First published in Germany in 1947, Every Man Dies Alone is a true masterpiece from a bestselling writer who saw his life crumble following his decision not to flee Germany and his refusal to join the
The novel presents a richly detailed portrait of life in Berlin under the Nazis and tells the sweeping
saga of one working-class couples decision to take a stand when their only son is killed at the front.
With nothing but their grief and each other against the awesome power of the Reich, Otto and Anna
Quangel launch a simple, clandestine resistance campaign that soon has an enraged Gestapo on their
trail, and a world of terrified neighbors and cynical snitches ready to turn them in.
In the end, Every Man Dies Alone is more than an edge-of-your-seat thriller, more than a moving
romance, even more than literature of the highest orderits a deeply stirring story of two people
standing up for whats right, and for each other.
Although it isn't a perfect novel, I would recommend it for Fallada's talent in showing us that sometimes the most frightening part of a war isn't dramatic at all -- it's the psychological game, that tension arising from waiting for something to happen, and wondering if it ever will, that slowly begins to wear the spirit down. (Reviewed by Karen Rigby).
New York Observer - James Martin
Though perhaps deficient in its treatment of the Jewish wartime experience, Fallada's novel - the work of one of the few German literary greats who did not emigrate during the war - provides a rich phenomenology of life lived under state surveillance ... one of the most immediate and authentic fictional accounts of life during the long nightmare of Nazi rule.
The New York Times - Liesl Schillinger
Rescued from the grave, from decades of forgetting, this novel…testifies to the lasting value of an intact, if battered, conscience…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 shoulder and whispers into your ear: "This is how it was. This is what happened."
This disturbing novel.. isn't about bold cells of defiant guerrillas but about a world in which heroism is defined as personal refusal to be corrupted.
A very welcome resurrection for a great writer crucified by history.
The Globe & Mail - Alan Furst
At the end of the day, Every Man Dies Alone is a testament, nothing less. It is Fallada's attempt to retrieve the few shreds of honour and courage that the Nazis, no matter how viciously they tried, could not manage to destroy. Thus, in his way, Fallada can be seen as a hero, a writer-hero who survived just long enough to strike back at his oppressors. And it is in his honour, as a fellow novelist, that I wrote this review.
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.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by lotus A very Important Book This book takes place during the reign of Nazi Germany and details the lives of Germans living in a stage of constant fear and fear is what explodes off each page.
It is about several people's reaction to Nazi Germany, in particular one couple's... Read More
Rated of 5
by Cortney Hankins Every Man Dies Alone "Every Man DIes Alone" is indeed an extraordinary book. The psychological and physical dismay are portrayed with talent and unmistakable genious. Although this novel was good, it was entirely too strung out. 543 pages is a lot and I'm... Read More
Elise and Otto Hampel Every Man Dies Alone is inspired by Elise and Otto Hampel, a blue collar couple. Elise and Otto eluded the police and the Gestapo from September 1940-42, "leaving hundreds of postcards calling for civil disobedience and workplace sabotage all over Berlin."
One of the frequent subjects of the Hampels' postcards was the Winter Relief Fund, a seasonal charity backed by the Nazis, but widely suspected of being open to graft. A considerable public show was made of the fund, and not contributing to it was seen as a form of disloyalty. The Hampels used the fund as a touchstone of their opposition in part because "pressure to contribute was considerable, and armbands and pins were distributed for public display to identify donors...
Oldest romance writer in the world dies aged 105. Books #124 and #125 to be published next year(Dec 10 2013) Ida Pollock, author of more than 120 books, and believed to be the world's oldest romantic novelist, has died at the age of 105.