More titles to consider

Shopping Cart

You're getting the VIP treatment!

Item(s) unavailable for purchase
Please review your cart. You can remove the unavailable item(s) now or we'll automatically remove it at Checkout.
Ratings and Book Reviews (2 10 star ratings
2 reviews

Overall rating

4.1 out of 5
5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star
5 2 2 1 0

Share your thoughts

You've already shared your review for this item. Thanks!

We are currently reviewing your submission. Thanks!

Complete your review

All Book Reviews

  • 2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

    Thanks for your feedback!


    Although the writing suffers in a few places, “Every Man Dies Alone” is a great story. It focuses on the day-to-day life of regular Germans during WWII, and relates how scrutinized and terrorized many of them were. It also celebrates moral integrity. I like that the novel is based on a true story.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

    Thanks for your feedback!

    This is a beautiful book painting the lives of common people living through the terrible years of Nazi Germany, written just after the war by somebody who actually lived in lived through those years. Fallada introduces us to carpenter Otto Quangel and his stay at home wife Anna in the first chapter, and we stay with these main protagonists for the whole book - but all around them many diverse specimens of humanity help paint what it was like. None of these characters is flat or stereotypical: even for the more unidimensional among them we do get to see how they perceive themselves and justify their own actions. Some of the chapters are painful to go through: the Gestapo interrogations (especially those by inspector Laub), the trials of the People's Court are torturing. Some of these descriptions seem out of proportion, then you think that Fallada himself experienced interrogations and prison, and it gets more blood curling. As one would expect, we see depicted the struggle between the pure evil of Nazism and the fundamental decency of those who could simply not debase themselves, that could not be satisfied with trying to get by since nobody can win on his own. A stubborness in dignity, summarised in an exchange between Quangel and and Sr. Richard: Would you rather live for an un­just cause than die for a just one? There is no choice—not for you, nor for me ei­ther. It’s be­cause we are as we are that we have to go this way In spite of this I find myself disagreeing with Geoff Wilkes in the afterword, when he writes that "whereas Hanna Aredt's Eichmann in Jerusalem (1936) dissects and analyzes "the banality of evil", Hans Fallada's Every Man Dies Alone comprehends and honors the banality of good". True, some of the actions of passive resistance (which often translated in a death sentence) are born of a set of accidental circumstances and then metamorphose in stronger acts of defiance almost on their own, as if extra cogs thrown into a mechanism were somehow slotted into place. And yes, once these ordinary people cross the path of the Gestapo, nothing much can help them (as is the case of Enno Kluge, Trudel and Karl). But these people, who lived in absolute terror of putting a foot wrong unwittingly, were very aware of the terrible consequences of even the meekest act of resistance: crossing knowingly the threshold of the 'unlawful' required a great deal of courage. Having read this book without knowing anything about Fallada, couple of times I found him heavy handed, excessive somehow in uderscoring the point just made: for instance, after a prisoner commits suicide while in the care of a priest In con­se­quence of this sui­cide, it was the prison chap­lain, Friedrich Lorenz, who was sus­pended from duty, rather than the drunken doc­tor. Charges were laid against the priest. Be­cause it was a crime and the abet­ting of a crime to en­able a pris­oner to put an end to his own life: only the state and its ser­vants were sup­posed to have that pre­rog­a­tive. This is clear enough, then Fallada feels the need to add If a de­tec­tive pis­tol-whips a man so badly that his skull is frac­tured, and if a drunken doc­tor al­lows the in­jured man to die, both are an ex­am­ple of due process. Whereas if a priest fails to hin­der a sui­cide, if he al­lows a pris­oner to ex­er­cise his or her will—that will is sup­posed to have been taken away—then he has com­mit­ted a crime and must be pun­ished. As a piece of literature, this second paragraph seems unnecessary. But considering this novel was written in about a month, just over one year and a half after the fall of Hitler, this is just raw rage from a survivor. It is a beautifully written book, and one that will stay with me for a long time.

You can read this item using any of the following Kobo apps and devices:

  • IOS