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Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex, readable and interesting., 4 Nov. 2011
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This review is from: On The Natural History Of Destruction (Paperback)
This book is a little outside of my normal sphere of reading. However, I came to it though the authors remarkable "Rings Of Saturn".
It is an analysis of what the author presents as a startling literary silence from the German people about the impact of the war - and especially the allied air campaign - on them. This seemed such an unlikely proposition to me that I bought the book.

The book itself is presented in four chapters - the first and most accessible of which is the text of a lecture delivered in 1997. The other three chapters concentrate on specific authors (Alfred Andersch, Jean Amery and Peter Weiss). As all three of these authors were essentially unknown to me these sections seemed far more abstract and academic than the first. This is of course a comment on my knowledge of German Literature rather than the chapters themselves.

The first section is an extremely interesting account of the German Literary response to the air war, being both complex and nuanced at the same time. Given the out pouring of books from most modern wars I was surprised at the content of this chapter - but never the less it was extremely interesting.

If, like me you have read some of the more "serious" books to have been produced about the experience of war you may well find this book as interesting as I did. More than anything else I enjoyed the author's willingness to explore complex ideas in a way that did not reduce all arguments to "sound bites". If nothing else, it's a splendid reminder of how complex material can be presented in way that is both readable, but not trivialised.

Recommended.
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Stewart M
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Location: Victoria, Australia

Top Reviewer Ranking: 795