Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Good Read

Set in Berlin in 1940. The city is still functioning mostly normally: there is food in the stores, people go about their business. But it is a city where everyone feels they are being watched, where information can be traded to the Gestapo for a price, where citizens who won’t join the party are looked upon with suspicion or worse. When Otto and Anna Quangel’s son is killed on the French front, this ordinary German couple decides it is time to resist the totalitarianism suffocating their country. How they decide to resist (I don’t want to give it away) seems almost comically minor at first glance, but the reader soon realizes that no act of defiance is minor in such a time and place. And this act of defiance soon sets loose a chain of events that catches others, innocent and not-so-innocent, in its deadly web. Chilling, brilliant, written by a man who lived through it and based on a real Gestapo file, Every Man Dies Alone is a great work of literature.

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