Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Max” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.02  ·  Rating details ·  53 ratings  ·  22 reviews
An astonishing, moving tribute to Alex's friend, Max Blatt, that is at once a meditation on memory itself, on friendship and a reminder to the reader that history belongs to humanity.

'Max tells of Alex Miller's search -- in turns fearful and elated -- for the elusive past of Max Blatt, a man he loves, who loved him and who taught him that he must write with love. Miller di
Paperback, 262 pages
Published September 29th 2020 by Allen & Unwin (first published 2020)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Max, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Max

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  53 ratings  ·  22 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Max
Gloria Arthur
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-bookshelf
⭐️3.5 Stars⭐️
This is a non-fiction account of the authors search to find out more about the history of his late friend's life. His friend Max Blatt is a holocaust survivor and was a mentor and friend to Alex Miller.

Max had only revealed fragments of his life during the war to Alex who after his death travels overseas to learn more and search for Max’s remaining family.

The central theme of this story is connection and the way our lives past and present are connected to other people, new friendshi
Oct 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Part memoir, part biography, part tribute to a friend, Max tells of Alex Miller’s search for the life and family of his friend Max Blatt. Max revealed only fragments of his life prior to moving to Australia. One thing he did tell Miller was that he was arrested and tortured by the Gestapo. “What broke me,’he confessed that evening, in words I have not forgotten, ‘was when I realised my tormentor was my brother.”
Miller travels to Poland and Germany to discover what he can. This is a moving book,
Nov 28, 2020 marked it as not-finished  ·  review of another edition
I previously read Miller’s fictionalised autobiography, The Passage of Love, in which the real person Max Blatt appears as the character Martin Bloch. Miller has recently published this non-fiction book about his search for Max Blatt’s story. He knew he had been tortured by the Gestapo and had escaped to eventually find refuge in Australia. I was keen to follow Miller's exploration but about a third of the way through I gave it up. I felt it was a rather meandering approach and that I was not le ...more
Oct 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Max, the novel by Alex Miller is a beautiful and very interesting account and memoir of one very important man's life.

It's very well written and portrayed.

Thank you to the publishers, Allen and Unwin for a copy of this book to read.
Richard Harrison
Sep 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Deeply affecting and interesting, I devoured this book very quickly but I need some time to really allow it to soak in. Largely the story of the author's quest to unearth the history of his late friend and holocaust survivor, it largely delves into the impermanence of history, the way so much is lost or skewed by perspective. Was definitely fascinated by the author's recollections of his friend and the personal impact of the search. It felt at times as if the book told me more about Miller himse ...more
Oct 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Max, by Alex Miller, is the poignant account of the author's quest to discover the truth about a man who thought his life was futile.  It is, as the blurb says:
An astonishing, moving tribute to Alex's friend, Max Blatt, that is at once a meditation on memory itself, on friendship and a reminder to the reader that history belongs to humanity

Max Blatt was the husband of Ruth Blatt, who was a friend of my mother's.  She went to Ruth for private lessons in German, but she never mentioned Max, and no
Jan 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is the story of Alex Miller telling the story of Max Blatt. Max was a Jewish German spy and Alex's best friend. Alex reveals small fragments of Max and his family's life stories while describing his travels and quests to uncover Max's history. I enjoyed this part of the book, Miller would make a great travel writer! I found the sections about Max to be too fragmented to really connect with though, maybe I need to read The Passage of Love which is a fictionalised take on Max's history. I als ...more
Lesley Moseley
Jan 16, 2021 rated it liked it
3 1/2. stars. Almost gave up about 1/3 of the way, but went on and suddenly, as happened to me , when doing my own geology research, amazing 'coincidences' happens. You 'bump' into people who know someone, and the whole project starts gathering a pace of it own. Ended up really glad I continued. ...more
Pam Tickner
Dec 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Thank you Allen and Unwin for sending me a copy of this book, a tribute to Miller's holocaust survivor friend Max Blatt. It is foremost a reminiscence on the meaning of friendship and a search for truths which may never be known. ...more
John Reid
Sep 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ruth spoke to Alex one day in 1981, asking why he hadn’t attended Max’s funeral. It all began as a shock of guilt… ‘The shock of grief came later, when I was alone.’

Alex Miller is a noted Australian author and playwright. The Max about whom he writes was Max Blatt, a Polish Jew and union organiser opposed to Hitler’s National Socialism who was imprisoned and tortured, but who made good his escape after WW2, with his wife Ruth, through Asia and, finally, from China to Australia.

Max had been a me
Anna Maree
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In this book Alex Miller takes us along with him as he decides to find out more about the life of his long time friend Max Blatt. Max had shared snippets of his life with Alex over the many years of their friendship but now that Max has passed away there are many questions that are left unanswered. No matter how well we think we know someone there will always be things from there past and even their deepest inner turmoil in the present that we simply have no knowledge of.
Alex stated that he didn
Dec 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
(4.5) Alex Miller, the highly respected Australian author, well understood the responsibility and sacredness attached to the act of remembrance. In accepting that responsibility, Miller undertook to research the Holocaust experience of his best friend and mentor, Max Blatt, decades after Blatt's death. Miller also understood that in respecting Blatt's silence during his life in Australia, post-war, "How could there ever be a complete story, a complete portrait...So much of what was once great, o ...more
Cassie Woolley
Oct 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have become conditioned to expect books about the war to be dramatic exposes of atrocities overcome by the human spirit. This book is instead a quiet exploration of the nature of human stories in the context of the author trying to piece together the life story of his friend who has long since passed on.

Miller asks fundamental questions about what it means to tell the story of a life. Is there one truth, one single story that can encompass every detail of a life? Or are our stories composed n
Renee Hermansen
Dec 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thanks to A&U for this copy to read and review honestly.

At first I found this book hard to get into but I then found it a very interesting read.

Alex Miller was determined to write his friend Max's story. His research throughout was so thorough, he found lost relatives of Max, visited many countries, searched registrars and read letters, all to uncover the untold mystery that surrounded Max's life. Max was a Jewish Nazi resistance figure who survived the holocaust but lost many family and loved
Oct 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Gentle, heartwarming and hopeful are not words I’d normally associate with stories about Nazi resistance, however Max had this in spades. This is Alex Miller’s memoir about his search to understand his late friend Max Blatt’s life and flesh out the stories which had stuck with Alex long after Max had told them. It is a story of friendships old and new, how the search for Max brought people together to honour him, even if they didn’t know him, and most of all it is a tribute to a dear friend. I e ...more
Caroline Poole
Sep 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
The last line....”Max.....a broken vessel, the most precious parts of his life scattered among ruins of the terrible past.”
A book full of beautiful sentences exploring and discovering his great friend. Such an amazing tribute to an interesting and undiscovered life.
Unfortunately all questions can’t be answered and only makes it even harder to comprehend the millions of unheard stories and voices from this horrific time in history.
A pleasure to read and an honour to know more of Max and his life
Jan 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Quite a gem of a book. Although this is a book that revolves about war, it is a quiet book, full of reflection. Alex Miller is searching for details of his friend's life, after Max's death. The search and involved travel is fascinating as Alex has the good fortune to be introduced to people from Max's earlier life. Stories can always be viewed from many positions.
If you are a fan of Alex Miller's writing, don't miss this!
Jane Mulligan
Nov 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
We are full of flaws and often haunted by regret for past actions and inaction. While we still live we have the ability to think deeply on this. How we have hurt and let the people we love down and how we have the opportunity to atone for this somehow with our future actions. This is a very moving book about love, friendship and self-forgiveness.
Samantha Battams
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Currently enjoying this book! I loved Lovesong and Conditions of Faith (which Alex Miller encouraged me to read when I met him in Adelaide on his book tour on Lovesong). Will read all of his books one day.
Jenny Esots
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My review is coming!
Wendy Bridges
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Brief review to come
Oct 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.25 stars
rated it liked it
Nov 25, 2020
James S Lawson
rated it liked it
Oct 14, 2020
Helen M Richardson
rated it it was amazing
Dec 20, 2020
Patricia Kellar
rated it liked it
Dec 04, 2020
Jill Wilson
rated it liked it
Dec 06, 2020
rated it liked it
Dec 05, 2020
John Argentino
rated it really liked it
Oct 14, 2020
rated it really liked it
Oct 28, 2020
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Trust
  • Honeybee
  • A Room Made of Leaves
  • The Labyrinth
  • Death in Daylesford (Phryne Fisher, #21)
  • The Wild Silence
  • Infinite Splendours
  • The Living Sea of Waking Dreams
  • The Dressmaker's Secret
  • Trio
  • The Dictionary of Lost Words
  • The Motion of the Body Through Space
  • The Mother Fault
  • The Bluffs
  • All Our Shimmering Skies
  • Sorrow and Bliss
  • The Burning Island
  • Shuggie Bain
See similar books…
Alex Miller is one of Australia's best-loved writers, and winner of the Melbourne Prize for Literature 2012.

Alex Miller is twice winner of Australia's premier literary prize, The Miles Franklin Literary Award, first in 1993 for The Ancestor Game and again in 2003 for Journey to the Stone Country. He is also an overall winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, in 1993 for The Ancestor Game. His fi

Related Articles

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” So, this January, as we celebrate Martin Luther King...
65 likes · 17 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »