Most helpful critical review
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Could do better
on 5 February 2013
This is a rather disappointing book. It appears to have been self-published; a firmer and more professional editorial hand would have spared the more sensitive reader a mind-numbing exposure to a copious stream of of cliches, and occasional tautologies and errors of punctuation, grammar and page layout. The text is based upon original transcripts which are as fragmentary as they are numerous (referred to with tiresome frequency as "snippets"), and the author has succeeded in imposing upon this diffuse material no more order than would be expected in a poorly-shuffled deck of cards. This leads to many repetitions and unsettling to-and-fro shifts of subject and chronology. The author seems to have an imperfect understanding of the secret German weapons developments which form the most important part of the information gained by the recordings, and her explanations of them lack clarity. At times her portrayal of the characters of senior German military prisoners veers towards stereotype or even caricature, and the book would have benefitted from less shallow moralising and more academic detachment. It improves somewhat in its treatment of disclosures concerning German war crimes, a subject clearly closer to the author's heart, but throughout the book there is excessive interpolation of the relatively uninteresting personal history of her principal human information source, which comes to read suspiciously like padding.
The subject would lend itself to a well-written and well-produced book, but such a book is yet to be published.