The Kindly Ones
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Named one of the "100 Best Books of the Decade" by The Times of London
"Oh my human brothers, let me tell you how it happened."
A former Nazi officer, Dr. Maximilien Aue has reinvented himself, many years after the war, as a middle-class family man and factory owner in France. An intellectual steeped in philosophy, literature, and classical music, he is also a cold-blooded assassin and the consummate bureaucrat. Through the eyes of this cultivated yet monstrous man we experience in disturbingly precise detail the horrors of the Second World War and the Nazi genocide of the Jews. Eichmann, Himmler, Göring, Speer, Heydrich, Höss—even Hitler himself—play a role in Max's story. An intense and hallucinatory historical epic, The Kindly Ones is also a morally challenging read. It holds a mirror up to humanity—and the reader cannot look away.
Publishers Weekly Review
© Publishers Weekly
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.
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.