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Distributed for Haus Publishing

Two Gentlemen on the Beach

On the face of it, Winston Churchill and Charlie Chaplin—two icons of the twentieth century—couldn’t be more different. One is the grand statesman whose resolve led a nation in the struggle against Nazi Germany, the other the world-famous actor and comedian behind The Great Dictator, whose owns roots were in poverty and hardship. But in this moving novel, they are bound by a dark secret: both suffer from depression.

When a chance encounter reveals what they share, an unusual and unlikely friendship ensues. A series of therapeutic meetings across the world, in Germany, England, and America, sees each become the other’s confidant as they talk of their “black dog days.” With the eye of a masterfully subtle narrator, Michael Köhlmeier imagines a startling friendship of unique understanding between this extraordinary pair: a friendship of the twentieth century between art and politics, humor and seriousness, but which at heart remains an understanding between two men—the poor tramp and the grand statesman—who bring together the history of the century.

238 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2016


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“An affecting, dimensional work on the power gained by losing oneself in the mythology of others.” 


“A humanizing account of two iconic individuals.”

Library Journal

"A beautiful, intelligent and poignant novel that keeps a subtle distance from its characters in order to understand them better."

Shiny New Books

"What a wonderful book."

David Marx Book Reviews

“A masterful novel.”

Die Welt, on the German edition

"The two friends had something in common few knew about. Michael Köhlmeier reveals it."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, on the German edition

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