Gaurav's Reviews > Winnie And Wolf

Winnie And Wolf by A.N. Wilson
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's review
Aug 04, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: history, germany, nazism
Read in August, 2009

I thought there were lots of strange little flaws in this book: the frame story, for instance, I found fairly unconvincing, didn't think it worked very well, and in fact thought it was entirely unnecessary. I think I also missed references to Wagner's personal history and musical career, which form a backdrop to the story as it progresses. Although the author strains to portray the familial, gentle and complex character of Adolf Hitler, I think - despite some fantastic early portrayals - he ultimately degenerates into the larger-than-myth cliché so familiar to us.

Where the author excels is his spellbinding and heartfelt portrait of a family torn in the dying days of the Weimer Republic and twisted by the rise of Nazism and the coming of War. The puppy-love which forms the central relationship of the book is also told wonderfully. The stories of Wagner's life, which I couldn't directly connect to the rest of the story, form an engrossing and enlightening read, and perfectly dovetail into the finale. The author and his family are immediately sympathetic characters, and it is a pleasure to share in their joys and sorrows.

Not a great book, in my opinion, but definitely a fine read. I'd rate this a 3.5 out of 5.

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