Customer Reviews


35 Reviews
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modest and beautifully crafted finish to Kerr's trilogy
The final part of Judith Kerr's Out Of The Hitler Time trilogy, A Small Person Far Away, is as splendid and fascinating a piece of autobiography-turned-into-fiction writing as the previous two, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (Essential Modern Classics) and Bombs on Aunt Dainty

Judith Kerr (fictionalised as Anna in the book) is now in her late 20s, happily...
Published 18 months ago by Lady Fancifull

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Trilogy completed
The first book in the trilogy was far the best and most interesting, the second was good and the third just OK. I am pleased however to have completed all three to get the full picture of Judith Kerr's life and know all turned out well. The gentle and un demanding story and style reminded me of the Monica Dickens books I read as a teennager. The first book is...
Published 5 months ago by susan dwyer


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modest and beautifully crafted finish to Kerr's trilogy, 12 Jan. 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The final part of Judith Kerr's Out Of The Hitler Time trilogy, A Small Person Far Away, is as splendid and fascinating a piece of autobiography-turned-into-fiction writing as the previous two, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (Essential Modern Classics) and Bombs on Aunt Dainty

Judith Kerr (fictionalised as Anna in the book) is now in her late 20s, happily married to her scriptwriter husband Nigel Kneale, (fictionalised as Richard) and beginning to make her own journey as a writer.

The structure of this third book is particularly satisfying, as various motifs and minor occurrences serve as little memory portals back to the past ( a beautiful rug, finding the receipt for the rug in her coat pocket during a particularly stressful episode, so there is a hook back to the memory, and the simultaneous experience of then and now) This is all done in a very natural, unforced, organic way. She is a remarkably good writer, there is real psychological depth going on, great observation, a really strong sense of narrative - and the ability to offer startling images in an arresting way, that feels very authentic.

As in the previous books, the major events all happened, but she has crafted and tightened and carefully chosen, I guess, central moments, and pared out and removed padding. I have a sense that her artist's eye for composition has been put to excellent use in her writing. It's not that she gets involved in a lot of visual description, it's more a sense of composing the frame and placement of narrative.

Set mainly in Berlin again, where her mother is now living, the narrative superficially inhabits a very short time frame of a few days in 1956. Anna has returned to Berlin because her mother is seriously ill; this itself is quite complex. The few days coincide with both the Hungarian Uprising and the Suez Crisis - so, again, we are in a time when another war, from two directions, seemed like a distinct possibility. Inevitably for those who lived through one devastating war, so very recently, all those old terrors and memories must have been freshly re-awakened. So, over those days, Anna is constantly revisiting her past.

"She suddenly remembered that when she was small, too, she had listened to distant trains in bed. Probably it's the same line, she thought. Sometimes when she had found herself awake when everyone else was asleep, she had been comforted by the sound of a goods train rumbling interminably through the night. After Hitler, of course, goods trains had carried quite different cargoes to quite different destinations. She wondered if other German children had still been comforted by their sound in the might, not knowing what was inside them. She wondered what had happened to the trains afterwards, if they were still in use"

I like the quiet and rather modest way she drops the reader into chasms and intense reflections, without ostentation

I can't recommend this trilogy highly enough - and I'm amazed that I had never heard of Kerr until so very recently, when these marvellous books have been around for some time (- perhaps because primarily she became known as a writer and illustrator of books for young children.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect pitch, 6 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This one is the story for grownups. I read it immediately after reading Bombs on Aunt Dainty- I read it in a day and a half. Once again, it's a subtle and moving personal story, as well as a totally brilliant depiction of its time and place- post-airlift Berlin, pre-wall but with the cold war running, terrifyingly, at full blast. Kerr's ability to find exactly the incidents and the style to tell her story- no exaggeration but a wonderful ability to make both Anna's Kensington present and her Grunewald memories real, and important, but not mawkish or facile, her sympathy for the late middle aged and ugly, but intelligent, Germans- Kerr's 'perfect pitch', in fact, speaks of a wonderful skill and clarity of thought. It makes me feel that she's a superb *German* author. Anna would hate that description, of course. The closing image- the little girl of the title, in her boots, climbing the steps and asking 'Ist Mami da?' brackets her life and is a proper weepy moment for me.

Terrific.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grown-up but still Anna, 29 May 2008
This review is from: A Small Person Far Away (Paperback)
This conclusion to a beautiful trilogy catches up with Anna and her family a few years after "Bombs on Aunt Dainty". Anna is now happily married and settled in England with a successful career. Circumstances force her to return for a visit to Berlin where she finds a country that is familiar but will never be home again.

A little more grown-up than the second book and a lot more than the first, fans of Judith Kerr and the story of Anna will not be disappointed. The book deals with life after the war and the difficulty of rebuilding a life in a country that has become your home and yet where you will never completely fit in.

Anna's relationship with her family that began to be examined in the second book is looked at in more detail without making the story over-analysed.

Whilst not as compelling and Beautiful a read as 'When Hitler stole Pink Rabbit', the story of Anna is brought to a subtle conclusion whilst still leaving the reader able to imagine how it would continue.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Small person big book, 17 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was given this book by my dad and finished it on the day of purchase. It is an amazing story with a carefully lined out plot. Having said this it is mostly autobiographical. What an amazing life. It goes right from decorating the new flat of hers and Richard's to her mother almost dying to her first pregnancy. When her mother becomes seriously ill it tests Anna's self reserve independence and above all ability to carry on.
There are however a few gaps such as how she met her husband and when did Konrad appear? This said I would hold nothing against this book other than why isn't there another one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable!, 30 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Small Person Far Away (Paperback)
I have been wanting this book to follow on from Judith Kerr's previous ones. Unfortunately my daughter did have them originally
but got rid of them, before I could read the trilogy. Very interesting and well written.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 19 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I started with when Hitler stole pink rabbit and carried on to the final one. thoroughly enjoyed them all. would recomend
all 3 books
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Trilogy completed, 17 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The first book in the trilogy was far the best and most interesting, the second was good and the third just OK. I am pleased however to have completed all three to get the full picture of Judith Kerr's life and know all turned out well. The gentle and un demanding story and style reminded me of the Monica Dickens books I read as a teennager. The first book is interesting as it gives a good account of being a refugee whilst the third is much more of a personal diary.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars I've finished it? Now where is the next one?, 6 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have now completed the whole trilogy yet still want to read more about the life of Judith Kerr. She seems an amazing person and has had an interesting life. I love her books and want her to keep writing. I think that her imagination and creativity could set anyone's imagination going and would recommend the books to absolutely anyone. Although I do think that the last one is best for older readers.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Another brilliant book from Judith Kerr, 16 Nov. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Small Person Far Away (Paperback)
This is the third in the trilogy and is excellent. I read it in a day. My 9 year old daughter is reading "When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit" and is enjoying it. I think "A Small Person Far Away" is unsuitable for her age group due to the suicide theme but is appropriate for a mature teenager as the themes are sensitively explored.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Books, 21 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have read all 3 of the book by this Judith Kerr and I have give them all 5 stars
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

A Small Person Far Away
A Small Person Far Away by Judith Kerr (Paperback - 9 Sept. 2011)
£5.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews