- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (4 Jan. 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0747594198
- ISBN-13: 978-0747594192
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Ausländer Paperback – 4 Jan 2010
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`Auslander should prove to be a breakthrough into the top league for Dowswell, a hugely impressive thriller set during the Second World War ... There will be many adults sneakily borrowing this from their children' -- The Bookseller, February 2009
`Ausländer is a superlative, at times almost agonisingly compelling, piece of historical fiction ... The climactic escape to freedom is pure muck-sweat tension'
The Financial Times -- The Financial Times
`An exceptional novel, persuasive in its details, with an utterly compelling story and powerful message' -- Anne Poole, Books Quarterly, January 2009
`This wartime adventure story is thrilling and chilling, a thought-provoking tale that looks at the effects of fascism on society and the family'
-- Big Issue, Scotland
`An unusual war-story of intense excitement'
`A good historical novel that opens up new layers of understanding for the reader: offering fresh perspectives on something you thought you knew a bit about; beaming a bright light onto some of history's darkest moments, revealing a panoply of unexpected, neglected characters . . . A gripping read' --NATE Classroom Issue 11
`Extremely powerful and compelling. I loved it because it's not the usual WWII book that one would expect'
`An exceptional novel, persuasive in its details, with an utterly compelling story and powerful message'
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Top Customer Reviews
Polish orphan Peter is 'Volksdeutscher' - of German blood, and looks the Aryan ideal with his blond hair and blue eyes. He is sent to Berlin, where he is invited to live with the Kaltenbach family. He soon realises that he does not share Professor and Frau Kaltenbach's pro-Nazi ideals. At first he thinks that he is alone in not accepting the Nazi ideology that's all around him, but gradually he realises that he is not alone. He falls in love, and becomes involved with the highly-dangerous anti-Nazi free-thinkers, which includes assisting Jews that have gone underground. He also discovers, on more than one occasion, that you can't always judge someone by first impressions.
The story vividly portrays the dangers of wartime Berlin. Peter appears to be the ideal Hitler-Jugend member; obedient, brave and in good physical health. Underneath, though, he never loses his compassion and generosity of spirit. The story doesn't flinch from giving details of what might (and frequently did) happen to those judged dispensible by the Nazis, but doesn't dwell on the cruelty. This would be a great "background" read for those interested in discovering more about this period of history. It is also ideal for demonstrating that not all Germans were Nazis - a common misconception among the young.
Ben Kane, author of the Spartacus and Hannibal novels.
By reading the first page alone, you can tell Dowswell has done his homework. His attention to detail is almost flawless, as is his ability to paint a clear picture of wartime Germany and its surrounding areas. Warsaw in 1941 is a scary place to be, and that's where Peter's story starts. From there, he's sent to a family in Germany, introduced to Nazi propaganda, and deemed an auslander -- a foreigner. He also stumbles across proof of medical experiements being tested on jews, and becomes tangled up in a dangerous web of lies and deceit. It's all for a good cause, but it doesn't do him any favours as a respected member of the Hitler Youth.
I can't even imagine what it must have been like to be a teenager during WWII. Most of their choices were stripped away, and they lived in a constant fear of being bombed or killed because their hair wasn't the right colour. With Auslander, Dowswell tries to show that fear and uncertainty and, for the most part, he manages to. I personally wanted to see more of the Hitler Youth, and how that affected the children and teenagers enlisted. I also would have liked a first person narrative, so I could have read how Peter was feeling, and how everything was really affecting him. Without being in his head, I did have some trouble warming to him, and by the end of the novel, I still wasn't fully convinced.Read more ›
Paul Dowswell has done a great job in making his characters come to life, this is aided by the attention to detail within the book.
A compelling book with well thought out characters and about an extremely thought provoking subject.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
AMAZING! An enjoyable read for TEN and over. This book is also very educational and have I mentioned it already? Because it is AMAZING!Published 18 months ago by bobo 🏄
I already red the book about 5 times and i think I would never get tired of it. Is one of the best books i ever red.Published on 14 Mar. 2015 by Latifah Ismaila
Great as an audio book - taught the whole family something about living in Nazi Germany during the war. The ending was very exciting.Published on 16 Oct. 2014 by Almond
I loved reading auslander, it takes you on such a journey thought out. I could never put the book down!Published on 22 May 2014 by Prav-Man
Absolutely brilliant and really showed Germany in it's time under the influence of the Fuhrer and his cohorts Himmler and Heydrich .Published on 3 Dec. 2013 by michael vaughan
very good read could not put the book down at all easy to read good price as always from amozonPublished on 22 July 2013 by Mr. M. J. Whimp