Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Every Man Dies Alone

Liked it much more than I thought I would.

This book was written in the mid-1940s in Germany by an author, then famous and well-read and acclaimed, who died in a sanitarium in 1947. Drunk/Drank himself to death. Long story.

Hans Fallada was such a stud that one of his books from the 1930s was made into a hit movie with big stars and everything by Universal. "Little Man, What Now?"

"Every Man Dies Alone" was recently translated and made several Notable Lists in 2009.

Setting is 1941 Berlin. A regular working man and his wife launch a covert operation against the Nazis. It's a resistance, thought small. A cast of characters surround their lives and efforts. It ends up being as much a romance story, in an odd sort of way, as a "war" story. If you've ever wondered what life was like in Berlin in WWII, here's your picture. The Gestapo. Meal tickets. Regimentation and whatnot.

He wrote this book in 24 days. It's 500 pages long. Ouch. I cannot begin to tell you how hard that is. Small wonder he drank himself into oblivion.

Now I'm reading the exact opposite: "The Help." Trying to finish before the movie comes out.