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Where Birds Don't Sing: Dutch Holocaust Trilogy Paperback – 1 Apr 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Horseshoe Publications (April 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1899310142
  • ISBN-13: 978-1899310142
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 15 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,410,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Synopsis

In the 50th year of the ending of WW2, Alan Clegg''s Windmills tells the story of a family surviving occupation in war torn Netherlands. The reader travels the canals, see the dead straight horizons and lives the provincial life.'

From the Publisher

A great read with an equally great message.
I am the publisher and feel that the responses of all the newspaper reviewers and the escalating national sales of the book say all that is necessary. This is the most compulsive read which we have produced in our five years of publishing.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Where Birds Don't Sing was both a gripping read and a serious account of the holocaust. The way the book was written, alternating between the present and the past meant you felt driven to keep going, just to keep up with the fast moving story. The characters were so real but so ordinary too, which brought home the horror and the reality of the situation. Despite reading a number of books on this subject I still find it difficult to believe that humanity could stoop so low to think they could wipe out the jewish race to satisfy their preducices and evil intent. This book serves to remind us, lest we all forget. ----- I am trying hard to source Alan's first book in the trylogy, Windmills without much success. If anyone would be prepared to loan it to me, I'd be grateful.
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'Where Birds Don't Sing', the second book in Alan Clegg's trilogy is fantastic. The book is well-plotted and could be read as a stand-alone story but as it includes characters from 'Windmills' I would recommend that you read them in order if you can. Although this story is the second in the Dutch Holocaust triology and will appeal to readers interested in this subject matter it is also on a par with some of the best psychological thrillers I have read. It is gripping from start to finish and kept me intrigued all the way through - I can't wait to read the third book in the series.
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Format: Paperback
Being the daughter of someone who survived the destruction of Polish/Jews, I was very moved by the detailed description given by Alan Clegg as to how the people were transported and treated. This detailed account matched very well with the experience that my mother went through.
My only criticism is that at one point the author says Lottie Cohen was Simon's neice but at a later point he said she was a 'distant relative'. He also said Richard had 'never met Lottie' but then later said that it had been some time since Richard had last seen Lottie. I found this discrepancy in the story slightly off putting as I was never quite sure then as to what to believe.
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Format: Paperback
Where Birds Don't Sing is the second major novel in his 'Holocaust' series by author Alan Clegg. Writes John Callon in a review of the book for the "Standish Courier" newspaper in Wigan, Lancashire. The first book was called "Windmills" the new novel is based on life in war time Holland and uses some of the characters and their decendants from "Windmills" It brings to life what happened during the last months of the holocaust and delivers it powerfully into today's consciousness. As each chapter weaves from the present to the past and back again.I became immersed in the novel totally unable to put the book down, once I started reading it.It certainly catches the imagination. The idea for his book came from his father in law Harmen Kingma who was a leader in the Dutch resistance. He was a bit of a Dutch Schindle, managing to save lots of Jewish people from the death camps. Alan Clegg an ex headmaster, is married to Aukje, who comes from Northern Holland, they have two children and live in Wigan in Lancashire. It was speaking to his father in law that determined Alan to write the books. His attention to detail is amazing, he writes 'Faction' - a heady mixture of Fact and Fiction. Having read the book and I have to admit to being a bit of a Wilbur Smith fan. This is the first book I've read for a while that I simply couldn't put down until I had finished it. I borrowed a copy of the first book Windmills and read that, in the same way it was gripping to say the least. I can't wait for Alan Clegg to bring out his final book in the trilogy. "Where Birds Don't Sing" is a book that must be read. Uncovering the Nazi nightmare. Showing the courage of Dutch heroes who saved Jewish lives, without any thought for their own safety.- I can recomend you to read this book it certainly is a very good read. You won't be dissapointed.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
We should all be grateful we were not born at the time and had to survive through such a terrible period in history.
Hind sight should be our guide through the future, but sadly mankind never seems to learn and the slaughter continues. Once again it is religion that is at the heart of the troubles, but perhaps it is just part of it and no more than an excuse to vent deep felt envy on the nations who work at prosperity and the welfare of their people. I thoroughly endorse the sentiments within this very absorbing historical book and pray that the World does not descend into another period of a similar kind.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book from Alan Clegg. It follows on from his earlier work Windmills (The Dutch Holocaust.) I would recommend reading them in the correct sequence.

The book explores three different characters from three different periods in history but all linked. The characters do all come together at the end. I did find the Auschwitz description harrowing as one of the characters is a Nazi SS camp doctor working for Mengle. He decides who lives and who dies as the train transports arrive. It very clearly describes the 'obeying orders' mentality of the committed SS officers (a defence that was dismissed at Nuremburg.) I did get a sense that the officer did know this was wrong but his loyalty to his oath allowed him to proceed.

The immediate aftermath of the war and the hunt for war criminals is portrayed well in the story.

The final section of the book concerns a present day set of characters who need to find out information about the past and how they are linked with this difficult period of history. I did find the episode regarding Simon Wiesenthal a little fanciful. (If you want an accurate picture of the true Wiesenthal read Guy Walters 'Hunting Evil.')

The reason I only gave it four out of five stars is that I was somewhat irritated by the constant jumping between time periods. I suspect that the author wrote the story in chonological sequence but some editor had the bright idea to mix it all up.

However, it stands as a very good book, well written and researched (apart from Wiesenthal.)

If you are a student of this period, as i am, then well worth the read.

Well done Alan Clegg!
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