Alone in Berlin

Front Cover
Penguin Books Limited, Jan 28, 2010 - Fiction - 608 pages

THE ACCLAIMED INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

'One of the most extraordinary and compelling novels written about World War II. Ever' Alan Furst

Inspired by a true story, Hans Fallada's Alone in Berlin is a gripping wartime thriller following one ordinary man's determination to defy the tyranny of Nazi rule


Berlin, 1940, and the city is filled with fear. At the house on 55 Jablonski Strasse, its various occupants try to live under Nazi rule in their different ways: the bullying Hitler loyalists the Persickes, the retired judge Fromm and the unassuming couple Otto and Anna Quangel. Then the Quangels receive the news that their beloved son has been killed fighting in France. Shocked out of their quiet existence, they begin a silent campaign of defiance, and a deadly game of cat and mouse develops between the Quangels and the ambitious Gestapo inspector Escherich. When petty criminals Kluge and Borkhausen also become involved, deception, betrayal and murder ensue, tightening the noose around the Quangels' necks ...

This Penguin Classics edition contains an afterword by Geoff Wilkes, as well as facsimiles of the original Gestapo file which inspired the novel.

'Terrific ... a fast-moving, important and astutely deadpan thriller'
Irish Times

'An unrivalled and vivid portrait of life in wartime Berlin'
Philip Kerr

'To read Fallada's testament to the darkest years of the 20th century is to be accompanied by a wise, somber ghost who grips your shoulder and whispers into your ear: "This is how it was. This is what happened"'
The New York Times

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User Review  - tmph - LibraryThing

That was an extraordinary experience. An entire world of characters going thru this unbelievable time; drunks, retired judges, apolitical workers, Jews, Communists, whores, con men, children, SA, SS ... Read full review

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User Review  - janismack - LibraryThing

My goodness, what a story! This book was so well crafted and honest about life in Berlin and the countryside during the second world war. Gave you an insight on some german people that were not for ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Hans Fallada was one of the best-known German writers of the twentieth century. Born in 1893 in Greifswald as Rudolf Wilhelm Adolf Ditzen, he took his pen name from a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. His most famous works include the novels Little Man, What Now? and The Drinker. Fallada died from an overdose of morphine on 5 February 1947 in Berlin.

Michael Hofmann is the author of several books of poems and a book of criticism, Behind the Lines, and the translator of many modern and contemporary authors. Penguin publish his translations of Kafka's Metamorphosis and Other Stories and Irmgard Keun's Child of All Nations.

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