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Address Unknown [Hardcover]

Kathrine Kressmann Taylor
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

14 Mar 2002
Address Unknkown. When events in our history change a life of open-mindedness and intolerance to the warped ideology of a dictator, the effect can be devastating. This enormously powerful tale brings an unprecedented vision of the horror and grief wrought by the Nazi regime. Written on the eve of the Holocaust as a series of letters between an American jew and his German friend, 'Address Unknown' is a haunting tale of immense and enduring impact, exposing the poison of Nazism. This memorable story survives in an age of racial, ethnic and nationalistic intolerance as a searing reminder that history can repeat itself.

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Address Unknown + The Yellow Wallpaper (Dover Thrift Editions)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Souvenir Press Ltd; New Ed edition (14 Mar 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0285636294
  • ISBN-13: 978-0285636293
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 17 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


It is to our part in World War Two what Uncle Tom's Cabin was to the Civil War. -- Kurt Vonnegut

Simple but profound... Address Unknown remains one of the most significant, innovative and genuinely engaged fictions about the Nazi era. -- 'New Statesman', March 4th 2002

Taylor's book is a rare example of fiction that has made a political difference -- 'The Times', March 6th 2002

This modern story is perfection itself. It is the most effective indictment of Nazism to appear in fiction. -- The New York Times Book Review

From the Back Cover

A rediscovered classic, originally published in 1938 - and now an international bestseller, revealing the extraordinary power of the pen as a weapon. This is a book that needs to be read.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
Back in Germany! How I envy you! Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
By A. Peel
What did it mean to be Jewish in the late 1930's in Nazi Germany? How powerful was Hitler's fascist brainwashing of the German race? How quickly did he influence the German people ?
In an instant this book answers these questions and a great deal more regarding the Jews and Nazi Germany. It is a concise and compelling compilation of letters between a Jew in the States and a German returned from the States to live in Germany.
Martin, the German, after voicing initial hesitation, succumbs to the temptation of following Hitler and rejecting his Jewish friend and business partner in the process.
What is particularly disturbing is that it is clear from the outset that he is an intelligent, open-minded and well-educated individual. If even he is totally taken in by Hitler and his regime, what chance did those of a lesser education and a lesser quality of life have in the face of Hitler and his positive promises for the future ? They would have been swept along by his current of hope in an instant, even if that hope involved the elimination of minorities in the process.
Only much later could the majority of Germans step back and realise the true implications of the Hitler regime. 'Address Unknown' captures this and much more in an exchange of but a few letters. The simplicitiy of the work emphasises the horrors of Hitler.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profoundly thought-provoking 20 April 2007
By hiljean VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book after hearing about it on Radio 4's "A Good Read" and am amazed that I had never heard of it before. It is a book which should be made essential reading in all secondary schools. Although it deals with the events leading up to the Holocaust, through the relationship between a Jew and a non-Jew who returns to Germany, the devastating effects of propaganda and misinformation are timeless and important themes. What gives this work even more power is the information contained in the Afterword explaining how and why this book came to be written. It reminds us too, that we have a duty to inform ourselves about what is happening in the world and that we must not just shrug our shoulders . . . but sadly it seems we still are (Darfur, Rwanda, the list goes on).
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Thirty Minute Read Ever 7 Oct 2004
I found this book breath taking. I felt like a spy, opening and reading these letters between these two fantastic people.
The book really shows how Hitler managed to win over the minds of the German people, whether they wanted him to or not. I also feel that its brevity adds to its poinancy and this book will stay with me forever.
I personally feel that all GCSE history students (myself being one)should read this book. It only takes 30 minutes, and really shows both the political and social views in Germany in 1933. Of course, when reading a book one must remember the context. This was written in 1939 when governments all over the world were denying what was happening in Germany, and now looking back on it, it shows the striking difference between the public view, and the offical view of a country.
Overall, a beautiful book that will stay with me forever.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'must read' book 4 Mar 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
So simple, so short, and so very profound. A cleverly constructed story of friendship betrayed, of Germany during the pre-war Nazi years, and of a simple but devastating revenge. Have the tissues ready.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
An exchange of letters sounds boring but in this case it is a necessary formula for a unique "trick" - that is not a trick.

The idea is so very perfect that it would be difficult to make if fail even with poor writing but it is well written and carefully crafted.

Where Orwell's Animal Farm slowly and relentlessly crushes the hard diamond of Totalitarianism with a road roller, this book splits it with a single expert tap exactly on a cleavage fault, in a blink of the eye.

Sorry to be so vague but you can't describe it without giving some of it away - not that it depends on that but you *must* read it as is with no preconceptions and also you must take it at face value because in the end there is no trick.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars E S S E N T I A L _ R E A D I N G _ F O R A L L 30 Dec 2002
A story written entirely in letters between a Jew in America and his German friend in pre-War Germany, revealing the darker side of what was just around history's corner. The book has a shocking conclusion despite its few pages and it wouldn't be right for me to reveal that to you here.
The format heightens the tension of the strained relationship of the two letter-writers just as the tension in Germany heightens up to 1938. Address Unknown is ESSENTIAL reading for all, especially since it is so short (only 54 pages!), easy to read and few will fail to be shocked by it.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A friendship as it changes under Fascism. 22 Feb 2002
By A Customer
I found it quite heart-breaking in its simplicity and the terrible inevitability of the developing situation between the two men which nevertheless compels you to keep turning the pages. It is deservedly a classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Historical Fiction 16 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this book as part of my English studies, and actually enjoyed it a great deal more than I expected to. The historic setting is well-portrayed, the format of messages between two individuals in very different places both unique and fascinating.
However, I felt unable to award this book more than the stars due to its characters appearing awkwardly detached and depersonalised, though this is likely caused in part by the format of written letters that breaks up the story somewhat.
Overall, though, Address unknown was quite an enjoyable read, and I would certainly recommend it to any lovers of WWII settings.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Short but thought provoking
Although less than 100 pages, Address Unknown manages to capture the speed and mood of Hitler's rise to power and the effect it has on the longstanding friendship between a Jewish... Read more
Published 17 days ago by Janet Louise Wilson
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting novel based just before the war
This very short novel was written with a purpose just before the outbreak of war in the hope of opening people's eyes to what was happening in Germany. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Livvy
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book with an interesting end
Very interesting book which I enjoyed, just wished it would have lasted longer as i finished it in half an hour
Published 2 months ago by Charlotte Hancock
5.0 out of 5 stars Address Unknown, a brilliant book
I started this rating because although the book is very small, when reading it, it's astonishing. To tell a huge story in so little pages is briljant. Read more
Published 5 months ago by clara klein
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful
absolutely beautiful book, and was surprised to find a newspaper clipping and photo from the play inside. made my day
Published 5 months ago by yasmin
5.0 out of 5 stars short book
but full of atmosphere - it creates the mood of the period in such a concise and apt way! I recommend it.
Published 7 months ago by C. Sidney-woollett
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful read!
Gave this 5* because its a great short read & i loved the twist at the end. Suitable for all ages,teens upwards. Go on buy it ,glass or 3 of wine, curled up on sofa & enjoy!
Published 7 months ago by kathrine davies
4.0 out of 5 stars Address Unknown
This book is to read as part of my English Literature course. Arrive in good time, as described. Very meaningful set of letters written between an American Jew and a German Nazi... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Anne Nixey
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic little book
I bought this on a recommendation and have since given copies to friends and family. A clever moral tale. Should be on the school curriculum.
Published 9 months ago by bernie griffin
5.0 out of 5 stars A virtually unknown literary diamond
This very short book will remain as one of the best crafted and most affecting books about the anxious time which led up to WWII. Read more
Published 9 months ago by TJ Elliott
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