Tuesday, 10 May 2011


The Book: Hans Fallada's WWII thriller Alone in Berlin

The Quote: 'To read Fallada's testament to the darkest years of the 20th century is to be accompanied by a wise, sombre ghost who grips your shoulder and whispers into your ear: "This is how it was. This is what happened." '

The Reviewer: The New York Times

The Verdict: This quote put me off reading the book for a while; I wasn't exactly thrilled about the idea of being accompanied by a sombre ghost, no matter how wise. When I eventually did, I realised this reviewer either read a different book, or suffers from some acute paranoia. Yes, the book is harrowing in places, but it's mostly just a brilliant, slow-burning cat and mouse chase that shows you a completely different side of the war to what you might have read before.

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