1941: The Year Germany Lost the War by Andrew Nagorski
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Nagorski’s book is tightly written and very readable, despite a mountain of research distilled into it. All the scholarly elements are included, along with engrossing text. The primary Allied and Axis leaders are presented in depth: Hitler and his megalomaniac anti-Semitism and lust for Lebensraum (or Totensraum); Stalin and his two front war against (1) Germany and (2) every Russian he even imagined might be a traitor; Roosevelt dancing skillfully around America’s isolationism; and Churchill, with the morale of an Empire on his shoulders. Some of the most interesting passages describe the incredible blunders of Stalin and Hitler as they, in the author’s words, competed “for the title of ‘the world’s most willfully blind dictator.’” A brief but crucial moment shows Stalin, pacing up and down on the platform beside a train waiting to take him to safety. An impressive book.
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Reviews: True Map of the City
“The plot is clever and delicately developed, the symbolism is richly layered, and every scene leaves readers asking head-scratching questions. The hyperbolic level of bureaucracy and hypocrisy occasionally comes across as satire, but also has the dark edge of Orwellian fiction.
"Creating such a surreal, vaguely impossible atmosphere in a novel is a challenging task, but Guenther plays masterfully with philosophy and language to achieve a singular mood. The stark, matter-of-fact narration and the intimacy of Horus' inner monologue gives the prose a foreboding sense, while the flashes of humor and ridiculousness give the book an odd balance.
"Guenther fits a whole tangled tale into just over 100 pages, with few wasted words.
"Capped off with a . . . completely unexpected conclusion, A True Map of the City is a truly good read, and Guenther humbly proves himself as a literary descendant of Kafka himself.” --Editor, Self-Publishing Review
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