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Address Unknown Paperback – 31 Dec 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Reclam Philipp Jun. (31 Dec 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3150091071
  • ISBN-13: 978-3150091074
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 0.7 x 14.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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First Sentence
Back in Germany! How I envy you! Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A. Peel on 15 July 2002
Format: Hardcover
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 By hiljean VINE VOICE on 20 April 2007
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 By Stephen Conyers on 7 Oct 2004
Format: Hardcover
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 By K. Taylor on 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 By Robin Pain on 23 April 2007
Format: Hardcover
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 By KarlostheUnhappyJackyl on 30 Dec 2002
Format: Hardcover
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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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Sep 2001
Format: Paperback
Best friends that turn into mortal enemies is nothing new to literature (and to life): it is a pattern repeated throughout the centuries, adapted to the different times. Still mankind needs authors that re-write this old story adapted to their time. Therefore I praise the author for having written this book in her days, when very few were capable of understanding what was going on. Certainly much of its continued success comes from the fact that one of the two friends is jewish while the other becomes a nazi, a tragic contrast that anyone understands today, though it was not so in 1938. The importance of this book therefore is that it stimulates us to try and realize that there are so many tragedies around us today that, in spite of the presumed media coverage, we risk to misunderstand badly.
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