Alone in Berlin, By Hans Fallada

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The Independent Culture

First published in 1947, just prior to its author's death, this astonishing novel now has the British acclaim it deserves thanks a translation by Michael Hofmann that sweeps you headlong down the course of its intimate yet epic drama. Using a real case as his model, Fallada portrays a small, brave act of rebellion against the Third Reich during its glory days in 1940.

The Quangels, a Berlin artisan and his wife, decide to leave postcards around the city denouncing the regime. Gestapo inspector Escherich, "a lover of the chase", sets out to hunt them down. Thrilling, profound, alert to all the ambiguities of collaboration and resistance, the novel also gives a matchless depiction of grimy, fearful daily life in the Nazi capital.