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Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Erlanger Branch STARR A (Text) 33126024880746 New Adult Fiction Checked out 12/01/2020

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780316429801 (hardcover)
  • ISBN: 0316429805
  • Physical Description: 199 pages ; 22 cm
  • Edition: First North American edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Little Brown and Company, 2020.

Content descriptions

General Note:
"Originally published in the United Kingdom by John Murray Press, May 2020"--title page verso.
Summary, etc.:
In the throes of the Second World War, young Meissner, a college student with dreams of becoming a scientist, is drafted into the German army and sent to the Eastern Front. But soon his regiment collapses in the face of the onslaught of the Red Army, hell-bent on revenge in its race to Berlin. Many decades later, now an old man reckoning with his past, Meissner pens a letter to his grandson explaining his actions, his guilt as a Nazi participator, and the difficulty of life after war. Found among his effects after his death, the letter is at once a thrilling story of adventure and a questing rumination on the moral ambiguity of war. In his years spent fighting the Russians and attempting afterward to survive the Gulag, Meissner recounts a life lived in perseverance and atonement. Wracked with shame--both for himself and for Germany--the grandfather explains his dark rationale, exults in the courage of others, and blurs the boundaries of right and wrong. We Germans complicates our most steadfast beliefs and seeks to account for the complicity of an entire country in the perpetration of heinous acts. In this breathless and page-turning story, Alexander Starritt also presents us with a deft exploration of the moral contradictions inherent in saving one's own life at the cost of the lives of others and asks whether we can ever truly atone.
Subject: Grandparent and child > Fiction.
Interpersonal relations > Fiction.
Veterans > Fiction.
World War, 1939-1945 > Atrocities > Fiction.
Letters > Fiction.
History, Modern > 20th century > Fiction.
Genre: Historical fiction.
War fiction.
Summary: In the throes of the Second World War, young Meissner, a college student with dreams of becoming a scientist, is drafted into the German army and sent to the Eastern Front. But soon his regiment collapses in the face of the onslaught of the Red Army, hell-bent on revenge in its race to Berlin. Many decades later, now an old man reckoning with his past, Meissner pens a letter to his grandson explaining his actions, his guilt as a Nazi participator, and the difficulty of life after war. Found among his effects after his death, the letter is at once a thrilling story of adventure and a questing rumination on the moral ambiguity of war. In his years spent fighting the Russians and attempting afterward to survive the Gulag, Meissner recounts a life lived in perseverance and atonement. Wracked with shame--both for himself and for Germany--the grandfather explains his dark rationale, exults in the courage of others, and blurs the boundaries of right and wrong. We Germans complicates our most steadfast beliefs and seeks to account for the complicity of an entire country in the perpetration of heinous acts. In this breathless and page-turning story, Alexander Starritt also presents us with a deft exploration of the moral contradictions inherent in saving one's own life at the cost of the lives of others and asks whether we can ever truly atone.

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