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Two Brothers
 
 

Two Brothers [Kindle Edition]

Ben Elton
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (645 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Product Description

Book Description

A deeply poignant novel set in Berlin between 1920 and 1945

Product Description

Berlin 1920



Two babies are born.


Two brothers. United and indivisible, sharing everything. Twins in all but blood.



As Germany marches into its Nazi Armageddon, the ties of family, friendship and love are tested to the very limits of endurance. And the brothers are faced with an unimaginable choice....Which one of them will survive?



Ben Elton's most personal novel to date,Two Brothers transports the reader to the time of history's darkest hour.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 812 KB
  • Print Length: 525 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 059306206X
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (8 Nov 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008K4JI2Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (645 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,056 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Ben Elton is one of Britain's most provocative and entertaining writers. From celebrity to climate change, from the First World War to the end of the world, his books give his unique perspective on some of the most controversial topics of our time.

He has written twelve major bestsellers, including Stark, Popcorn, Inconceivable (filmed as Maybe Baby, which he also directed), Dead Famous, High Society (WH Smith People's Choice Award 2003) and The First Casualty.

He has also written some of television's most popular and incisive comedy, including The Young Ones, Blackadder and The Man From Auntie. His stage work includes three West End plays and the hit musicals The Beautiful Game and We Will Rock You.

He is married with three children.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
74 of 81 people found the following review helpful
By Kate TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
It's 1920 and two baby boys are born in Berlin. Paulus and Otto are brothers, the twin sons of devoted and happy parents Frieda Stengel, a doctor, and her musician husband Wolfgang. As they grow, the two boys share everything in common except for one thing - blood. While this doesn't matter in the least to their family, as the years go by it starts to matter very much indeed. This is because on the same night that the boys are born, another life screams into existence in Berlin, the National Socialist German Workers Party, and Frieda and Wolfgang are Jewish. Over the next twenty years, each covered in compelling and heart wrenching detail in this fine novel, we watch as their human rights are eroded one by one until, finally, the brothers have to use all their wits to survive.

This isn't just the tale of Otto and Paulus, though. Two Brothers is an immensely rich and captivating portrayal of the lives of many of the family's friends, relatives and colleagues, some Jewish, some not Jewish, but all compelled to play a part in the Nazi hell that is consuming their country and city. The stories of Otto and Paulus are entwined completely with those of two girls: Silke,a Christian, and Dagmar Fischer, a rich Jewish girl. The four children form the Saturday Club. As they grow into teenagers and young adults, this Club takes on a whole new significance and the ties between them become lifelines.

Years ago I remember reading Ben Elton's novels (particularly Stark and Gridlock) while both enjoying and being irritated by his stand-up humour during those hard years in the 1980s. Any doubts as to the pathos and tragedy that Ben Elton can instil into his humour were dispelled by Blackadder. Those same qualities are perfected in Two Brothers.
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82 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little bit of historical satire? 12 Nov 2012
By Maryom
Format:Hardcover
Two Brothers is a deeply moving, thought provoking look at life for a Jewish family in inter-war Germany. What makes this particular family different is that one of their twin boys has been adopted - and actually isn't Jewish. When the Nazis start to divide the country into 'true' Germans and 'others', the family find themselves faced with a terrible dilemma - which of their boys should be saved? It's a real page-turner, more serious than I would have expected from Ben Elton but not without its moments of bleak humour.
- and, in case you wondered, No it's not a little bit of political satire.
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53 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Remarkably Good Novel 26 Nov 2012
By C. E. Utley TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I must start with a confession. I embarked on this book fearing I would find it tedious. I'm not sure why. My guess is that I had a sort of instinct that yet another novel about the appalling treatment of Jews in Germany in the thirties and during the war would be too bleak and depressing.

Of course, there is a lot to be depressed about in the book. It would not be possible to produce a remotely accurate book on this subject without its being depressing. But Elton understands that bleak subjects can only be borne by readers if humour is included. It may seem odd to someone who has not read this novel, but knows its subject matter, to be told that this reader sometimes laughed out loud when reading it.

And then there is the fact that this is a love story, even more than a story about the Holocaust. The relationship, from very early childhood, of Otto, Paulus, Dagmar and Silke is beautifully described. Each of those characters is extraordinarily well drawn. One adores each and becomes infuriated with each at regular intervals.

The jumps between the pre-war and war years on the one hand and the 1950s on the other work extremely well. Who is Stone, we ask ourselves for at least half of the book. And we give different answers at different stages. But we know we won't be sure until the answer is finally revealed.

Maybe it was hard of me to give the book only four, not five, stars. But I must explain my decision. And I acknowledge I may be quite wrong. It just seemed to me that the portrayal of ordinary German men and women was sometimes too cruel. Elton's account suggests that, almost overnight, pretty well every non-Jew German became a violent Jew-hater. Is it really possible that all Germans were as evil as he suggests?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good yarn but could be better. 21 Aug 2014
By Mike.M
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Having read Ben Elton's book, The First Casualty, I was looking forward to Two Brothers. I found the book really gripping and read it in record time, however I have several comments to make. First, I found that he gave away much of the plot in the first few pages, this was a pity as the story would have been much more gripping if he had written the story in chronological order. Second, The story ends rather abruptly tying up the loose ends inside a few pages. I have found many writers do this giving me the impression that they have got tired of writing the book in hand and want to finish it quickly in order to set about the next project. Third, I did not check out the 'facts' given as background and assume they are correct, eg 71 Jews killed in Berlin on Kristallnacht, I would have found footnotes on such items interesting. Finally I found the language of the boys in the book unconvincing, such phrases as Blimey do just not exist in the german language, even more unacceptable are the frequent use of English swarewords, the F word was used rarely in England in those days, the german equivalent is not used at all, german swaring being rather more lavatorial. The boys are supposed to have been brought up in a household where the mother is a doctor, so crude language at that time would only really be used by the most uneducated people. If one can ignore this transgression, the book makes a very exciting story - I loved reading it but it could have been much better.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read
Having always thoroughly enjoyed Ben Elton's other books, I immediately had to read this one. I am so glad I did! Read more
Published 2 hours ago by Met Man 82
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book so much
I loved this book from start to finish, one of the best I've read in a long time,I'd had it on my kindle for months and just never got round to reading it,but when I did I was... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Garry Harper
5.0 out of 5 stars A "must" deaf l
Truly wonderful book
Published 16 days ago by Anthony Osler
5.0 out of 5 stars one of his best
I have enjoyed most of Elton's novels. This was up there as one of best and certainly most different. Highly recommended.
Published 17 days ago by Tyler Gomez
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
an excellent read.
Published 18 days ago by Carolyn Perriam
4.0 out of 5 stars Pre-war Berlin
Interesting story with several twists and vivid insight into treatment of Jewish people by the Nazis. Well written and enjoyable.
Published 22 days ago by Libran
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
BRILLIANT BOOK
Published 22 days ago by Miss L E Berreen
5.0 out of 5 stars in fact I enjoyed this more than The First Casualty which I thought...
I savoured every page of this story, in fact I enjoyed this more than The First Casualty which I thought was brilliant. Read more
Published 24 days ago by JC
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
a good story line well written
Published 24 days ago by geoffatmhg
5.0 out of 5 stars The brothers
This us a brilliantly written poignant story. It's a real page turner, makes you feel that you are there with the brothers.
Published 26 days ago by eae age 68
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