One of the most important and, in the English-speaking world, most neglected of German writers, Koeppen was a fierce, uncompromising critic of post ... Show synopsis One of the most important and, in the English-speaking world, most neglected of German writers, Koeppen was a fierce, uncompromising critic of post-war German complacency. His novels were like a slap in the face to a Federal Republic that preferred to make money and forget about the recent past of genocide and oppression. The Hothouse refers to the city of Bonn, with its warm damp climate, but it also refers to the political environment of the temporary capital of divided Germany, where politics in the 1950s was about compromises and half measures. The central character, Keetenheuve, is an idealistic politician-intellectual who has returned from voluntary exile during the Nazi period. Now his idealism becomes a trap for him, as he attempts to break with the past and persuade his colleagues to embrace a radical rejection of militarism. The novel traces the final two days in the life of this depressed, isolated man.