This is a book that has been in print for over 10 years now, but given the recent spate of books on the subject, deserves a further visit. This book is not about war, nor is it a "war book". It is a book about the citizens and city of Berlin as a climax to the apocalypse that ended with its almost total destruction.
The book takes the reader from the rise to power of the Nazis in 1933 up to the death of Hitler and the surrender of the city in 1945. It tells the story through the eyes and experiences of the inhabitants, defenders, attackers and the national leaders. Unlike a number of books currently in print on this subject, you do not end up thinking of the German army as the good guys, and the Soviets as the bad guys. The overriding impression that is formed, is that at this late stage in the war, the Nazis were the enemy, the Red army was the good guys: and the ordinary Germans, soldier and civilian were the victims.
The style is that of adventure novel, in spite of the 460+ pages it moves at a compelling pace and attention is maintained by the easy style of writing. It does not over sensationalise any one particular aspect but gives a balanced view of events and experiences of the people of Berlin. There is a good selection of maps and of photos that are not the usual run of the mill. The book has comprehensive bibliography, source notes and index.
If you want a book to read as an introduction to the subject, or enjoy reading social history, then I have no hesitation in recommending this one. It is also the first book I have ever read for a second time. As it is a mature publication, it is also excellent value for money.