The Good German

The Good German

A Novel

Book - 2001
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The bestselling author of Los Alamos and Alibi returns to 1945. Hitler has been defeated, and Berlin is divided into zones of occupation. Jake Geismar, an American correspondent who spent time in the city before the war, has returned to write about the Allied triumph while pursuing a more personal quest: his search for Lena, the married woman he left behind. When an American soldier's body is found in the Russian zone during the Potsdam Conference, Jake stumbles on the lead to a murder mystery. The Good German is a story of espionage and love, an extraordinary re-creation of a city devastated by war, and a thriller that asks the most profound ethical questions in its exploration of the nature of justice, and what we mean by good and evil in times of peace and of war.
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt & Co., 2001.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780312942106
0312942109
9780312421267
0312421265
9780805064223
0805064222
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY Kanon Joseph 2001
Characteristics: 482 p. :,maps ;,25 cm.

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brianreynolds May 05, 2013

I'm glad I gave Joseph Kanon a second try. Although <i>The Good German</i> suffers, to some extent, the same largess of characters and pithy dialogue I found tedious in <i>Istanbul Passage,</i> the author generously rewards his readers with some powerful insight into the moral ambiguity of post-WWII politics. Set in Berlin during the rapid transition from hot to Cold War, from ally to enemy, from survivor to collaborator, Kanon weaves a truly compelling tale both in terms of riveting action and of heart-rending enigma. He paints the reader a tenacious terrier of a reporter whose jaw is firmly clamped on right versus wrong, good versus bad and sets him in a bombed-out world of greys and re-written history. The hero's hubris shifts from his willingness to single-handedly take on the Russian Army to his willingness to confront the necessity to compromise. Riding off into the sunset is not so surprising in an archetypical romance, but letting go of the truth in order to save the day was.

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