53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
POWERFUL & HEARTWARMING,
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This review is from: Little Man, What Now? (Paperback)
Hans Fallada is a an absolutely wonderful writer and this is possibly his best-loved and well-known novel.
Hard to believe it was written in 1932. It details the meeting and marriage of a young couple in Berlin a few years before the outbreak of WW2. The birth of their baby, difficulties with finding work and accommodation and their subsequent financial difficulties are set against a background of beautifully drawn characters - family, friends and petty bureaucrats. Mostly these all manage to make life even more difficult for the young couple!
I was cheering on Sonny and Lammchen from start to finish, hoping that their life together could be what they wanted it to be. Rarely did the couple let the myriad obstacles wear them down. Against so many odds, their mutual love shone through and the baby, when it arrived, brought humour, worry and joy in equal measure. Lammchen is an unfailingly loyal and constant source of strength to her husband. Without her support we know for certain that Sonny - a lovely but ultimately powerless young man - would have given up the struggle to achieve the security and simple life they aspired to.
The political situation of the time is subtly but very powerfully brought to life; always brooding in the background or nipping at the periphery of whatever problems they were facing. I felt great sympathy for the adversities they faced.
While I'm here I'd just like to say that 'Alone in Berlin'in UK ('Every Man Dies Alone' USA)is another tour-de-force by Fallada - though a much more brutal portrayal of Berlin life because it's set during the war
'Litte Man, What Now?' is a truly wonderful book, sad, funny, heartwarming, unputdownable - which I cannot recommend highly enough.