In 1902, a radical vegetarian and nudist from Nuremberg named August Engelhardt set sail for what was then called the Bismarck Archipelago. His destination: the island Kabakon. His goal: to found a colony based on worship of the sun and coconuts. His malnourished body was found on the beach on Kabakon in 1919; he was forty-three years old. In his first novel to be translated into English, internationally bestselling author Christian Krachht uses the outlandish details of Engelhardt's life to craft a fable about the allure of extremism and its fundamental foolishness. Playing with the tropes of classic adventure tales like Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe, Imperium is funny, bizarre, shocking, and poignant - sometimes all on the same page.
Christian Kracht is a Swiss novelist, whose books have been translated into 27 languages. His previous novels include Faserland, 1979, and I Will Be Here in Sunshine and in Shadow. Imperium was the recipient of the 2012 Wilhelm Raabe literature prize.