#RivetingReads: Deborah Langton recommends ALL FOR NOTHING by Walter Kempowski

On the surface this appears to be a depiction of the final stages of a long war. Below that surface we find a beautifully lyrical account of a family’s attempt, together with its retainers, to cling on to some semblance of normality when everything around them is falling apart. I enjoyed the work so much that I re-read it almost immediately.

Recommended by Deborah Langton

Read The German Riveter here.

Find the books from The German Riveter on the Goethe-Institut page.


Written by Walter Kempowski

Translated by Anthea Bell 

Published by Granta (2015)

Deborah Langton has six published book translations with a couple more in the pipeline: Julia Drosten’s historical romances, The Elephant Keeper’s Daughter and The Girl with the Golden Scissors, published in 2018 and 2020, and in 2019 Melanie Metzenthin’s first book to make it into English, A Fight in Silence.

Her first book translation was Stalingrad – the Loneliest Death by Christoph Fromm, published in English by Primero in 2015, closely followed by Seeds of Wrath – Egypt between Revolt and Reality by Matthias

And Deborah’s English translation of a book originally published in 1915 by Alfons von Mumm, At Home in Liguria, is now available through Internὸs Edizioni.

Category: The German RiveterThe RiveterReads


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