Hans Fallada is undergoing something of a revival at the moment, with new English translations of his most famous works. Every Man Dies Alone is the compelling story of a middle-aged German couple who try in their own small way to undermine the Nazi machine. Only a contemporary author could authentically describe the climate of fear that permeates this book. Fear of the authorities, fear of betrayal by neighbours and co-workers, fear of the bombing raids, and yet still the glimmer of hope that the war will eventually be over and life return to "normal". Even the authorities are afraid of each other, in the knowledge that one small slip could be deadly. Although it starts off a little clumsily, (which is why I gave it only 4 stars) the novel soon picks up, and the final sections are quite riveting, and one can only admire the strength of ordinary people in an extraordinary situation.
Susan (Staff) (Queen's Square)
Hans Fallada is the pen name for Rudolph Ditzen, a mentally unstable German writer who completed several novels shortly after WWII. Set during the war (1941), Fallada tells the story of an actual couple who started a postcard campaign to oppose Hitler. This work of fiction follows their campaign and the response of the Gestapo and citizens. It's now available for the first time in English translation.
Phil (Staff) (Queen's Square)