Anyone who's read the movie listings during the last few months knows that
World War II and the Holocaust have recently been popular subjects for serious
films. Obviously, many of us are still struggling to make sense of what happened
and trying to make certain that these events don't fade into the past where they
become merely a part of history, among so many other half-forgotten horrors.
Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series, which began in the summer of 1936 with
and now continues with its fifth entry, A Quiet Flame
takes us to the Buenos Aires of 1950 and, in the novelistic version of
flashbacks, Germany in 1932, bringing us the perspective of a German
policeman turned private detective, a man who is still working to understand
what happened to his country, his friends and colleagues, and himself.
When we left him, in 2006's...
Beyond the Book
To Read or Not To Read in Series Order
When I was a teenager, my mother gave me some advice which I almost
immediately ignored. We were both avid readers who preferred reading to talking
and most of our limited conversation was about what we were reading.
She had enjoyed English novelist Norah Lofts's trilogy about the history of a
house and the stories of the people who had lived in it over a century. "Make
sure," she said," to start with the first book." But when I went to the library,
it was out, so I started with the second, then went back to the first. Although
I still enjoyed the books, reading the middle before the beginning and then jumping to the end gave me a kind of Alice in Wonderland
sense of disjointedness. It taught me a lesson:...