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After Dachau

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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  1,662 ratings  ·  116 reviews
Daniel Quinn, well known for Ishmael – a life-changing book for readers the world over – once again turns the tables and creates an otherworld that is very like our own, yet fascinating beyond words. Imagine that Nazi Germany was the first to develop an atomic bomb and the Allies surrendered. America was never bombed, occupied, or even invaded, but was nonetheless forced t ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 3rd 2006 by Steerforth (first published 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,486)
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Max Ostrovsky
Seeing the word "Dachau" automatically puts into mind certain very specific impressions. I think of World War II, I think of the extermination of the Jews, I think of death and humankind at its worst. When I was lent the book by Daniel Quinn, After Dachau, I was very reluctant to reading it. I immediately told my friend that I really don't read books like these. These kinds of books really hit me hard. Every time I read or watch a movie/story about anything the Jewish people had to go through du ...more
Stephen Gallup
This alternative-history raises the question: What if everything you've been taught about history were wrong? (Actually, I fear that young adults today are indeed being sent forth with an unsupportable world-view, but that's a separate rant.) In Quinn's novel, the characters' understanding is so different from our own that the reader's eventual discovery of it is one of the biggest surprises in reading that I can recall. For me, it was jaw-dropping.

UPDATE: I’ve now read it again, four years aft
...more
Raelyn
For a moment, imagine a reality where the Nazis won, and completed their campaign to rid the world of “mongrel races”. Such is the case in After Dachau, a story 2000 years after World War II, where citizens are completely ignorant of previously existing races. Protagonist Jason Tull has no special attributes to live up to the legacy his father left behind. Instead, he has a fascination with the possibility of reincarnation. When he hears the story of Mallory Hastings, he believes he has found hi ...more
Ru
Two thirds of this dystopic novel are outstanding. Without spoiling anything, you clearly know something is up the deeper you get into it, but you don't fully put it together. It is sort of like a "Twilight Zone" episode where you know a twist is probably coming, and, similarly, it is more enjoyable to just let it happen. I would recommend reading no synopses or reviews, and just go in with the knowledge that this book basically deals with reincarnation.

The first third of the story is, for my ta
...more
Katie
It is a thoroughly interesting book that keeps you interested until the little gem at the end. Highly recommend!
Jim George
Okay here it is; 2000 years after the 20th century, a wealthy college graduate accepts a position for the Reincarnation Institute. While employed at the Institute he stumbles onto a case where a young woman is involved in an accident and goes into a comma, upon waking she can no longer speak and unexplainably only knows sign language, and no longer recognizes her family, colleagues, or peers. The reincarnation guy believes she may be his "golden case" and sets upon her. Together they discover sh ...more
Adam Czarnecki
What if Hitler was right? It's a shock value statement, obviously, but it’s worth considering when going into this book. In this alternate history, Hitler won. The concentration camps weren’t concentration camps at all—they were glorious battles against the horrendous, uncivilized and unevolved lower races, who sought to bring down the superior Aryans by subtly poisoning their culture and diluting the Aryan gene-pool with interbreeding. Why, had we lost the battle of Dachau, who knows what might ...more
Jeff
Probably my least favorite Quinn novel but still an interesting read. Like The Holy, Quinn's philosophy on food production and a degenerating culture are only a backdrop to the main story. Not much to say other than I like the premise of portraying the world far in the future, and seeing what life would be like if Hitler won World War II. Nobody really thinks about that but that's the wonder of Daniel Quinn; he writes about what one would hardly ever think of.
Mike Keane
the beginning of this book is not very good. by the end quinn has pulled it all together and it finishes fairly strong. the bad part is you feel no connection to the characters, the writing is overly simple and he doesn't fully develop his ideas BUT he still manages to come up with an idea or two i never thought of.
Kelly
very good. Very very thought provoking. Deserves a much more literate review, but it is dark, and I am one finger typing on an iPad, so this is what u get.

The One thing that keeps coming to my mind, is when the character first sees the picture of "the African girl" there was no shock. He thought she was "cute as the proverbial button" but did not feel surprised that he thought that. Typically, a part of demonizing someone is to portray them as...well...demons. And when he sees that she was not t
...more
Patti
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
William
Nov 30, 2009 William rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: ages 16+
In After Dachau, Daniel Quinn paints a horrifying yet all-too-plausible version of history as we know it. It succeeds as an Orwellian cautionary tale and consciousness-raising piece mainly because at first glance it appears to be neither. The beginning of the book recounts the exploits of a bored, blue-blooded aristocrat’s son as he pursues the eccentric hobby of globetrotting in search of individuals who have been ‘reincarnated’ and miraculously recall memories from a previous life. In one of t ...more
Lori
Feb 10, 2011 Lori rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: author
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Crossett  Library
Reviewed by Jared:
This novel is an extended variation of a parable Quinn utilized in one of his earlier novels, My Ishmael, I believe. The original parable was succint and to the point, and forwarded the overall purpose of the novel. I believe that Quinn is a stronger writer of parables as opposed to book-length parables. Now, lest anyone be confused, I do NOT consider Ishmael, The Story of B, or My Ishmael to be book-length parables. They are excellent novels, and it was because of their excell
...more
Melanie
"After Dachau" was a quick read (read it all in one day!) at a little over 250 pages.

Author Quinn quickly feeds you into the story and within five pages you feel a connection with the main character and most of the sub characters.

The story touches a place in your mind that is rarely explored, reincarnation of souls into others bodies. I related with the story even before opening the first page because I've always felt that I was a Knight in a previous life. (strange, right?!)

Quinn loosely relat
...more
Susan Klinke
I added this book to my To Read list over a year ago and couldn't remember why, other than the fact that it was written by Daniel Quinn, author of Ishmael, one of my favorite books.

The book was a surprise since the description on the jacket of my edition is different from that given in Goodreads, which I never read. I thought the plot was going to revolve around reincarnation, which doesn't much interest me. But hey, it was written by Daniel Quinn. I thought the title of the book would be someh
...more
Kathleen Hagen
After Dachau, by Daniel Quinn, Narrated by John McLain, Produced by Steerforth Press L.L.C. Downloaded from audible.com.

Imagine that Nazi Germany was the first to develop an atomic bomb and the Allies surrendered. America was never bombed, occupied, or even invaded, but was nonetheless forced to recognize Nazi world dominance. The Nazis continued to press their campaign
to rid the planet of "mongrel races" until eventually the world - from Capetown to Tokyo - was populated by only white faces and
...more
Jeremiah
Jan 01, 2011 Jeremiah rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jeremiah by: impulse buy whilst Christmas shopping
This is a quick and often clever amusement. I really liked it on that level. But it is not something that should be taken seriously. The book is billed as "Orwellian," but it doesn't come close. It lacks the mechanisms of control, the urgency, and the sense of inescapability that made 1984 so good. If this book says anything, it is that if we're patient, sooner or later things will get fixed. Not "Orwellian."

And yet, I still came away with the impression that, like many dystopian novels, this wa
...more
Jared Della Rocca
This novel is an extended variation of a parable Quinn utilized in one of his earlier novels, My Ishmael, I believe. The original parable was succint and to the point, and forwarded the overall purpose of the novel. I believe that Quinn is a stronger writer of parables as opposed to book-length parables. Now, lest anyone be confused, I do NOT consider Ishmael, The Story of B, or My Ishmael to be book-length parables. They are excellent novels, and it was because of their excellence that I delved ...more
Jessica
I really enjoy reading alternative history books because of the causal relationships between particular events and how those events shape and reform the future. After Dachau lived up to this premise very well. Something that happened in our reality as we know it failed to happen in the book (I won't give any spoilers, but I am sure the word 'Dachau' gives away the Holocaust aspect). Quinn then threads through the timeline extremely well, creating a world that is thoroughly touched in every way b ...more
Nicole
"History is a set of lies agreed upon."

That's about all I want to say as far as the plot of this incredibly engaging "what if" story. I couldn't put it down once I started reading it. The book may not be perfect but it is certainly one that will make you think, and question how much of ancient "history" as we know it today is based on truth, or simply written to fit the objectives of the victors.
Rebecca Ronayne
Great Storytelling

This is the third book written by Daniel Quinn that I have read, and I enjoyed this one just as much as I have enjoyed the other two. Besides being well-written it is an engrossing fun book to read. Quinn knows how to take his readers into his strange world. I for one am glad this story is one from his imagination and not inspired by historical fact.
Taryn Fink
This book made me physically angry. I mean wanting to punch a wall, throw something, angry. But I think that is truly the mark of a good author; someone who can get you so invested in character development, storyline, and concept, that you resonate with it to that degree. Definitely a scary premise for a book, but well-written and quite gripping.
Linnea
This book has an interesting premise, and I was intrigued enough to read this on a friend's recommendation. I was disappointed, however. The writing is simplistic, and the author leaves nothing for the reader to figure out for themselves. The plot was weak, the characters underdeveloped, and the story seemed like it was merely a way for the author to publish his own agenda. The supposed revelation in the story comes as the main character quizzes a room full of school girls on their knowledge of ...more
Victoria Vivian
I liked this book. It had a very interesting take on what would have happened had the Nazi's, or better yet, theNazi ideals won out after WWII. The main character was difficult for me to be interested in but the rest of the story made this worth overlooking.
Lynne
I like the brain puzzle premise...history is an agreed upon fiction. Quinn is great at teasing out beliefs not common to the mediocrity. Loved Ishmael. Agree with complaints about delivery...doesn't quite make it on that score.
Toni
I really enjoyed this book and thought it was an interesting thought provoking story; one which I could not stop thinking about for days. Very interested in reading more by this author.
Kaley
Read this book by the author of Ishmael after reading that book. Interested in the topic of souls, reincarnation, sociology in general, I found the book to be a quick entertaining read. I was expecting more of a treatise against racism and felt like I got more of a statement on carrying torches for causes that matter to us as individuals even if no one else gives a damn.

Reviews on Ishmael border on evangelical and it feels like After Dachau explores some of the same issues but through a filter o
...more
Karen
imagine a world where the 'aryan' race as described by Adolph Hitler has taken over the world, eliminating all other 'mongrol' races. Imagine also that reincarnation exists. This is the premise for a most interesting book by Daniel Quinn. I have often wondered what it would be like to find out that I was not who I thought I was, that I was actually someone else. This book is just such a story. In the same style as 1984 and brave New World, Mr. Quinn take us on a journey into a future quite unlik ...more
Landon
NOTE: DO NOT READ THE BACK JACKET OF THIS BOOK!!!!! SOME EFFING IDIOT WROTE A SPOILER ON THE BACK JACKET OF ONE OF THE SOFTCOVER EDITIONS. READ IT ON RECOMMENDATION ALONE IF YOU HAVE TO, BUT DON'T SPOIL IT FOR YOURSELF!!!!

This is another truly excellent book. It has tremedous heart and one of the most cleverly concealed "twist" endings I've ever come across. It also holds the distiction of being a book that is totally untranslatable to film or theater. It cannot, ever, under any circumstances be
...more
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10330
I had and did the usual things -- childhood, schools, universities (St. Louis, Vienna, Loyola of Chicago), then embarked on a career in publishing in Chicago. Within a few years I was the head of the Biography & Fine Arts Department of the American Peoples Encyclopedia; when that was subsumed by a larger outfit and moved to New York, I stayed behind and moved into educational publishing, begin ...more
More about Daniel Quinn...
Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit My Ishmael The Story of B: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit Beyond Civilization: Humanity's Next Great Adventure The Holy

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“Has it ever occurred to you to wonder if the history we teach our children is a lie?” 2 likes
“People think I am being modest when I tell them I know absolutely nothing about art. But if they show me a piece of student work, I won't have the slightest idea whether it's art or even "good". What I do know is whether such things hang or stand in the houses of the rich - or in the museums where the rich allow their treasures to be seen. And when people understand this, they'll instantly agree with what I said in the first place, that I know absolutely nothing about art. - pg. 76” 1 likes
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