Hello everyone and welcome to my blog, how are you?
So today I am going to be reviewing the first book that I have finished in a long time, and I must admit that it has taken me a while to do so because of how busy my schedule has been. I am normally someone that reads books very fast and regularly, but things have been so busy here so I just haven’t had the time. But anyway, I am here now and have officially finished Ben Elton’s Two Brother’s novel, so let’s get into it.
Now I must first confess that I have never actually red any of Ben Elton’s previous work, but as someone that is interested in Nazi Germany and attracted to the wonderful offers that WH Smith often have on their books, I did pick this one up a few weeks back.
So the story is set during the run up to the Second World War and focuses on the lives of two brothers, one of whom is unknowingly adopted. The novel gives an interesting insight into life before and during Nazi Germany, something that many similar books often fail to do, usually only focussing on one specific element. The story starts with the birth of the brothers and interestingly in the same year, the birth of the Nazi party and we observe as both grow in size and knowledge, watching as they make their first friends and face the troubles that 1920s Germany had. The main story only really begins when the Nazis take office and the plethora of anti-Semitic measures is passed, the family are of course Jewish but unknown to the brothers, only one of them is. Tear jerking, beautiful and times incredibly moving it gives you the often neglected “human” side of the holocaust, because while numbers and facts are crucial, these little stories really tell us what went on.
It’s pretty well written, and although there are reams of facts it is written in a very engaging and pacey manner. The story moves pretty fast but the really important events, both historically and in the context of the novel, are given sufficient time to form and develop. At times the language used by some of the characters struck me as being slightly too modern, I’m no expert but that’s how it felt, but I loved that the characters had a wonderful amount of dimension. Although I did enjoy reading it I was grossly aware that it was only a novel and at times the story was slightly unrealistic, but then you can forgive that because the amount of factual evidence the novel contains, and it really does get across the horrific circumstances beautifully. The only other criticism I would offer is that perhaps there is too much scope for one book to cover, and some scenes would have fared better with a bit more space within in which to run.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for something a bit different, or anyone with an interest in holocaust history. I don’t think I will be in any hurry to read any of Ben Elton’s other books. 4/5.
Next I am reading- The Revenge Wear’s Parada and Peter Hain’s biography