Customer Review

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite honestly the best thing I ever read, 7 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Two Brothers (Hardcover)
I've always been a fan of Ben Elton and his novels (bar Chart Throb) but this superb piece has trumped anything he's written previously and anything I've ever read. I have just completed this in 2 days such was the compelling page turning nature of the book. Set in 2 periods, primarily Berlin between the wars and London in 1956, the book flicks between the two times charting the events in the lives of the Stengel family, the Fischer family and the family of the fourth member of the Saturday club, Silke. The main premise is around the Stengel twins, one a natural born Jew, the other an adopted Jew joined to the Stengel family by both a tragedy at birth and a stroke of good fortune and extreme kindness. It then charts the struggles of the characters through 1930s Berlin as the society changes around them and they become pariahs as Germany succumbs to its brutal, cruel and misguided strong arm leadership. Elton builds the characters superbly, but colours the ambience of Berlin like a master painter,capturing the heady mix of sleaze and hedonism perfectly alongside the pragmatism and courage (sometimes rather stupid courage in Isaac Fischers case) of families seemingly barely aware of the impending peril bought on them by their faith. The London character of Paul Stone remains an enigmatic mystery until 75% of the novel has passed, even when that character lapses into an honourable but unwanted act of violence in a pub. I had genuine tears welling at the end, but even more so on reading Eltons own personal epilogue after the denouement of the novel, which in itself looks back into the novels events some 70 years previously. This is a serious book, light on humour, but it's a serious subject that opened my eyes to the events leading up to the power that became Nazi Germany. I'm sure there are many other non-fiction books that can relate this, as well as some fictional stories as well, and I may check them out, but only because Ben Elton made Otto and Paulus Stengel, Silke and Dagmar, Wolfgang and Frieda et al take my hand, my mind, heart and soul on a truly harrowing, sad, tragic and uplifting journey. Highly recommended reading and my cap is duly doffed towards Ben Elton for his magnum opus.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Location: Portsmouth

Top Reviewer Ranking: 3,697