- Hardcover: 329 pages
- Publisher: Isis Large Print Books; large type edition edition (Jan. 15 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0753173611
- ISBN-13: 978-0753173619
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 1.9 x 23.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 454 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,781,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Kaiser's Last Kiss Hardcover – Large Print, Jan 15 2006
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"A wonderfully satisfying, sophisticated novel."
About the Author
Alan Judd is the author of eleven novels and two biographies. He previously served as a soldier in the British army and as a diplomat in the Foreign Office. Judd is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has won numerous awards including the Guardian Fiction Prize and the Heinemann Award. He currently writes for The Spectator and The Daily Telegraph. He lives in Sussex with his family. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product description
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
There is, of course, the immediate attraction of a plot based on the collision of the Second and Third Reich in the personages of the Kaiser Wilhelm and Heinrich Himmler, the former in forced abdication with memories of a world with rules that he ignored at his peril, the latter creating a world with out rules to everyone's peril.
There is Krebs of the SS who is long on war, short on hate, and 23 when the two converge. There is Akki of beautiful hands and exquisite courage. There is the love between them and an old man who loves his country, loves them each, and is saddened by it all because he knows he will fail in the promises he has believed he must honor all his life.
This is a short and powerful book. It is well worth the time to read it and the price to pay for it.
In his short book, "The Kaiser's Last Kiss", British author Alan Judd takes some liberties with facts, but writes a story of the old Kaiser's last days. Judd's story includes a young Nazi Waffen-SS officer, Martin Krebbs, who has been ordered by the German government to take over the running of Huis Doorn after the Germans took over the Netherlands. Among the people Krebbs meets at the house is a maid, called Akki. Akki has become close to the Kaiser since her employment - she has beautiful hands - and becomes close to Krebbs after he's assigned to the house duty. These three are Judd's main characters and Judd pays close attention on how the three interact - either with each other or as a group of three. Other characters come and go - some more important than others - but essentially the plot of "The Kaiser's Last Kiss" is solely in these characters' hands.
I think Alan Judd is trying to make all three act in ways their natures and political positions would find difficult. Krebbs' Waffen-SS is tested early when he makes reference to a real act of German atrocity at La Paradis in Normandy. Was he a part of the massacre or not? Would he turn a suspected spy in...or would he help the spy escape? Is old Kaiser Wilhelm an anti-Semite...or does he think the killing of Jewish children a horror? And of Akki, what is her story? Judd makes her as much of a cypher as he can, and I think she is the main character who is the weakest drawn. She is a ghost next to the two men, the Kaiser and the Waffen-SS man. But she is the connecting figure.
This book has been made into a movie called "The Exception", with Christopher Plummer as Wilhelm. The movie is to be released this year and I'm looking forward to seeing it. Maybe watching it will add another dimension to the book's story.