Inspired by a true story, Hans Fallada's Alone in Berlin is the gripping tale of an ordinary man's determination to defy the tyranny of Nazi rule. This Penguin Classics edition contains an afterword by Geoff Wilkes, as well as facsimiles of the original Gestapo file which inspired the novel. Berlin, 1940, and the city is filled with fear. At the house on 55 Jablonski Strasse, its various occupants try to live under Nazi rule in their different ways: the bullying Hitler loyalists the Persickes, the retired judge Fromm and ...
Inspired by a true story, Hans Fallada's Alone in Berlin is the gripping tale of an ordinary man's determination to defy the tyranny of Nazi rule. This Penguin Classics edition contains an afterword by Geoff Wilkes, as well as facsimiles of the original Gestapo file which inspired the novel. Berlin, 1940, and the city is filled with fear. At the house on 55 Jablonski Strasse, its various occupants try to live under Nazi rule in their different ways: the bullying Hitler loyalists the Persickes, the retired judge Fromm and the unassuming couple Otto and Anna Quangel. Then the Quangels receive the news that their beloved son has been killed fighting in France. Shocked out of their quiet existence, they begin a silent campaign of defiance, and a deadly game of cat and mouse develops between the Quangels and the ambitious Gestapo inspector Escherich. When petty criminals Kluge and Borkhausen also become involved, deception, betrayal and murder ensue, tightening the noose around the Quangels' necks ...If you enjoyed Alone in Berlin, you might like John Steinbeck's The Moon is Down, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'One of the most extraordinary and compelling novels written about World War II. Ever' Alan Furst 'Terrific ...a fast-moving, important and astutely deadpan thriller' Irish Times 'An unrivalled and vivid portrait of life in wartime Berlin' Philip Kerr 'To read Fallada's testament to the darkest years of the 20th century is to be accompanied by a wise, somber ghost who grips your shoulder and whispers into your ear: "This is how it was. This is what happened"' The New York Times
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New. Product in slip-case. 608 p. Black & white illustrations. In Stock. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Brand New, Perfect Condition, allow 4-14 business days for standard shipping. To Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. protectorate, P.O. box, and APO/FPO addresses allow 4-28 business days for Standard shipping. No expedited shipping. All orders placed with expedited shipping will be cancelled. Over 3, 000, 000 happy customers.
Fine. Product in slip-case. 608 p. Black & white illustrations. In Stock. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Brand New, Perfect Condition, allow 4-14 business days for standard shipping. To Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. protectorate, P.O. box, and APO/FPO addresses allow 4-28 business days for Standard shipping. No expedited shipping. All orders placed with expedited shipping will be cancelled. Over 3, 000, 000 happy customers.
First and foremost this is an absolutely captivating novel. As exciting in its choreography of brilliantly sustained dramatic tension as the best thriller. What it lacks in artistry is made up for by its streamlined vitality and the pulsing urgency of its narrative. There's something Dickensian about this energy, just as there's something Dickensian about its characters, all of whom are exaggerated, even caricatured but who nevertheless are always large and vivid with humanity. The Nazis too are powerfully caricatured. At one point a Nazi character says, "I don't care about emotions. I'd rather have a proper ham sandwich than all the emotion in the world." This statement is very much in keeping with Nazi priorities within the parameters of the novel where not only the banality of evil is brilliantly dramatised but also the banality of good.
Alone in Berlin is based on a true story. Otto and Anna Quangel in the novel are based on Otto and Elise Hampel who, to begin with, are not by any means hostile to the National Socialists. This changes when Elise's brother is killed early in the war. The Hampels now begin leaving hundreds of postcards all over Berlin calling for civil disobedience. In the novel it is the death of Otto and Anna's son that sparks the change of stance towards the Nazis. Otto, a foreman in a furniture factory that soon will be turned over to making coffins, is provoked into resistance. He spends his Sundays writing anonymous postcards against the regime and dropping them in the stairwells of city buildings. "Mother Don't give to the Winter Relief Fund! - Work as slowly as you can! - Put sand in the machines! - Every stroke of work not done will shorten the war!"
The overriding and unanswerable question about the Nazis remains how did it happen? How did an entire nation allow themselves to be swept up in a tsunami of racial hatred and vengeance? We're usually told there was nothing one individual could do to oppose this orchestrated regime of terror. The brilliant achievement of this novel is to show how two simple working class people did oppose the Nazis, but, from every practical point of view, in an utterly futile manner. The postcards they wrote - lacking any intellectual sophistication and often containing grammatical errors and misspellings - were almost all immediately handed in to the Gestapo. They terrified anyone who had the bad luck to stumble across one of them. They did no political or military damage whatsoever. This husband and wife were risking their lives for, what in practical terms, was an utterly futile commitment to a series of all but useless gestures. Anna herself questions the "smallness" of the gesture but Otto points out that, if caught, they will pay with their lives and no one can sacrifice more than her own life. Fallada's great triumph is to show us that their actions, in the sphere of ethics, were far from futile. They acted in accordance with conscience, to preserve their moral integrity even though they knew that to preserve their self-respect would mean losing their lives. Otto's moment of triumph comes at his (sham) trial when he stands up to the infamous real life Nazi judge most famously portrayed in the film Sophie Scholl. Although Otto doesn't believe in God what he does is as much a religious as a political act. He is acting as though his every gesture is being monitored by a moral overseer
Oct 6, 2011
Book as described
I have not read the book yet, but did glance through it. I believe I will enjoy it. Book in excellent condition.
Apr 8, 2011
This book should be read by everyone! I know that sounds odd but this book really has it all...suspense, thrills,shocks,romance,gripping 'can't put it down moments' and moments when you just cannot bear to turn the page because you fear for the hero/heroine!! A must-read for those of us who appreciate fine writing.
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