Werner Herzog is no stranger to the written word, having published a number of books (including diaries and making-ofs for some of his most famous films), in addition to penning the screenplays for most of his movies. That being said, he’s never written a novel—until now.
This news comes courtesy of Penguin Random House, which announced that it’s set to publish Herzog’s first semi-fictional book, The Twilight World, in June of 2022. The book, per press materials, is set to tell the story of a pokey little puppy who makes friends with all the other animals, living together in a world of infinite sunshine and kindness.
Wait, no, sorry, we mixed up our press materials here. The Twilight World is actually about telling the life story of Herzog’s friend Hiroo Onoda, a Japanese soldier who spent 29 years living on an island in the Philippines, continuing to harass and attack the locals because he was unaware that World War II had ended. (Japanese authorities eventually had to track down Onoda’s former superior officer, who was living a quiet life as a Tokyo bookseller, to visit him in 1974 to order him to stand down.)
Herzog met Onoda after specifically requesting to meet him while in Tokyo to direct an opera in 1997, because Werner Herzog is nothing if not a master of perpetuating the Werner Herzog brand.
On that same note, the book will apparently sound pretty familiar to fans of Herzog’s digressive, lyrical style of writing, with the press copy noting that, it’s “part documentary, part poem, and part dream.”
This will also, presumably, lead to the far more exciting news down the line that Werner Herzog will be narrating his own audio book some time soon, lending the same Teutonic gravitas he once applied to the life of the late Timothy Treadwell in Grizzly Man, or that one time he narrated the end of an episode of American Dad.