I give this 3.5/5 stars and recommend it. The second half is an improvement, so stick with it, and the complete story is sufficiently intriguing to keep you involved. It is a good reveal of the Nazi ideological treatment of the German population, and of the post-ww2 East Berlin. A great story in itself, with hard truisms reflecting reality. A little editing issue annoyed me, and that was inappropriately placed and out-of-context obscene swear words from children which had me thinking the words were added after Elton had passed the book over to publishers. I look forward to reading other books of Ben Elton
This story brings to life the plight of the Jewish Germans under Hitler's regime. With. a recent trend towards trying to reduce the horror and even completely deny the Third Reich's attempt to annihilate the Jewish people this book shows how the madness was systematically implemented. The characters are so well developed that you can't help but identify with the family and friends as their wield defends into chaos and madness. The story is told with humour and hope but we also feel their despair as lives and personalities are changed forever.
I haven't quite finished the book, but it's an engrossing story. Being vision impaired, I'm a very slow reader. When I started the book, it told me there was around 17 hours of reading (at my pace) and I still have over an hour left. Can't wait to see how it pans out. I have a theory, but then, so far, every time I thought I knew who was going to feature, I got it wrong.
Ben takes a fresh look at the holocaust of persecution in pre WW2 Berlin, taking the perspective down to that of a single family unit. I have enjoyed the characters portrayed and the riveting ride to the conclusion. Top score from me. A most enjoyable and thought provoking read.
Excellent book, excellent story line, interesting characters and a few great surprises. I always thought Ben Elton only wrote comedy books but after reading this I can tell that he is an amazing drama storyteller.
What an amazing story... I laughed and cried... gained an insight into Nazi Germany that history classes did provide...Inspired by Ben eltons own family history....written with his articulate insightful compassion.