Posted on June 25, 2011 - david
I really can’t rate this book highly enough. The author’s knowledge of pre-and post war Germany is amazing for someone who does not, as far as I can see, have any direct connection with the Country. The way, through his wonderful creation, Bernie Gunther, he investigates the competing pressures on ordinary people, their beliefs and prejudices, is terrific. It is never going to be a comfortable read for anyone who prefers nice clear lines between Good & Evil – I do myself on many ocassions – but nothing is black and white with Bernie Gunther and as a consequence he is far more useful as a narrator of the time. I remember a comment in the film Dirty Harry (not in the same league from a literary perspective but the comment is useful) when someone suggests that the detective is racist, to be told ‘Harry isn’t racist, he just hates everybody’ and in a sense the way Bernie talks about Nazis, Amis, Ivans, Soaps, as well as swipes at the Brits the French and the Palestinians proves what is undoubtedly true – there is an awful lot to condemn and criticise on all sides and frankly politicians from all countries are more similar than might be comfortable for many of us. Right and wrong is not a black and white issue – maybe it should be! ‘The One from the Other’ is not a cosy read but a great one nevertheless. Buy it and support this terrific writer, I’m now moving on to my 4th book of his!