In January 1938, Abel Tiffauges, an obscure French garage manager, begins a journal full of sadism, cannibalism, kidnapping and perverse sexuality. As France collapses and Europe is engulfed in war, he is captured, imprisoned, put to work and ends up in Hermann Goring's private hunting lodge - at the very heart of the Third Reich. But what will happen when an 'ogre' like Tiffauges finds his darkest impulses reflected in the bestial savagery all around? Michel Tournier's epoch-making book is an extraordinary tale of mythical adventure, strange encounters and mystical symbolism. It is also profounly challenging, one of the few novels which dared to look unflinchingly at the moral and political 'black hole' which tore the twentieth century apart.