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I listened to the Audible version but wanted to make sure this is posted in both Audible and Amazon as well. I had purchased the ebook and Audible versions some time ago but put them off, fearing it might be too depressing, as the subject of the holocaust and Auschwitz obviously will bring forth many emotional reactions. I think this book should be read in high schools, if for nothing else than to demonstrate how a civilization can erode a little bit at a time, and can change its perspectives as well as how things can be hidden in plain sight, that sometimes folks will put blinders on and look the other way if something does not effect them directly. It is important to reflect on the fact that this could occur and impact most any cultural group, in almost any variable of country, placy or time - yes, even today. This story was written in a format that was easy to follow, visiting the characters past as well as the present, and how the slide of the society put the folks involved in a position where they had no choices but to go along with how things were evolving, their jobs taken away, their ability to get food, then they were taken from their homes in the middle of the night. It also showed that there were people who tried to assist them through the trying times, to the limit of their abilities. Tastefully reminds us of the horrors to their full effect yet not so graphic or grotesque as to cause someone to stop reading. The ending also was a plus, a light giving hope for the future yet respecting the memory of the past. Well done.
I was probably first attracted to this because David Monteath's a narrator I've enjoyed hearing, but, having studied the Holocaust so often in the course of studies of French, German and Italian, not to mention philosophy, I was intrigued by the subject matter. Manfred Meyer is a respectable Berlin defence lawyer, devoted to his calling, who had a Jewish father - so he's not even Jewish, strictly speaking, since you're only Jewish through your mother, but eventually nothing can hold off the deportation day. He finds himself in Auschwitz, preparing a case for the defence of an old client, now an SS officer, of murder. The defendant is a nasty piece of knitting, personally, quite apart from war crimes.
Two timelines run in parallel; Auschwitz and Meyer's earlier life, in happier days, with the Nazi net gradually closing in. Other people's stories are woven in, broadening the picture.
This is a well written story, well performed - it is easier for a Scots tongue to pronounce German words! - with interesting characters. Whether it's a likely scenario is debatable,but war throws up surprising events. I enjoyed it very much.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Fantastic story. Excellent writing. Good story, well told. Excellent characterisation. Interesting structure of 2 streams of the story running at the same time but handled well Superb narrator. Gutted that there's only 1 book by JC Stephenson to choose on audio. Now my next dilemma is how can I find anything as good as this. A real gem amongst some fine messes I've plodded through. Worth a credit.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This book will stay with me a very long time. It should be made into a film. It is not an easy read, as you would imagine, but well worth every second spent doing so. I cannot recommend this highly enough. The writing is superb and engrossing, as was the narrator's performance. This would not be my usual choice of genre to read but I am so glad I did. You will be too.