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Middle Ground (Gay Modern Classics) Paperback – 19 Mar 1987

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Gay Men's Press; New edition edition (19 Mar. 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0854490566
  • ISBN-13: 978-0854490561
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 12.3 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,214,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
Middle Ground was written by Ursula Zilinsky, herself a survivor of the camps. She concentrates on an area untouched by others, the love of a young boy for a Camp Commandant. The story is about love and loss, but also about allies and enemies. Those whom you think to be your friends may not be after all and it may perhaps be the 'enemy' who teaches you about friendship and love. Tyl is a very real, very powerful character and you feel his despair at being torn between his love for Johannes and his loyalty to the others in the camp. The ambiguous ending leaves you to decide what really happens to the two but you are left feeling that even in the most desperate and dark place and time a ray of light and hope can penetrate.
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Format: Paperback
This is a haunting story of a young boy in a concentration camp during a time of war. The story focuses on the relationship between the boy and one of his captors. The content can be disturbing at times, but the reality and the gentleness created by the author is unsurpassable. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to be captivated, horrified and touched. It is truly an amazing story.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece 31 Oct. 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Ursula Zilinksy is an utter genius.
'Middle Ground' is not only a wonderful romance but is very informational as well. Zilinksy describes the harsh ways of life in camps for both the prisoners as well as the officers and other such labour camp leaders.
This is an enchanting novel about the hardships of falling in love, and falling in love with someone to whom you are not allowed to love; a young prisoner, Tyl von Pankow, falls inescapably in love with his commander, Johannes von Svestrom, and Johannes is drawn to Tyl by ways of past events and present feelings. Together they have to fight the evils of honor, title, and social-status as well as their own inner turm-oil.
Zilinsky�s �Middle Ground� is a must read for not only those interested in the nazi history, or homosexuality, but for everyone. There is something in this short story to fulfill anyone�s desires for a good read.
�Love is love, the rest is just technicalities.�
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An honest pleasure 9 Nov. 2004
By Lee Ai Schuen - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book reads almost like some of the best historical/spy novels. The authors voice is mature and captures the 2 protagonists- the Nazi and the Jewish boy he loves- very well. The blossoming relationship between them is believable and beautiful.

This story tells us about people who survive cruelty and hardship and are driven by different things, but yet come together to build loving and giving partnerships. Quite lovely.

Zilinsky also captures the mental psychology of people at war and brings it out as a background to the personal conflicts and guilty complexes of the characters. A short but great read. Additionally,one learns about WW2 history.
5.0 out of 5 stars To Say Middle Ground is a Pleasant Surprise Would Be an Understatement 7 Mar. 2009
By the waddling monster - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I've stumbled across a vague mention of this book on the internet and quickly became intrigued. I had originally intended to buy this book, but seeing its out-of-print status and extreme rarity, I resorted to borrowing the book from my university library (two weeks worth of wait!).

Middle Ground started out just like any other book. Until eye-popping utterances of "OH MY GOD" can't even cover it anymore.

This book is great. Ursula Zilinsky managed to employ a very specific humor, the type endemic to youngsters in the book that will have you chuckling during various moments. The main character and his fellow camp workers grows on you, with Zilinsky portraying a very clear and lucid backdrop to help you visualize their lives toiling away at Heiligendorf. But that's not the best part.

The best part is Ursula Zilinsky's ability to make you feel the frustration and pain of Tyl von Pankow. The romance, of course, is a vital part of Middle Ground. However, what Zilinsky touched upon in Middle Ground far surpasses love and romance. Ursula Zilinsky does all this and more, all the while finished with a tastefully open ending.

I recommend this book to you if you favor unconventional stories filled with irony, history and, of course, a tinge of homo-eroticism.
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 3 Sept. 2008
By Rai Alger - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a great romance story, very well-written! I only wish it would have been a bit longer! You can tell Zilinsky did her research, the book is very informational. The author paints a a very realistic, grim picture in the story, not only informing us of the cruel life the prisoners live, but also the harsh realities of being an officer there. The story revolves around Tyl von Pankow, who unwillingly falls in love with the camp commander. The relationship grows very realistically and beautifully. It also focuses on his relationship with the other prisoners, particuliarly his friend, Karl. The story is written in a mature way, as well as educating the reader on the psychological aspect of war, with the captives and the captors. Definately reccomended, for fans of WWII fiction, brilliant,grown-up romance novels, or just an excellent read.
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