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Address Unknown

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  1,975 ratings  ·  281 reviews
A rediscovered classic, originally published in 1938 --

and now an international bestseller.

When it first appeared in Story magazine in 1938, Address Unknown became an immediate social phenomenon and literary sensation. Published in book form a year later and banned in Nazi Germany, it garnered high praise in the United States and much of Europe.

A series of fictional letter

Published March 1st 2002 by Souvenir Press (first published January 1st 1938)
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Jun 06, 2012 Flannery rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Flannery by: Elizabeth
I was browsing Goodreads the other day and a short review came through my feed. I'd never heard of the book before but Elizabeth rarely gives books five stars so I was intrigued. I immediately put it on hold at my library and read it as soon as I got home today. I was skeptical about the claims made about the book, including the front cover quote from the New York Times Review:

"This modern story is perfection itself. It is the most effective indictment of Nazism to appear in fiction."

Address Unk
Address Unknown by Kressman Taylor is an amazing little book.

The narrative consists of a series of letters exchanged between Max, a Jewish man living in California, and Martin, his German business partner and close family friend, recently returned to Germany; and this correspondence takes place shortly before Hitler takes power.

I noted that I had added this book to my"To Read" list on Jan 01st 2012 and only got around to reading it on Dec 30th 2012. Boy! did I leave the best wine until last. T
Lisa Vegan
Jun 23, 2012 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody, especially those interested in history & social justice, like twist endings
Recommended to Lisa by: Chrissie
The edition I read has a wonderfully informative foreword by the author’s son. The foreword does give some information that gave me a clue as to what was coming in the story, but it didn’t really contain any spoilers.

A few of my Goodreads’ friends have read this story recently and their reviews and comments definitely piqued me interest.

So, wow! This story was published first in 1938, and I can see why it’s a classic.

I can’t remember the last time I so enjoyed a story, in this case told via lett
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
Originally published in 1938, The New York Times Book Review hailed it as "the most effective indictment of Nazism to appear in fiction." In 1995, a year before the author died, it was reissued and gained the status of an American classic. After her death, it became a bestseller in Europe.

The novel is epistolary and roughly based on real-life experiences of the author. Two very close friends and business partners in San Francisco, California, a Jew and a German. The latter, a kind, liberal-mind
This is an extremely quick read, easily read in one sitting. What is amazing about this book is that it came out so early - in 1938, first in the magazine Story! It is about the holocaust, the consequences of a few letters between a Jew in San Francisco and a friend in Germany. How did it happen that the Germans believed in Hitler? How can long term friendship be so quickly stamped out? And what could be the consequences of just a few letters?
Diane S.
Found this little book and was absolutely astonished at how much it accomplished in so few pages. Friends and partners, one Jewish, one German and the letters they sent back and forth from Germany to the United States, show the rise of Hitler and the changing viewpoints of the Germans as they came to accept them as their leader and hope for the future. Loved the way revenge was taken at the end of the book. Heartfelt and poignant.
An utter masterpiece - the kind of novel(la) that you just thank providence for putting in your path. An epistolry tale of the correspondence between a German in Germany and a Jew in the US in the build up to World War II (and indeed written prior to the outbreak). That Ms Kressmann Taylor saw the writing on the wall is impressive but is not the reason for the book's greatness. Rather the breathtaking skill by which the plot an characterisation creeps out through the interchange of letters like ...more
Shared history.
Divergent lives.
Nazi Germany.


This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Si legge in mezz’ora. E’ un romanzo epistolare, genere che amo poco, ma che, in questo caso risulta riuscitissimo. In poco più di 70 paginette, riviviamo la storia di una grande amicizia, di un inaspettato “tradimento” e di una impeccabile vendetta. Non riesce a coinvolgere davvero, è troppo “rapido” per poterlo fare, ma ha una sua armonia ed è secco e preciso come la lama di un bisturi: “occhio per occhio, dente per dente, vita per vita”.
Originale, per certi versi. Un riassunto efficace di qua
It is explosive! Tension kept building and building until the ending when shock exploded inside me. I was stunned by the direction the story took. It displayed the power of words in so many ways and it left me amazed, disgusted and apprehensive. Yes, all three emotions at the same time. And the story is written in 64 pages.

Set just before World War 2, Address Unknown is a series of fictional letters between two close friends, both German, one a Jew and the other non-Jewish. The Jewish friend (Ma
A pesar de su brevedad, en este caso para mí es un defecto más que una virtud porque mediante el intercambio de cartas se podría haber profundizado mas, el efecto inesperado que consigue la autora y el abanico de impresiones con el que nos hace recorrer la historia hacen que sea un librito muy recomendable.
Viji Sarath (Bookish endeavors)
That. Was. Perfect. Simply perfect.!!
Written in the style of a collection of letters,this work of fiction is about two friends,or rather a German and a Jew to talk in the terms of these letters. In the beginning we see the depth if their friendship and as time passes by,we see it deteriorating. Towards the end,the German fails to save the Jew's sister who is also his ex-lover and thus breaking every semblance of friendship between them. In these letters,we see the slow poisoning of minds,how go
Address Unknown is a very slight book. It is told in letters between Max Eisenstein in the US and Martin Schulz in Germany, and begins in 1932. They are business partners, and friends, both have fond memories of Germany, where Martin is originally from. And both seem to start out with similar beliefs and politics. But then comes the rise of Hitler, and where Max sees cause for alarm Martin sees a chance for humiliated Germany to rise up.

I had never heard of this book before it was sent back to H

È davvero un peccato che un libro come questo sia così poco noto.
Destinatario sconosciuto è la storia di due amici.
Uno, Max, è un ebreo americano. L'altro, Martin, è un cristiano tedesco. La storia è presentata sotto forma di scambio epistolare tra i due, ed è ambientata nel 1933.
Avrete sicuramente capito di cosa parla il libro.

Dai punti di vista di Max e di Martin, scorgiamo il sorgere del nazismo, e intuiamo, e leggiamo di quali orrori sia stato capace, di cosa sia riuscito a fare chi, come Ma
A powerful little gem of a book. This is a series of letters between a San Francisco art dealer and his former partner who has moved back to Germany. It takes place between 1932 and 1934 and as readers, we're witness to the rise of Nazism through the exchanges. The art dealer -- Max -- is Jewish and his friend Martin is not, and over the course of their letters, Hitler's rise to power is not only mentioned, but it changes the entirety of their friendship.

This is a quick read, but it's a memorab
A very short work of fiction, only about 50 small pages in my edition, consisting of letters written between two German friends and business partners in the early 1930s. Martin has returned to Germany and writes from Munich; Max remains in the United states, and is anxious to query his friend about the disturbing stories being told of events in their homeland.

The book manages to be moving and disturbing, despite its brevity. Don’t read too much about this beforehand - it will ruin the impact.
Una histoira de amistad que deja al descubierto la debilidad de los valores. Y que en pocas páginas nos describe la evolución y ascención del nazismo; y la rapidez de propagación del odio.
Corto pero de una brillante lucidez.
A small book with a big punch. This correspondence between two friends is chilling.
No need to say more. This is an intense piece of work and said so much in so short a book.
Un brevísimo relato (epistolar) para leer durante el desayuno de un sábado de sol y lluvia.
Wow. Very simple but very chilling.

Max (a Jew) and Martin (a German) are friends living in America. At the start of the book Martin returns to Germany just as Adolf Hitler is rising to power. Max and Martin keep up correspondence until it becomes politically risky for Martin to keep receiving letters, but Max is worried about his younger sister Griselle, an actress who disappears in Berlin, and asks Martin for his help.

The ending is superb. It's a short read but very rewarding.

You can actuall
Amanda Nissen
Wow. I wasn't sure about it, especially as it was so short, but it was incredible. I feel somewhat shaken about such emotion can be packed into such a small story is amazing. I think in retrospect making it longer would only have lessened the impact of the story.

A great book, it will only take a short while to read, but it will stay with you for a long time.


The first half gives you a hint of what can come, but up until the Dec 8, 1933 letter I still had hope that Martin would t
Pete Young
A very brief and neat exposure of the realities of Nazism, written by an acutely aware observer in the distant US before the Second World War had even begun. Two German-American friends and art dealers, one a Jew, conduct some friendly correspondence after the other returns to Munich in 1933, where he then falls under the enchanting spell of Adolf Hitler. A small but tragic event follows in Munich which, suffice to say, ensures a brilliant response. There's not much else that can be said about A ...more
Surprisingly effective short story (50 pages) illustrating the immense power that can be wielded in words. It was written in 1938 to counter the ignorance in U.S. about what was happening in Nazi Germany. The inspiration was a real incident in which some American students in Germany were put at risk by letters from their fraternity brothers back home, who thought it would be funny to write them letters making fun of Hitler. She herself had known a German family she describes as "cultivated, inte ...more
I thought this Brilliant. It's basically an exchange of letters between two people. As the correspondence continues you begin to realize just exactly what is going on. Because it's an exchange of letters you're reading, it feels a bit like reading somebody's diary, so that's a bit odd. The thing is, the book is all the more intimate for all that and it really draws you in to another world. Highly recommended!
Lucy VanPelt
Un racconto magistrale - perfetto nella struttura formale, essenziale e misurato nella scrittura, affilatissimo e implacabile nelle implicazioni morali. In pochissime pagine, uno dei testi più profondi e rigorosi sulla posizione personale di ciascuno nei confronti dei totalitarismo. Il perfetto contraltare di "Ognuno muore solo" di Fallada - dove Fallada racconta l'eroismo dell'uomo comune che apre gli occhi davanti al male e si rende conto di non poter più tornare a chiuderli, la Kressman Taylo ...more
Harrowing I think here is the word to use. I was given this little book as a Christmas present from relatives and kind of tossed it aside - too full of turkey to read and whatnot. However, I picked up in those few days when you are preparing for Hogmanay and Merlin's beard did it shock me. I found myself truly trying to imagine being in the characters' shoes, and in a way - despite history lessons and other books about WWII - this is the one that hit home.
I can only urge people to read this -
Jill Hutchinson
This is an amazing and disturbing little book....only 64 pages long, it packs a punch in every page. First published in 1938 and banned in Nazi Germany when released, it is comprised of letters between two friends. One is a Jewish man living in the US and the other is his Gentile partner in their art gallery who has, with his family, returned home to Germany just as Hitler is coming to power. As the book progresses, the change in the tone and content of the letters will chill your soul and the e ...more
Small book, powerful punch.
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“But there is another realm where we can always find something true, the fireside of a friend, where we shed our little conceits and find warmth and understanding, where small selfishnesses are impossible and where wine and books and talk give a different meaning to existence.
There we have made something that no falseness can touch. We are at home.”
“We are vain and we are dishonest because it is necessary to triumph over other vain and dishonest persons.” 0 likes
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