OK, I’ll admit that I was convinced to buy this book because it was read by George Guidall. But the reviews were strong enough that I found it worth considering.. **furthermore, swam in on the strength of the story premise: A German couple continuing little demonstrations of rebellion against Hitler’s system. Sounded fascinating.**
An older couple loses a son serving in the German army in World War II. The woman lashes out at her husband, blaming “you and your fuhrer”. Upon reflection, he realizes that…while he hates the Nazis, he has never done anything to resist. Yet, he believes that good men should do something to resist against that which is bad, even if that something is very small. **So he volunteers to compose a progression of hostile government opinions on postcards and to wise drop them around the city, where they will be found and read…sowing more profound seeds of conflict against Hitler’s plan**. There are many memorable characters to the story, across all ages and social groups. There is a sense of sadness twist into all their lives. Many of them meet grisly ends at the hands of a power-mad government. All the main characters are very flawed and very human…but you definitely find yourself drawn deeply into their lives.
I really loved this story. In part, I’m sure it’s because I am fascinated by the events surrounding WWII. How could the German people have let things go so awry? What was it like living there at the time? The story transports you to that time and place. After reading more about how the story was written, I came to understand how it could feel so real. Hans Fallada was born in the late 1800s. He nearly didn’t survive his teens. He and a friend had a mutual suicide pact, and staged it as a duel. Fallada hit and killed the other kid, but the other missed him. So he picked up the other kid’s gun and shot himself in the chest…but, somehow, he survived. **He proceeded to turn into a genuinely effective creator and composed Every Man Dies Alone in only 24 days in 1946. He kicked the bucket fourteen days before its distribution. Likewise, the story depended on the genuine story of a common a couple,** Otto and Elise Hampel, who committed acts of civil disobedience in Berlin during WWII before being caught. So it was VERY real. The book was a modest success at the time, but remained untranslated until 2009 when Michael Hofmann did it. It became a “surprise bestseller” in both the UK and the US.
George Guide all is simply golden. I don’t know how much more grandiose I can become in my praise for him. But I would probably be happy listening to a BAD book as long as he was reading it. Fortunately, this was a very good one. Definitely recommended!
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