8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
More arresting than fiction,
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This review is from: Stasiland (Paperback)
To many people, the title of this book will not hold out the promise of a very entertaining read. But then again, I'm not sure that 'entertaining' is an appropriate description of this work, not in the traditional sense of the word, at least. But once you have started reading this book, I can guarantee that you won't want to put it down again until you have finished it. This account of what life was like for the citizens of the German Democratic Republic, and in particular the residents of East Berlin, and how they have coped with their new-found freedom in the first few years following the reunification of Germany, makes truly compelling reading. The really surprising thing is not perhaps that there was resistance to the state security services in former Eastern Germany, but that so many people were able to accept the status quo and even collaborate in it. The author's humanity in presenting the stories of some of those that resisted the regime, and in particular those that suffered terribly as a consequence of doing so, is in itself a prime reason for recommending this book. In many ways this book is a revelation, and as a human interest story it ranks as one of the best that I have ever read. Anyone who is interested to know what life can be like in a repressive and closed society, one that is managed by a bunch of misguided control freaks, should read this book. The truth is awful to behold - so awful in fact, that no German publisher has as yet agreed to publish this for the domestic consumption. Anna Funder has written a memorable book that will undoubtedly become a classic of its type.