Metropolis A Bernie Gunther Novel By Kerr, Philip Book - 2019

Words cannot begin to describe the pleasure gleaned from reading Metropolis by Philip Kerr.

It is set in Berlin 1928ish and soo soo good, making it all the more painful to accept that Mr. Kerr is gone. The research that man did... the deft way he weaves richly colored threads of social history into a book peopled with real (e.g., Fritz Lang and Lotte Lenya) and fictional characters. Nothing here feels contrived. All the characters, but especially Bernie Gunther, radiate the teeming humanity and, yes, the darkness, of the late Weimar Republic and the rise of the Nazi Party. We see how bureaucratic and criminal dynamics shape the politics of Extreme Left and Extreme Right in a struggling democracy.

This book also reflects the complex social reaction in Germany to the World War One wounded warriors, many of whom were maimed and living on the streets. Kerr poignantly shows how--tragically--these disabled men were like salt in the wounds of the German people, who were already ashamed at having lost the Great War.

Kerr's plot flows quickly and, until up to the very end, unpredictably.

Metropolis is one of those rare books one can read again and again. Its content is so rich that it should be required reading for classes covering this era.

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