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After Dachau

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,854 Ratings  ·  132 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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(showing 1-30 of 2,869)
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Max Ostrovsky
May 11, 2012 Max Ostrovsky rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 12, 2012 Stephen Gallup rated it really liked it
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
Nov 24, 2011 Raelyn rated it liked it
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
Sep 16, 2012 Ru rated it liked it
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
Jan 06, 2015 Katie rated it really liked it
It is a thoroughly interesting book that keeps you interested until the little gem at the end. Highly recommend!
Jim George
Jan 16, 2015 Jim George rated it liked it
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
Jun 25, 2014 Adam Czarnecki rated it really liked it
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
Jun 23, 2009 Jeff rated it liked it
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
Aug 06, 2008 Mike Keane rated it liked it
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.
Laura Van
This book had a great premise...what if someone was reincarnated and suddenly remembered that lifetime, pushing their current "self" out of the picture? This concept was really interesting, and well-written. Then we get to the part where the author forces us to examine "what if" WWII had been won by the Nazis, and changed the world order. Also an interesting concept. However, I don't know that the two of ideas together really made for the best coherent story in the way it was told. Still, it was ...more
Anne Marie
Apr 14, 2016 Anne Marie rated it really liked it
I don't typically like novels, but I really enjoyed this. It started out like an episode of X-Files, and since I was the vice-president of the X-Files Club in 3rd grade, I was hooked.

I finished this book in a day. After the characters went through a phenomenal adventure, I felt slightly let down by some scenes toward the end. Some aspects of the story seemed out of place; they didn't quite fit, but Daniel Quinn didn't know how to tie it all together otherwise.

Besides those few bits, I really enj
AJ Dreadfulwater
Apr 05, 2016 AJ Dreadfulwater rated it really liked it
As always, Daniel Quinn never fails to deliver a new perspective.

Based on Napoleon's famous quotation, "History is a set of lies agreed upon", Quinn delves further into a question on mankind. Does what we fail to learn about ourselves, our species, our society as a whole, determine a truth that would reflect our current truth (having now pursued, or unearthed these unknowns)?

Daniel Quinn, the "always" teacher...

P.s. I found this review helper for further clarification of theme:
Feb 20, 2015 Patti rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 30, 2009 William rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 10, 2011 Lori rated it it was amazing
Shelves: author
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Crossett  Library
May 09, 2011 Crossett Library rated it liked it
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
Dec 22, 2011 Melanie rated it really liked it
"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
Susan Klinke
Sep 09, 2011 Susan Klinke rated it really liked it
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
Kathleen Hagen
After Dachau, by Daniel Quinn, Narrated by John McLain, Produced by Steerforth Press L.L.C. Downloaded from

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
Apr 20, 2016 Jeremiah rated it it was ok
Recommended to Jeremiah by: impulse buy whilst Christmas shopping
Shelves: white-male, dystopia
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
Jared Della Rocca
May 09, 2011 Jared Della Rocca rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
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
Aug 19, 2007 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, library
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
Jun 15, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it
This book sat on my shelves with good intentions and no reading for over a year. Once I started it, apart from little annoyances related to style, the plot drew me in to finish it in less than 24 hours. I'm not sure whether that says more about me or the book, but I think the average reader will find their time well spent. Interesting premise, not predictable for a moment and somewhat disturbing as a book with Dachau in the title might be expected to be.
Jun 21, 2016 Marshall rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I read this when it first came out. It was interesting to read it again, over a decade later. Daniel Quinn was my favorite writer. He has a penchant for exposing the fictions our society was built on. History is always told by the victors, and always portrays them in a favorable light. This book is about exactly that tendency. There are some fascinating, unexpected plot twists in it, but some of them feel a little forced and unrealistic. But if you've read his first book ( Ishmael), you know he' ...more
Mar 24, 2014 Nicole rated it really liked it
"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
Feb 13, 2015 Rebecca Ronayne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 13, 2014 Taryn Fink rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 20, 2010 Linnea rated it it was ok
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
Jun 04, 2015 Stephen rated it really liked it
A good story with surprising twists and turns, I loved it. This book is more subtle than some other Daniel Quinn books and his philosophy not so blatant. The one shortcoming is the dialog seems stilted and stiff. The story carries this book along at a good pace and it's hard to put it down.
Jul 20, 2016 Ben rated it liked it
The similarities to Vonnegut are uncanny, and it's a pretty amusing and enjoyable read that I pretty much took down in one sitting cover to cover. Definitely not as profound as Ishmael or Beyond Civ, but provided an some interesting perspective and a different voice for Quinn.
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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
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“Has it ever occurred to you to wonder if the history we teach our children is a lie?” 4 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” 2 likes
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