The Collaborator, a historical novel by S.L. Stebel, takes place in the aftermath of World War II. A high ranking Israeli official, Ernst Gottliebsohn, is accused of having conspired with the Nazis on the eve of his nation's first trade mission to Germany. Charged with defending himself, Gottliebsohn finds that he has no memory of anything that happened in his past; his life before emigrating to Israel is as much a mystery to him as it would be to a stranger. Unwilling to abort the trade mission, officials allow Gottliebsohn to carry on, but send a young Jewish-American psychiatrist -- avowedly "neutral" -- to travel with him, both to evaluate his claims of innocence and attempt to unlock whatever secrets Gottliebsohn may be hiding from himself. At the same time, a vengeance-seeking Nazi hunter, Captain Kohn, is avidly investigating Gottliebsohn's past.
Is he the victim of false accusations, or the victimizer of his own people in Nazi Germany? Feeling assaulted in both mind and spirit, Gottliebsohn begins to experience terrible dreams -- images of people he couldn't have known, places he couldn't have seen. As details of a past he does not recognize accumulate, Gottliebsohn finds himself facing an impossible choice -- one whose alternatives are as unthinkable as the events that shaped them.
"Shattering...an excellent and solid thriller" (San Francisco Chronicle)
"A superb suspense story... serious novel of genuine interest" (L.A. Times Book Review)
"Compelling, both surprising and frightening" (Publishers Weekly)
"Brilliant! Imaginative, fast-paced, excellent all-round, written with style and substance. If I had but one book to give to those on both sides of hate-filled conflicts The Collaborator would be that book!" (Ray Bradbury, Psychology Today)
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Riveting political thriller and true winner!
Stunning historical thriller kept me on the edge of my seat. Superbly crafted plot, brought to life by Michael Bell's acting.
Great, dramatic storytelling. SL Stebel's novel kept me engrossed. A true craftsman with story, plot and character. Real balance, which is rare. I very much enjoyed piecing together the puzzle of Ernst Gottliebsohn. A novel which sheds light on today's issues in Israel and Europe.
Breathes life in each and every character. A massive performance. His rendition of Captain Kohn is true art. My first audible.com book and a real treat. Stories woven together like this are few and far between. Bell is superb.
Yes. Ahead of its time and a joy to experience. Stebel kept me listening, with surprise after surprise. And what an ending! I'd love to give it away, but...
Truly Ray Bradbury's review says it all. Brilliant. Imaginative. Fast-paced. And with style. Bonus points for style.
- J. Alfstad
A taut psychological thriller
I would definitely listen again. This is the kind of story that will continue to yield surprises upon re-reading. And Bell's performance is engaging and masterful.
I can't reveal the twists without being a spoiler; I will just say that there are several that are mind-blowers.
Michael Bell didn't just read; he performed. He used his voice to create character, and that made it much easier to follow the story than some audio books I have listened to.
The ending was moving and cathartic.
When I read fiction, I want to be pulled along by a compelling story and characters I care about. "The Collaborator" is old school storytelling that is satisfying and engrossing. Stebel creates a world and populates it with people we feel we know, then puts them in situations that are at once unthinkable and all too real.
- K. Ford