Michelle'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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's review
Dec 14, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: history
Read from December 12 to 13, 2011

I love it when nonfiction is in the hands of a master storyteller and you don't have to worry about anything external--you can just sit back and enjoy the scene being painted for you and forget everything else. Larson is that kind of nonfiction storyteller and this is masterful. This chronicles the reactions of the US Ambassador to Berlin in 1933 and his daughter, and follows their progression to being pretty pro-Nazi to the disillusionment and even fear they felt by the time of the Night of the Long Knives. Larson really brings a sense of the German landscape as happy and cheerful in the Dodds' eyes at first and then we see and experience with them as they slowly come to realize what a sinister place they are living in. Extremely well done.

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