I couldn't finish this book, although most of the reviews said how wonderful it was. I found it laborious to read.
I listened to this on audio cd, read by George Guidall. If I were on a desert island and could only have 5 books, this would be one of them. It is absolutely brilliant. If I could only have three, this would be one of them. There are intersecting stories: the couple who decide they must take a stand against Hitler, neighbors who drift in and out, the SS obsessively out to learn the identity of the traitor. It's tense and suspenseful. I see there are a lot of reviews, excellent reviews and I am glad to add my two shekels.
It took me a long time to finish this. It's more than 500 pages, I knew how it was going to end (as it's based on a true story) and in some respects it's one of the most depressing books I've ever read (I'd put it in the same group as 1984 by Orwell and A Spark of Life by Remarque). Having said that, the novel also has its funny moments and grains of hope, because in Fallada's words “we don’t want to end this book with death, dedicated as it is to life, invincible life, life always triumphing over humiliation and tears, over misery and death.”
The author finished the book in less than a month - a real feat, having in mind its impressive scale. I still find this hard to believe, but I can't help but feel really thankful that he managed to do it, even though, sadly, he didn't live to see it published. (Fallada died a few weeks before its publication in 1947.) The other thing that's even harder to believe is that it wasn't translated into English until 2009. When it was finally released in the US and UK, it was received surprisingly well.
Primo Levi calls it "the greatest book ever written about the German resistance to the Nazis." For me, it also shows very well how miserable the life of most Germans was during that time, even those who believed unconditionally in their Fuhrer. Fallada brilliantly depicts the constant fear, suspicion, violence and brainwashing that led to the rapid desensitization and dehumanization of the common Germans. But of course, there were also the ones who refused to accept the Nazi doctrine in their hearts, the ones who risked their lives in order to remain decent. And this novel is an ode to them as well.
Every Man Dies Alone might not be the finest example of literary mastery, but it's a novel of great importance. It has to be read, now even more than ever.
An interesting historical document from the period immediately following WW II about the struggle to maintain decency. It illustrates Hannah Arendt's "banality of evil".
Based on a true story, this masterpiece is a gripping, fascinating historical novel of German citizenry resistance to the Nazi regime that was difficult to put down. Rich in suspense and detail of the times within Berlin, Fallada's engrossing tale illuminates a part of WWII history not readily found. I rate it as joining Koestler's Darkness at Noon as one of the great political historical novels of the 20th century.
What makes this such an interesting story is that it is based on real life circumstances. A very human look at the insanity of Hitler's control over Germany.
A story of a Berlin couple's great courage in planning a clandestine protest again the Reich during WWII.
A Berlin couple take a stand against the Reich there cunning and courage bewilder the Gestapo. A journey through sorrow, strength, and the brutality of dictatorships. Deeply moving and memorable.
This is an intriguing novel that presents a different type of Nazi resistance story. As someone who has read quite a bit of fiction and non-fiction work on the topic, I highly recommend it!
One of the best fiction books I've ever read. Love the story.
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