This novel about the twentieth century begins when time was linear and ends when the notion of progress becomes less well defined. "It strikes me that Josef Brehme lived in an epoch when time still proceeded in a straight line from the past to the future," muses his grandson, the talented, handsome, and cynical Alex Brehme, in his diary in late 2001. The Brehmes' story guides the reader through revolution, war, the Holocaust, and ultimately exile and return. A novel about what man does to man and whether God intervenes. Translated by Gerald Turner. "remarkable"-Vaclav Havel.