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User Review  - HenriMoreaux - LibraryThing

Lasting for 41 years the German Democratic Republic (commonly known as East Germany) was a communist country in post world war 2 divided Germany that lasted primarily due to the iron fist of the ... Read full review

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User Review  - john257hopper - LibraryThing

The author is an Australian journalist who lived in Berlin and Leipzig in the late 1990s and recorded the stories of East Germans, both the victims of abuses by the dreaded Stasi (Ministry of State ... Read full review

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User Review  - Hanneri - LibraryThing

Having no knowledge of the destination before reading this book, Funder's guide to 'Stasiland' provided a compelling insight into life within enforced boundaries, under constant surveillance. Cleverly ... Read full review

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User Review  - nittnut - LibraryThing

I mostly enjoyed this look at East Germany in the decade after the wall came down. It was especially interesting to me because I remember watching all the events leading to the fall of the GDR unfold ... Read full review

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User Review  - thebradking - LibraryThing

My friend Aleks and I are each writing non-fiction stories that involve some form of first-person narrative. It's a troublesome form, first person, because quite often the narrative gets in the way of ... Read full review

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User Review  - Veeralpadhiar - LibraryThing

This work gets its name from the Stasi – which was the internal army by which the East German government kept control (just like NKVD in USSR). Its job was to know everything about everyone, using any ... Read full review

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User Review  - jmchshannon - LibraryThing

There are few defining historical moments in one’s life – the type that sears itself on one’s memory so that one can always remember where one was or what one was doing when the moment occurred. For ... Read full review

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User Review  - mountie9 - LibraryThing

The Good Stuff Fascinating and brutally honest Learned so much interesting historical information that I am sad to say I never knew Funder's style of writing is very unique and personal Disturbing ... Read full review

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User Review  - BedlamGuest79 - LibraryThing

Interesting book. However, I could not stand the patronizing tone of Anna Funder as she judges everyone she meets. The chapters about her landlady are quite upsetting: as the landlady seems to suggest ... Read full review

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Funder writes this nonfiction like a novel, with a fine eye for detail, characterization, and location. Her discussions are chilling, absurd, poignant, and sometimes heart-rending. One of the clearest characteristics of the Stasi bureaucracy, and really the entire enterprise, is the pure, hateful pettiness of it - denying basic reality, meeting perceived slights with cruel retribution, and blocking the ability of promising citizens to develop their skills and talents based on youthful indiscretions. Funder's access to surprisingly high-level ex-Stasi employees is illuminating as they discuss their roles with varying degrees of honesty, self-criticism, and rationalizations. Most surprising is the Ostalgia alluded to in the book, the longing for the "good old days" which really appeared to be pretty terrible. Big Brother was alive, well, and "improved upon" in East Berlin, Orwell would have been horrified, but probably grimly satisfied at the accuracy of his predictions. 


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