"The greatest book ever written about German resistance to the Nazis."
"Hans Fallada's Every Man Dies Alone is one of the most extraordinary and compelling novels ever written about World War II. Ever. Fallada lived through the Nazi hell, so every word rings true–this is who they really were: the Gestapo monsters, the petty informers, the few who dared to resist. Please, do not miss this."
"A signal literary event of 2009 has occurred. Rescued from the grave, from decades of forgetting, [Every Man Dies Alone] testifies to the lasting value of an intact, if battered, conscience. In a publishing hat trick, Melville House allows English-language readers to sample Fallada's vetiginous variety [and] the keen vision of a troubled man in troubled times, with more breadth, detail, and understanding than most other chroniclers of the era have delivered. To read Every Man Dies Alone, Fallada's testament to the darkest years of the 20th century, is to be accompanied by a wise, somber ghost who grips your arm and whispers in your ear: 'This is how it was. This is what happened.'"
-- New York Times Book Review
"Every Man Dies Alone...deserves a place among the 20th century's best novels of political witness."
--Sam Munson, The National
"Every Man Dies Alone [is] a suspense-driven novel...one-of-a-kind."
--Alan Furst, Toronto Globe and Mail
"Every Man Dies Alone [is] one of the most immediate and authentic fictional accounts of life during the long nightmare of Nazi rule."
--The New York Observer
"Primo Levi…called this "the greatest book ever written about the German resistance to the Nazis." It is, in retrospect, an understatement. This is a novel that is so powerful, so intense, that it almost hums with electricity."
" [Every Man Dies Alone] has the suspense of a John le Carré novel, and offers a visceral, chilling portrait of the distrust that permeated everyday German life during the war."
--The New Yorker
"[A]t once a riveting page turner and a memorable portrait of wartime Berlin...With its vivid cast of characters and pervasive sense of menace, Every Man Dies Alone is an exciting book."
—John Powers for Fresh Air / NPR Books We Like
Top "Summer Read" pick
—On Point Raido, WBUR
"...a belated revelation."
—San Francisco Chronicle
"...necessary and gripping."
Before WWII , German writer Hans Fallada’s novels were international bestsellers, on a par with those of his countrymen Thomas Mann and Herman Hesse. In America, Hollywood even turned his first big novel, Little Man, What Now? into a major motion picture.
Learning the movie was made by a Jewish producer, however, Hitler decreed Fallada’s work could no longer be sold outside Germany, and the rising Nazis began to pay him closer attention. When he refused to join the Nazi party he was arrested by the Gestapo—who eventually released him, but thereafter regularly summoned him for “discussions” of his work.
However, unlike Mann, Hesse, and others, Fallada refused to flee to safety, even when his British publisher, George Putnam, sent a private boat to rescue him. The pressure took its toll on Fallada, and he resorted increasingly to drugs and alcohol for relief. After Goebbels ordered him to write an anti-Semitic novel, he snapped and found himself imprisoned in an asylum for the “criminally insane”—considered a death sentence under Nazi rule. To forestall the inevitable, he pretended to write the assignment for Goebbels, while actually composing
three encrypted books—including his tour de force novel The Drinker—in such dense code that they were not deciphered until long after his death.
Fallada outlasted the Reich and was freed at war’s end. But he was a shattered man. To help him recover by putting him to work, Fallada’s publisher gave him the Gestapo file of a simple, working-class couple who had resisted the Nazis. Inspired, Fallada completed Every Man Dies Alone in just twenty-four days.
He died in February 1947, just weeks before the book’s publication.
This is an amazing book and a disturbing but interesting story. Well written and descriptions are vivid and the characters very human. I would highly recommend the book.Published 1 month ago by Saskanna
Intense read...a perspective that I had not experienced before. Gripping
and disturbing story that I couldn't put down.
I was lucky and got this as a galley before publication because a friend works for Melville House's distributer in Canada and thought. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Olivia Jennings
I am so grateful that this authors work has finally been translated into English. The story is of an ordinary German family, going about life in an extraordinary period of... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Michal
It was the author's history and circumstance that prompted me to read this novel. As well, the idea that a dissident German who suffered under Nazi rule sought to reveal life... Read morePublished on June 17 2012 by Jeffrey Swystun
Not only is this novel based on the actions of a Berlin couple who naively dropped off self-authored anti-Nazi postcards in public building all over Berlin, but it is grounded in... Read morePublished on July 15 2011 by Sverre Svendsen
Every Man Dies Alone comes in a new, and very good, translation by Michael Hoffman (disastrously retitled Alone In Berlin in Britain). Read morePublished on June 12 2010 by Philippe Ranger
Hans Fallada has twisted knots and threads of paranoia together to portray the dense complexities of wartime Berlin. Read morePublished on Nov. 13 2009 by J. Peters
This book gives a strong account of how life in Nazi Germany was, and how difficult it was to mount any counter offensive against the State and its objectives. Read morePublished on Sept. 20 2009 by Mark Arneson