Genießen Sie diesen Titel jetzt und Millionen mehr, in einer kostenlosen Testversion

Kostenlos für 30 Tage, dann für $9.99/Monat. Jederzeit kündbar.

Nicht verfügbarJeder stirbt für sich allein
In Ihrem Land nicht verfügbar

Jeder stirbt für sich allein

Geschrieben von Hans Fallada

Erzählt von Gunter Schoß

Weiter stöbern

In Ihrem Land nicht verfügbar

Jeder stirbt für sich allein

Geschrieben von Hans Fallada

Erzählt von Gunter Schoß

Bewertungen:
4.5/5 (19 Bewertungen)
Länge:
2 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Nov 9, 2015
ISBN:
9783862311019
Format:
Hörbuch

Auch als verfügbar...

Auch als buch verfügbarBuch

Auch als verfügbar...

Auch als buch verfügbarBuch

Beschreibung

Anna und Otto Quangel haben sich nie für Politik interessiert. Als ihr Sohn an der Front fällt, ändert sich ihre Haltung. In ihrer Verzweiflung entschließen sie sich, aktiv Widerstand gegen das NS-Regime zu leisten. Auch wenn ihr Sohn dadurch nicht wieder lebendig wird, wollen sie andere vor dem gleichen Schicksal bewahren. Unermüdlich bedrucken sie Postkarten mit Hitler-feindlichen Botschaften und verteilen sie in der ganzen Stadt. Was können sie erreichen, ehe die Gestapo sie zu fassen kriegt? Falladas Roman nach einer wahren Begebenheit - jetzt als berührendes Hörspiel mit Star-Besetzung.
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Nov 9, 2015
ISBN:
9783862311019
Format:
Hörbuch

Auch als verfügbar...

Auch als buch verfügbarBuch

Über den Autor

Hans Fallada (1893 &ndash euros 1947) es el seudónimo de Rudolf Wilhelm Friedrich Ditzen. Se trata de uno de los autores alemanes más importantes del siglo  xx , cuya obra se está recuperando en todo el mundo tras un injusto olvido. Hans Fallada escribió gran parte de Pesadilla, su penúltima novela, de febrero a agosto de 1946, durante sus estancias en psiquiátricos y hospitales.  Paralelamente, ya había empezado el trabajo de investigación para su última obra, Solo en Berlín.


Ähnlich wie Jeder stirbt für sich allein

Ähnliche Hörbücher

Ähnliche Artikel


Rezensionen

Was die anderen über Jeder stirbt für sich allein denken

4.3
19 Bewertungen / 74 Rezensionen
Wie hat es Ihnen gefallen?
Bewertung: 0 von 5 Sternen

Leser-Rezensionen

  • (4/5)
    Every Man Dies Alone (1947) is a gripping crime thriller set in Berlin, it is based on the true case of a married couple who committed acts of civil disobedience/resistance against the Nazis during WWII. The German author Hans Fallada (1893-1947) was held in an insane asylum during the war, and the novel can be seen as an indictment of German society as being insane. Those who do the right thing are insane or criminal, while the criminally insane run the state. In fascist Germany, the state (Fuhrer) thinks for everyone, the individual is secondary. This creates a situation where everyone is looking out for themselves, because everyone is guilty of some transgression and doesn't want to be revealed. Alienation and isolation divide society, "we all acted alone, we were caught alone, and every one of us will have to die alone." - but in the end Fallada offers a way out of the trap: "We live not for ourselves, but for others. What we make of ourselves we make not for ourselves, but for others..."The characters are fascinating because Fallada drew on his own direct experiences so we get more than 50 portraits, good and evil. It's authentic because Fallada lived through it. The bad guys are mostly criminal brutes, hardly the super-men embodiments of evil so often betrayed, just thugs corrupted by greed, drugs, sex and power. The depiction of working class life on the home front is illuminating. The literary qualities are excellent if not at times a bit old fashioned. Yet, given the time and place it was created, by a German for Germans right after the war, it's remarkably insightful and damning. Probably one reason Primo Levi once said of it "the greatest book about German resistance to the Nazis." Indeed it seems amazing Fallada wasn't killed by the Nazi's and was able to hide his true sentiments for so long. He died before seeing it in print though, completing it in a blistering 25 days. As Hans Fallada says in the novel, "Everyone facing death, especially premature death, will be kicking themselves for each wasted hour."Every Man Dies Alone is considered the first anti-Nazi novel after the war. On the French side, the first was The Forests of the Night (also published in 1947) by Jean-Louis Curtis. It contains acid portraits of French citizens in a small town who were apathetic about the Germans, played around at resisting, or even welcomed the occupiers. It's a similar novel from the same time period and won the Prix Goncourt - it has been out of print (in English) since 1951, an actual "lost" novel.
  • (5/5)
    A spellbinding and compelling novel about WWII Berlin. This story is rich in details of the Party, the resistance, the culture, and society. A very unassuming couple take on the Nazis by writing postcards with anti-Nazi information contained upon them. They then place them all around Berlin where they will be found. They eluded the authorities for three years before they were caught and finally executed. Even the afterword about the author's life and the real-life case this book was based upon was excellent. Counting the afterword and all the original documents (from the Nazi files) the book is at 600 pages.
  • (4/5)
    Full of gruelingly honest, complex feeling this book manages to surprise while seeming inevitable. A forgotten perspective on a thoroughly studied time(German civilians during WWII). Worth it for the prison room-mate.
  • (5/5)
    I loved this book. Fallada's portrayal of his characters as both pathetic and heroic gives them a three-dimensionality that makes it all seem so real, and it was. This book was inspired by real events. While reading this book, It was hard not to draw comparisons to the world today, and it made it so much more apparent how the Nazis managed to have so much power. It is a brilliant book, and I highly recommend it.
  • (5/5)
    This was a keep me reading all night book. The author does a really good job of keeping the tension at just the right level to keep you reading.
    As this is the fictional telling of real events you know that Otto and Anna will be caught and executed but you really want them to get away with it.
  • (4/5)
    I struggled with the start of this book - the style of the writing, the criminal and repulsive characters and I didn't want to carry on. However, after a week's break from it I found it picked up a lot particularly when it became just the husband and wife versus the policeman.It's also a horrifying book as it depicts the fear and paranoia of living under the Nazis and the seeming futility of their small resistance. That it was written by an author who lived through this makes it even more so. So although I struggled with the style a lot, I'm glad I read this as it feels like an important book about a topic that's rarely mentioned.
  • (5/5)
    It is difficult to believe that this novel was written in 24 days! A story of resistance to the Nazis by German citizens, based on a true story, is immediately engaging. The characters are memorable, engaging, and evocative. Perhaps the most memorable was a detective who was the only convert based on the subversive notes written and distributed by Otto & Anna. Ultimately, the reader must come to terms with the reality of resistance. It may or may not have the desired coercive impact, yet what matters more is the principle behind the act, and the effort to remain "decent" in the face of evil. Great novel!
  • (5/5)
    Amazing writer, definitely a re-read. Excellent story.
  • (5/5)
    This a compelling, horrifying, fascinating and, at the same time, ultimately uplifting book that takes the reader through several years of Nazi era Berlin. At the center of the story is the small and ultimately futile, but still potentially deadly, resistance carried out by a middle-aged couple, the Quangels, who have been embittered by the death of their son, a soldier, during the invasion of France. But is their gesture really futile? That is the question at the novel's philosophical core. In the meantime, we are shown the inner workings of the Nazi tyranny on a day-to-day level. Honest citizens, street-level grifters, Gestapo inspectors and more all come under Fallada's acute and wry observation, with the grinding effects of the relentless months and years of terror, with the threat of arrest, torture, imprisonment and death lurking behind every neighbor's peephole and every knock on the door. To what extent does compliance equal complicity? This question, too, hums below the surface of the narrative like an electrical current. Fallada himself lived through this time and place, intermittently finding employment and harrassment from the Nazi powers, so his attitude toward his characters is far from doctrinaire. I almost never hand out 5-star ratings, but for this book, I did so.
  • (5/5)
    I have had possession of this book for a long time, but it took a while for me to start reading it. I picked up this book to actually read in the first place because my copy had this quote on the front cover: "The greatest book ever written about German resistance to the Nazis." (Primo Levi) Being personally depressed about the results of the 2016 United States presidential election and seeing the American government trying to diminish democracy, I wanted to see what was done in the past in similar situations and was initially attracted to that word "resistance". I find books about the Holocaust hard but necessary to read and tend to space them out so as not to read them too close together. I usually do not like reading fiction about the Holocaust because the truth about that event is terrible enough that I see little use for creating fiction about it. And yet. This book is a notable example of Holocaust fiction that works well because it is by a noted German author who lived in Germany his whole life - even through the darkest hours of WWII. It is also based on a true story. In this time for me of political turbulence and fear in my own country of the United States, I desperately needed to read a book about resistance to evil forces. I needed to know that moral forces can be present in the seeming abyss of the darkest hours.This is not to say that this was as easy read. To the contrary. The plot was complicated, the book was lengthy, and there were many characters about whom I had to take notes. In addition, I wrote down a short summary of each chapter, no more than a sentence or two in length, so that I could keep track of everything that happened. This proved helpful to me. Fortunately, each chapter was short so I could do this easily.It took me a long time to read this book. I mostly needed to stop reading after each short chapter or two to contemplate what just happened. I don't usually read books in this manner, but Holocaust reading pushes heavily on my heart for personal reasons.I would suggest to anyone who wants to read this book to read the biography of the author first. That will give you a better perspective on why he chose to write this book. At the end of the book, there are pictures of the couple upon whom this book was based as well as pictures of the postcards they distributed and their signed confessions. Since my dad was a refugee from Nazi Germany in 1938, escaping penniless and fleeing for his life, my eternal gratitude goes to anyone who helped Nazi victims in any way. Resistance was not easy. The true heroes of this book are both the couple on whom this novel was based and the author himself, all of who stood for morality in a time of pervasive evil.This is a book well worth the time and effort I put into reading it. I recommend it highly to those who are interested in learning more about Germany resistance to the Nazis during wartime.
  • (5/5)
    An extraordinary novel I am embarrassed to say I was not aware of until Melville Books (bless them) sent me a notice about it. Where the hell have I been?Primo Levi called EVERY MAN DIES ALONE "The greatest book ever written about German resistance to the Nazis." The Montreal Gazette said, "It is no wonder the work's reception in the English-speaking world has been the journalistic equivalent of a collective dropped jaw." It is not only politically important (dare I say, especially in these times?), but it extraordinarily readable. Riveting, in fact. Every character crackles with vibrancy, every decision is perfectly credible. There isn't a speck of cliche. It is heartbreaking, sometimes very funny, thrilling, exhausting, beautiful and ironically life-affirming. The small man/woman, going about life. Being brave beyond measure, even in the face of . . . well, you know. You may be thinking you've read quite enough books about WWI. May I humbly suggest that unless you've read EVERY MAN DIES ALONE you need to read just one more.I cannot recommend this highly enough.
  • (5/5)
    Every Man Dies Alone is based on the true story of Otto and Elise Hampel, a working-class couple from Berlin, who began their own campaign against the Nazi regime following Elise's brother's death in action. For more than two years the Hampels wrote and covertly distributed postcards around Berlin, telling the German people there would never be peace under the Nazis. It took Fallada twenty-four days to write this book in 1947. He was a drug/alcohol addict and had just been released from a Nazi insane asylum. It was to be the final year of his life.

    When Otto and and Anna Quangel's soldier son is killed in action, they are helpless in their grief. They decide that anonymous postcards can be dropped around the city in what they consider their own act of subversion. They know if they are caught it will mean certain death. They are not the only characters we get to know in this book. The reader will witness the terror imposed by the Nazis on all citizens, an extensive process of physical and emotional violence. The story is divided between the average citizens and the Gestapo's pursuit of them.

    This book is difficult to review. Some of the characters are farcical but it also reads like a straightforward thriller. Ultimately I was fascinated by the chilling portrait of everyday Germans and how they tried to do something, even an act that seemed small, in order to have some impact on the horror of their lives. I also want to commend the translator, Michael Hofman. The book was impeccably translated. While not the book for everyone, I highly recommend this to any fan of WWII fiction.
  • (5/5)
    ALONE IN BERLIN is a book that you want everyone to read - to fully appreciate the life that we haveand to stay alert for any signs that it is again being turned into horror, fear, cruelty, and murderous brutality.In honor of author Hans Fallada, what will we do with our next 24 days?
  • (5/5)
    [Every Man Dies Alone] is a dark and suspenseful novel - based on a true story - about one couple’s (ultimately futile) acts of resistance during WWII aimed at attempting to turn public opinion against the Nazi regime. A richly detailed saga with a large cast of characters, numerous plot twists and turns that weave in and out, makes this a page turner that keeps you reading on despite its 500+ pages. It offers a chilling portrait of the distrust that permeated everyday German life during the war. A deeply moving story of a couple’s intent on standing up for what's right and each other.
  • (4/5)
    Hans Fallada's dark novel about a working class couple's futile resistance against the Nazi regime is a nearly perfect picture of pessimistic existentialism. Almost everyone involved in the plot finds themselves struggling to achieve something of worth in a meaningless existence where only death offers an escape from the forces of fate that are beyond their control. Though the evil fascist state devours anyone against it, underlying the plot is the assurance that even the fanatical efforts to oppress all dissent are not enough to put off the day of reckoning which inevitably brings its demise. Despite its total control over its citizens and the zealous cruelty inflicted to assure its existence, the mighty Nazis are no less vulnerable to fate than the feeble Quangels and the rest of the characters in the novel.Despite the novel's length, it moved along at a crisp pace, shifting its focus around a realistic cast of characters that made it hard for me to put down. Fallada has much to teach about living in a totalitarian society where fear dominates the affairs of the people and affects every level of relationship. My one caveat in reccommending this book is the extreme profanity that, thankfully, occurs infrequently and adds nothing to the quality of the story.
  • (5/5)
    Hannah Arendt coined the term "the banality of evil" in her book Eichmann in Jerusalem about the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the architect of Nazi Germany's final solution. Arendt found Eichmann a very small man, engaged in what was basically accounting. He did not have a grand vision for the world, he was just doing a job, an everyday civil servant engaged in carrying out his orders, unconcerned with how immoral those orders were. "The banality of evil." In Every Man Dies Alone, Hans Fallada tells the stories of Eichmann's counterparts, a group of ordinary, working class people with no power, no grand vision, just a desire to do what is right in the face of overwhelming odds. "The banality of good."Every Man Dies Alone features an ensemble cast, most of whom live in the same building in wartime Berlin. At the center of the ensemble are the Quangels, a quiet, unassuming couple who have lived an unremarkable life. Otto Quangel is a carpenter, foreman at the furniture factory where he works while Anna runs the household. Neither is political, neither has resisted the Nazi movement, until they receive a letter from the army informing them that their only child has been killed.Soon Otto comes up with a plan. Every Sunday, for the next two years, the Quangels write out one, sometimes two, postcards with messages against the Nazis. Each card carries only one or two lines of script, all printed capital letters to avoid leaving a handwriting sample. Otto takes the cards to buildings around Berlin and leaves them where someone will find them, hoping that the messages on the cards will spread and more people will begin to resist the Nazis."The banality of good."Writing a postcard against the Nazis is an offense punishable by death. The local police and the Gestapo are immediately on the case, right from the very first postcard. Two things struck me about Hans Fallada's portrayal of wartime Berlin. The first was how petty it all was. The pro-Nazi family living below the Quangels is obsessed with the Jewish woman who lives on the top floor. They are determined to drive her from their building, not because they believe in anti-Semitism, though they certainly do, but because they are convinced she has quality bed linens and a radio, which they can steal from her apartment as soon as she is gone. The Nazis are little more than petty thugs, obsessed with their own position and their own personal wealth. They assign one police detective to do nothing but find out who is writing the postcards, as though they have the power to destroy everything.The second thing that struck me was how omnipresent the Nazis were; everyone was spying on everyone. Anyone you met could be the person who would turn you in for making a stray anti-government remark or for not being enthusiastic enough in your praise of the war effort or your donations to the Winter Relief Fund. As a result, the longer the Quangels get away with writing their postcards, the more isolated from the neighbors, friends and family they become. Everyone in the novel, everyone in Germany, lives in fear that someone will report them to the Gestapo. An act as simple, and as harmless as writing a postcard becomes a dangerous risk, punishable by death. That it makes for such suspenseful reading is a testament to its author.The history of Every Man Dies Alone is as interesting as the story it tells. Already a successful novelist, Hans Fallada did not flee Germany when the Nazis came to power. Believing his work was not political, and would not attract attention from the Nazis, he stayed in Germany. But his novel The World Outside was attacked for its sympathetic portrayal of convicts. Fallada spent the war supporting himself with light contemporary novels, short stories, children's stories, fictionalized autobiographies, anything he could find that avoided politics altogether. When forced to, he added a pro-Nazi ending to a film script he was commissioned to write for actor Emil Jennings. He ended the war in an asylum, a result of too much drink. After the war, Fallada was encouraged to write a novel about Otto and Elise Hampel by German author Johannes R. Becher who gave Fallada the Hempel's Gestapo file. Fallada based Every Man Dies Alone on the Hampel's story, and wrote the entire novel in two months time. He died before before it could be published.
  • (5/5)
    This has got to be the best book I've read in months, at least. Certainly the best novel. I had been waiting for it for months (the library had only one copy and others were ahead of me), and it was worth it. I sat down and read the whole book in a single day.The premise is excellent -- a perfectly ordinary, working-class German couple carries on their own private campaign of resistance by dropping postcards with anti-Nazi messages. I knew this was going to be a great story. But even more impressive was the author's characterization. He has the ability to make the most minor characters seem real, and altogether human -- there are no heroes in this book, not even among the resisters. And the book has many characters and many storylines all going on at once, but Fallada never once seems to lose track of anything and all the plot threads are woven seamlessly together.The afterword tells of Fallada's life (basically one disaster after another) and of the real-life couple who inspired the book. It was a useful addition, but the story can stand on its own.All I can say is: WOW. I will definitely recommend this book to all my friends.
  • (5/5)
    The novel is complemented by an afterword by Geoff Wilkes--a specialist on Fallada from the University of Queensland--and the reproduction of several documents that were part of the Gestapo folder on which Fallada based this novel. This, along with the inclusion in both endsheets of a map of Berlin where the fictional action takes place, helps the reader have a more informative and suggestive context. Michael Hofmann (misspelled as 'Hoffman' in the jacket) is the translator. Though I don't know German, I find Michael Hofmann's translation particularly engaging--it maintains, I sense, an artistic balance of exoticism and crude directness that in many ways match and underscore the brutally cold events and language that the characters suffer and inflict on others. His notes are few, succinct and very informative for the general public. The novel vividly brings to life the degradation of German society in the 30's and 40's. The totalitarian State has created such a reality of fear and distrust, that willing collaboration with the regime at worst, or indifference to its abjection at best, fuel the devastation it imposes on the lives of individuals. In the midst of this bleak existence, closer at times to a dystopian, Kafkian world than to a realist chronicle, Otto and Anna Quangel initiate a personal vendetta by dropping off handwritten cards with subversive messages denouncing the lies and crimes of the Nazi regime. They know, however, that this is a futile act and that, sooner or later, they will be caught. Although they hope that their messages will resonate in the hearts and minds of some of their fellow Berliners, they accept their destiny as victims-to-be. This has profound ethical consequences: should we resist when we know extermination awaits us, or, as the fate of some other characters affected by the Quangel's action seems to indicate, should we not further endanger life? Is the Quangel's determination to savage their moral integrity an act of symbolic universality, or is Fallada being more pessimistic? Perhaps the reader wants to believe that there should be clearer answers and explanations in the face of an evil such as Nazism. Part of the ominous picture that Fallada presents in this novel is considering that impossibility.
  • (5/5)
    If you have ever wondered what it was like to live in Nazi Germany, Fallada tries to show you in this novel. The fear & paranoia fly off every page. At times, I found it difficult to open the book to continue the story. Even those citizens who supported Hitler were so afraid of being accused of some wrong doing that they lived in fear too. A chance comment over heard by a neighbour could precipitate a visit from the police or worse, the Gestapo. Fallada live in Germany during the Hitler reign and spent the last years of the War imprisoned in a mental institution, a sentence that usually resulted in death. The novel is based on the true story of a German couple who had supported Hitler but changed that support when the wife's brother was killed in one of the early battles in France. They started to leave in public places post cards that contained anti Hitler comments. It took the authorities three years to catch and eventually execute them. Fallada tries to show that while their protest did nothing to change what the German government did, that by this small protest they rose above what was going on and they could never be accused of ignoring what went on.
  • (4/5)
    An elderly couple, whose son has died fighting, dares to compose anti-Hitler postcards and place them throughout Berlin. The times of distrust and everyone-out-for-themsleves is very obvious. Tension with neighbors and the struggle to survive in a world turned upside down is well played. Sometimes the writing is too dogmatic to be effective.
  • (5/5)
    This is one of the best books I have read. Reflects German ordinary citizens life during the war. Excellent in description of life under the Nazi's regime. Excellent in developing characters. In depth description how fear of government can control your everyday existence.
  • (4/5)
    This is a harrowing read. Based on a true story, Fallada portrays survival of a group of Berliners under Nazism as a daily routine of fear and betrayal. Relentlessly grim but believable, it's amazing that he wrote the novel in just 24 days.
  • (4/5)
    My second Fallada, this was not the grimly compelling freefall into darkness that The Drinker was, but a good read in its own right, offering an assortment of captivating characters trying (and sometimes failing) to hold onto their humanity as they make their way across the brutal landscape of Nazi Germany. It asks the question: is an act heroic even if ineffectual?
    "And don't you regret it? Aren't you sorry to lose your life over a stupid stunt like that?
    Quangel cast a sharp glare at the lawyer, his proud, old, tough bird-glare. "At least I stayed decent," he said. "I didn't participate."

    There is much to recommend this book...not least of all, the chilling portrayal of "Karlchen the dog."
  • (4/5)
    Not quite in the great literature class that some have indicated, but a good read, an intriguing fictionalisation of an odd case of resistance against the Nazis. My main pleasure was in finding i could breeze through 650 pages in the original German, which indicates it has a clear style and story-line. The characters don't have much inner life, but are varied and believable, from the dour working man at the heart of the action to the virtuous innocent girl and the horse-betting lowlife who become unwittingly embroiled. Best scene of all is the detective's cat-and-mouse interrogation of the low-life; he uses no violence but violence is everywhere. There are strange non-sequiturs or non-credible at crucial points: the leftist cell-members sitting discussing their decisions in the middle of an all-Nazi event; the police boss disliking his subordinate's tactics so much that he throws him into the dungeons, while seeming unable to actually tell him what to do; the cultured music conductor living a fine life in a Nazi gaol simply because he can pay his way... and more like that. Some of this may be result of Fallada writing the whole thing in 24 days (itself nearly incredible).
  • (5/5)
    An excellent novel. Truly gripping and with a tightly woven plot that sees the characters descending inevitable, gradually towards their fate in Nazi Germany. How much were the German people to blame for the Holocaust? Well this novel helps to show how difficult dissent or any form of protest was. It is interesting to see how the different social groups are represented and how they have reacted and changed in the Nazi regime. I kept thinking to myself while I was reading this which out of the people I know would collaborate or resist if a similar situation occurred now. One of the best books I have ever read about the nature of morality.
  • (5/5)
    Hans Fallada wrote Every Man Dies Alone in 1947, but it was translated into English only last year. The novel is based on a true story of a couple, Otto and Elise Hampel, who resisted the Nazi party. There's a really interesting afterword about Hans Fallada (Rudolf Ditzen) and the Hampels. Fallada was an alcoholic and a drug addict who ended up in an insane asylum near the end of WW2 after threatening his wife with a gun (and drinking 12 bottles of wine in 3 days). His own behaviour during the Nazi Party's time in power was a mix of collaboration and resistance.The book opens with Eva Kluge, the postie, delivering a letter to Otto and Anna Quangel, quiet, frugal working-class Berliners whose son Otto is away fighting in France. This is a book with tons of characters, all vividly showing different ways of surviving in Nazi Berlin. There's a retired judge on the ground floor of their apartment building, the Persicke family - a thoroughly nasty bunch, especially their son Baldur - on the 2nd, the Quangels on the 3rd, and Mrs Rosenthal, who's Jewish, on the 4th. The postie's scumbag husband plays a big part too. There are subplots and many more characters all over the place, but the main story is about the Quangels.Otto is a foreman in a carpentry factory that, by the end of the book, is making coffins. He's very shy and not particularly political - he and Anna thought Hitler wasn't too bad in the 1930s - but a comment she makes to him after she reads the letter that's delivered in Chapter 1 makes him come up with a scheme to resist the Nazis. He decides to drop postcards around Berlin with anti-Hitler messages, and he quickly convinces Anna that this is worthwhile. They imagine that their postcards will cause others to resist the regime. This isn't what happens at all.The book is extremely tense from the first page, and very easy to read. Occasionally, for a couple of sentences, I'd forget that the police are evil here, then I'd remember that this wasn't a normal crime novel. It's fascinating watching them try to figure out who's dropping the postcards - then it's just horrible knowing that they are getting closer. It really makes you wonder what you would have done if you'd been alive when Hitler was in power, because a normal life with moral integrity came at such huge risk - keeping out of trouble without supporting the regime was enough to put you in danger. Highly recommended if you want to read a book about survival in Germany in WW2, and the best fiction I've read this year.
  • (5/5)
    There are plenty of reviews that cover the plot and story fictionalized in Every Man Dies Alone so I'm going to comment on the writing/translation style. Fallada wrote the book at a feverish pace: it was written in twenty four days or so. He had completed a non-fiction piece on the case so he was familiar with the main characters and fairly unimpressed with their resistance efforts. I get the impression that the translator of the book into English from German, Michael Hofmann, was a deliberate, conscientious translator with a flair for capturing the mood of Fallada. The combination of frenzied writing and careful translation may have enhanced the original book.The two principal characters are doomed and powerless against the powerful Nazi machine. It could have been bleak as hell but somehow it is and isn't. At times it has a noirish feel. At times it has some wicked black humor. Then there are some tragicomic moments. From there, the inane bureaucracy of the times is explored. Inept secondary characters with weird sad stories of their own are beautifully drawn. There is introspection and musing on hopeless situations. All these styles mesh into a book that is a powerful example of what literature can be. Fallada stretches out several threads of plot and then condenses them with near brutal precision. The chapter, The Fateful Monday, is a good example of this. Some of the minor characters go from near success to great failure in quick time. Many do not see the doom approaching them including some of the Nazis. Fallada doesn't get polemical and keeps his writing voice on a even keel. Thus, he shows how life can be under a regime when one side has all the power and individuals try to survive a day at a time.
  • (5/5)
    Very similar in feel to Suite Francaise, only instead of France we are the devil's lair: Berlin. Here are characters who suffered and profited from the Nazi regime. The book focuses on a few individuals, some complete losers, others who are working-class heroes, and are driven by events to opposing Hitler. One feels the couple's isolation, their courage, their commitment to seeing their rebellion through to its inevitable end. Memorable and extraordinarily rich in detail.
  • (4/5)
    Hans Fallada, the alias for Rudolf Ditzen, wrote his last novel, Every Man Dies Alone, in 24 days and died of a morphine overdose before it could be published. A man tortured by substance abuse and his ambivalent relationship with the Nazis, Fallada wrote prolifically but with few successes. After stints in hospitals and even an insane asylum, Fallada was shown a Gestapo file by a friend and told it would make a good story. The file was on a German couple who resisted the Reich by dispersing hand-written postcards denouncing Hitler and the war throughout Berlin. Fallada uses the basic plot suggested by the file to create the novel.The story of the ficticious Otto and Anna Quangel is one of an average, working-class couple who live placidly under the Fuhrer until the death of their only son in the war. The senseless death of their son spurs them to defiance, and they begin their postcard campaign. Woven within and around their story are the stories of dozens of other people, resisters, snitchers, and Nazis, who together create a picture of life under Hitler. The richness of the character depictions are the highlights of the book. Even minor characters take on life and draw one in.Unfortunately, the characters are almost entirely single-faceted. One is either good or evil, and only one character, the Inspector Escherich, seems to have any moral development as the story progresses. Despite this, I was interested in the fate of the characters and found the book a quick and absorbing read. Fallada creates an image of German life during the war as being as morally compromising as life under Stalin, a comparison that came quickly to mind having just finished reading The Whisperers. I was left wondering once again what I would be capable of if I were in such a situation. Would I be capable of resistance or would I collude in silence letting fear prevent action?
  • (5/5)
    I haven't yet finished this powerful novel because it is so disturbing so that I can read only a few chapters each day. It deals with an ordinary working-class couple in Germany who take a stand against the Nazis. One watches the authoritarian powers circle in on them while the husband inveighs against the regime in postcards and letters. This is a stunning novel, beautifully written by a man who wrote it in 24 days after he was released from a Nazi insane asylum.