Corny's Reviews > In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
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M 50x66
's review
Aug 11, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: non-fiction
Read in August, 2011

Why would anyone write a book about a naive, idealistic, wannabe ambassador and his promiscuous, moronic daughter? This covers a year in the life of the Dodds in excruciating detail. To what purpose? To tell us that the Nazi's were bad people? To give a sexual history of all of Martha Dodd's conquests? To learn that Dodd never got to finish writing his book, Old South? I can't imagine why the author thought that this subject was so compelling. Having read one of his earlier books which appropriately built suspense to the exciting climax, I was waiting for the payoff on this one. It never came. As I slogged through the final pages, I couldn't believe I had been suckered into reading the entire thing! One final thought: we learn almost nothing about the other two Dodds, Bill, the son, and Mattie, the mother because neither of them kept diaries. As a result, the book is a disjointed mess.
I was attracted to this book by all the promotion and publicity. I would advise others not to waste their time with it.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Laura I have to agree with you. I was impressed by the research and learned a lot that I didn't know. But I felt I had to struggle through the experiences of the Dodds. I have to say I was both horrified and bored.


Corny Laura wrote: "I have to agree with you. I was impressed by the research and learned a lot that I didn't know. But I felt I had to struggle through the experiences of the Dodds. I have to say I was both horrifie..."

Exactly my feelings!!


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