Jennifer Rayment's Reviews > Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall

Stasiland by Anna Funder
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's review
Nov 25, 2011

really liked it

The Good Stuff

Fascinating and brutally honest
Learned so much interesting historical information that I am sad to say I never knew
Funder's style of writing is very unique and personal
Disturbing that these events happened and the people of East Germany had to live under these conditions
Many sides of the stories are told, which make it a book you want to discuss
Very raw and vivid - no sanitizing of stories to make them more palatable - real and honest
Author has obvious respect and compassion for her interview subjects
Author extremely observant about minute details that can often tell a story (eg mannerisms,
tone of voice)
Some wonderful stories of resistance, sacrifice and bravery by ordinary people
The Not So Good Stuff

Quite depressing at times, I felt myself never wanting to visit Germany at all
So heartbreakingly sad and horrific that I had to keep putting it down
Some further readings would be nice
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"I can only describe it as horror-romance. It's a dumb feeling, but I don't want to shake it. The romance comes from the dream of a better world that the German Communists wanted to build out of the ashes of their Nazi past; from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs. The horror comes from what they did in its name."

"We laugh at the improbability of it, of someone barely more than a child poking about in Beatrix Potter's garden by the wall, watching out for Mr McGregor and his blunderbuss, and lookng for a step-ladder to scale one of the most fortified borders on earth. We both like the girl shew was, and I like the women she has become."

"The hairs on my forearms stand up. I have stopped looking at Julia now because in this dimness she ceased addressing her words to me some time ago. I am humbled for reasons I cannot at this moment unravel. I am outraged for her, and vaguely guilty about my relative luck in life."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read

For those with an interest in German History
Anyone could benefit from a read of this - history comes alive and you see the personal toil of a Orwellian Government
4 Dewey's

I received this from HarperCollins in Exchange for an Honest Review

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