In a rich tapestry of styles, fantasy, and philosophical speculations, Marcel Möring leads us on a voyage through the dark heart of the twentieth century and through a vivid exploration of loss and guilt. Loosely based on Dante's Inferno, this ambitious and enthralling novel—an in-depth study of Europeans' angst and fear after the Holocaust—confirms Möring's place among "the ranks of the most important European writers of his generation" (Die Welt).
1945. Jacob Noah emerges from hiding to discover that his family has perished under the Nazis. Rebuilding his life, Noah becomes a shoemaker in the Dutch town of Assen. Over the years, he patiently expands his business and eventually becomes the city's most influential entrepreneur. Yet success cannot alleviate his loneliness and suffering nor the tragedy of history.
Nearly forty years later, this dispirited, loveless man veers off the road in a tragic accident. But instead of entering death's abyss, Noah finds himself on a journey through his soul. Guided by a peddler, he descends into the town's smoky center, a manmade hell reminiscent of Dante's Inferno. But it is not until he encounters a young man named Marcus Kolpa, a respected intellectual struggling with the implications of his Jewish identity and the shared history of his people, that Noah is able to truly understand the meaning of his own life and the tragedies he has experienced.