First published in 1932, "Journey to the End of the Night" is regarded as Céline's masterpiece. It is told in the first person and is based on his own experiences during the First World War; in French colonial Africa; in the USA - where he worked for a while at the Ford factory in Detroit - and later as a young doctor in a working class suburb in Paris. The novel gives a picture of those years as seen by an underdog.
Céline is very much the product of his age and was particularly marked - like so may other writers - by the senseless carnage of the First World War.
Céline's disgust with human folly, malice, greed and the mess that man has made of society and of his own environment lies behind the bitterness and bile that distinguishes his writing and gives it its force. This is exemplified in the superb portraits of mainly ordinary human beings coping with their lives as best they can; caught in poverty or their obsessions - hindered from evading traps of their own making by ignorance and prejudice.