developments in Germany itself. The eightieth birthday of the grandfather, Heinrich—September 6, 1958—marks a turning point for four members of the Faehmel family. Each of them has withdrawn from an active public life, preferring instead the protection of private routine. On this day, however, they will come to terms with the past that haunts them and forge a new identity as a united family. The time span of the novel measures approximately ten hours on this single day.
The first three chapters of the novel gradually clarify the mysterious behavior of the architect Robert Faehmel. Faehmel spends little time in his office, leaving punctually every day for an unknown destination. Faehmel’s own secretary does not know where he goes, or why; she has only his explicit instructions that he is not to be disturbed. In addition, his two partners in the firm never visit the office, and all contact between them is carried out by mail. The reader soon discovers that Faehmel spends his mornings playing billiards in the Prince Heinrich Hotel, speaking only to a young bellboy, Hugo, who is there to guarantee Faehmel’s privacy.
(The entire section is 1081 words.)
Show us the love and view this for free! Use the facebook like button, or any other share button on this page, and get this content free!free!
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of Billiards at Half-Past Nine Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!