The Kindly Ones
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“Simply astounding. . . . The Kindly Ones is unmistakably the work of a profoundly gifted writer.” — Time A literary prize-winner that has been an explosive bestseller all over the world, Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones has been called “a brilliant Holocaust novel… a world-class masterpiece of astonishing brutality, originality, and force,” and “relentlessly fascinating, ambitious beyond scope,” by Michael Korda (Ike, With Wings Like Eagles). Destined to join the pantheon of classic epics of war such as Tolstoy’s War and Peace and Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate, The Kindly Ones offers a profound and gripping experience of the horrors of World War II and the Holocaust.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
Spectacular in its breadth, scope, intent and achievement
This book reads as though written by a master historian crossed with a poet. Intense, thorough, brilliant, the work is not to be missed. A lyrical beauty pervades the prose, which suggests that the dreadful subject matter is subsumed in said beauty. This is not the case, however. Rather, the author has imbued his work with beauty to enhance the terrible notions underlying the work.
I found myself caught up in the prime character with thorough intrigue and marveled how well the author constructed the swirling atmosphere of the declining days of Hitler's Germany.
While I couldn't put the book down, I grew to dislike the main character as he was terribly self indulgent and self centered, but at the same time, I was very drawn to the history as it was happening.
Without divulging the ending, I thought it could have been played better as it simply ends with a bizarre act with no further cause.