Esteban del Mal's Reviews > The Kindly Ones

The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell
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's review
May 08, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: fiction, library-loan, novel, war
Read in April, 2009

A monstrous account of the Holocaust from the perspective of a Nazi bureaucrat who participated in it.
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by Paul (new)

Paul Bryant I would be interested in your take on this one if you could stand to remember it...!

Esteban del Mal Paul wrote: "I would be interested in your take on this one if you could stand to remember it...!"

About 500 pages too long. I could hardly improve upon this review, anyway:

message 3: by Reese (new)

Reese Enough said and said well.

message 4: by Paul (new)

Paul Bryant that was a great review.

Esteban del Mal Paul wrote: "that was a great review."

I don't think I've come across a bad one from him. Dude's got chops.

And thanks, Reese.

message 6: by Szplug (last edited Feb 25, 2012 11:46AM) (new)

Szplug Damn. Goddamn. Damn it all to eternal damnation. I came this close to putting this textual Tokyo into first gear earlier today. Now I think I'll have to slip it back into park and find a different vehicle.

Perhaps at a future date.

Esteban del Mal I dunno, Chris. You might take something away from it that I didn't. It seems that the GR community is viewing it less harshly now; when I read it, the average rating was wallowing in the low 3's. Now it comes in at an astonishing 3.77 (?!).

message 8: by Szplug (new)

Szplug It might be that I'd enjoy it, but I did a quick count of ratings amongst those GRers whose opinions I value, and it did not fare kindly for The Kindly Ones. I mean, I made it through a good chunk of Tomb for 500,000 Soldiers , so I've no doubt I could handle whatever Littell throws at me; I'm just not sure I want 900+ pages of that kind of experience if it's not absolutely top-shelf stuff.

The other odd thing is to discover so many who were disappointed with the translation by Charlotte Mandell, when she rendered the amazing Zone into pitch-perfect English.

Esteban del Mal Hmm. I usually (try to) cut translations some slack, but this one felt fine. In fact, Littell's first language is English and I'm sure he collaborated with her like a good little Vichy.

I'm too lazy to filter through the various reviews; perhaps they're making excuses for the novel itself? Of course, my memory of it has faded and, to be frank, not much of an impression was made in the first place.

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