The final push as we enter the last leg of April! I am so close to finishing my TBR list! Victory! Anyways, another new, strange book for you all. Today I bring you a Review Request with a pig, black humor, Germans, and who knows what else! This book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
Title: A Small Death in Berlin
Author: Annie Ayre
Goodread Synopsis: BASED ON THE MOVIE JUST A GIGOLO STARRING DAVID BOWIE AND MARLENE DIETRICH
Berlin between the wars.
A time of change, a time of upheaval.
Paul von Pryzgodski was a young Prussian man whose life had led him to expect heroism, but instead he found failure.
In the closing hours of the First World War, Paul is wounded, and he wakes up in a strange French hospital, with no recollection of how he got there, and no idea which side has won the war.
He staggers out of the hospital and jumps on a train to Berlin, only to find that everything has changed – and not for the better.
His father is comatose, and his beloved aristocratic mother has now been reduced to running a house for ‘working girls’.
Not only that but his childhood sweetheart, Cilly, has also lost her innocence, and is no longer the girl he used to know.
Desolate and alone, Paul struggles to find a place for himself back home, and after a string of failed jobs, he finds himself embarking on an unusual career path.
In a whirlwind of champagne, glitz, glamorous women and sordid affairs, Paul discovers a side to himself that he never knew existed …
My Thoughts: I think this is a satirical comedy. But It kind of confuses me too! I go between laughing and cocking my head, lol.
My favorite part in the whole book is the funeral. Bullets are flying, pallbearers are running, love is in the air, and the colonel is flying down the walk in his wheelchair. “He finally got the bullet he wanted!” The best part of the funeral though is a love scene straight out of Young Frankenstein. Best descriptions and imagery ever written. It’s terrible but really funny.
The whole story though, is written with the same vividness and over the top language. All of the characters are larger than life and bright, like a sitcom in book form. Even the pig, bottle, and Americans are superstars for their short time.
Crazy characters and funerals aside, A Small Death in Berlin is a strange coming of age novel about a young man off to war where in the first five minutes of fighting he is knocked unconscious by a well timed explosion. He wakes us in France to an oompa band, and the enemies (when are the French not the enemy?), to discover he has lost his memories. Knowing only that he speaks German, Paul heads out to return to the Motherland and find the memories and family he is sure he once had. In the three years Paul lay comatose the world has changed and upon awakening Paul has to figure out how he fits into the new world. Like I said, crazy coming of age story!
I think what I found confusing was that the reader learns things as Paul does, which is normally not a problem until you throw in the crazies and era/area appropriate mannerisms. The crazies really make the book though =^_^=
The craziest of them all is probably Cilly, the silly child of the revolution turned cabaret extraordinaire! She is so vivacious, loud, colorful, and keeps returning like a bad penny.
I think the best part was the ending. The book comes full circle, and I think, rounds out Paul’s life, questions, and yearnings really well. He was finally able to live up to his father’s expectations and become the hero he was destined to be from birth.
Overall A Small Death in Berlin was a pretty good read. It was vivid (oh boy were certain scenes vivid!), well thought out, funny, and thought provoking. I recommend it for anyone looking for a bit different read who likes dry comedy.
Anyone else read A Small Death in Berlin? What did you think?