I'm glad I gave Joseph Kanon a second try. Although <i>The Good German</i> suffers, to some extent, the same largess of characters and pithy dialogue I found tedious in <i>Istanbul Passage,</i> the author generously rewards his readers with some powerful insight into the moral ambiguity of post-WWII politics. Set in Berlin during the rapid transition from hot to Cold War, from ally to enemy, from survivor to collaborator, Kanon weaves a truly compelling tale both in terms of riveting action and of heart-rending enigma. He paints the reader a tenacious terrier of a reporter whose jaw is firmly clamped on right versus wrong, good versus bad and sets him in a bombed-out world of greys and re-written history. The hero's hubris shifts from his willingness to single-handedly take on the Russian Army to his willingness to confront the necessity to compromise. Riding off into the sunset is not so surprising in an archetypical romance, but letting go of the truth in order to save the day was.
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