The unpleasant truth about Joseph Roth

Endless Flight is the first biography in English of the novelist Joseph Roth. This is very surprising, since Roth’s short, violent life traverses some of the most compelling episodes in 20th-century European history. He was a supremely elegant, intelligent and clear-sighted writer, despite living out of suitcases, in hotel rooms, always on the run. If most of his novels are flawed in one way or another, they are all interesting in others. He also wrote what must be one of the dozen greatest European novels, The Radetzky March, translated at least three times into English since 1933. (We are now lucky to have Michael Hofmann’s superb, comprehensive translations, which perfectly