Brandenburg by Glenn Meade
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I can’t say I really enjoyed this book, to be honest. First off, the writing style and use of language drove me insane. One thing I kept encountering were sentences like, “Tell me what you intend doing.” (That’s one’s from page 360 of the edition I read.) While this may be correct in British English, it sounds so jarringly wrong to my ear that I kept getting annoyed by it.
The next issue was with the dialogue. It was so stilted and characters kept addressing each other by name. In general, people don’t actually use each other’s names a lot when they speak, which is why beginner writers are usually cautioned against this. Apparently whoever edited this book hasn’t heard of that rule before.
Warning: some spoilers ahead!
Now, for the plot-related issues. The plot started off really interesting. I liked the first bit that took place in Paraguay. But then it just got boring, mainly because I didn’t really like or care about the main character, Joseph Volkmann. I get the idea he was supposed to be this somewhat troubled intelligence agent, but the author didn’t fully pull that off.
And don’t get me started on the utterly STUPID plot point involving Hitler’s son. First of all, there’s no real proof that Hitler and his niece, Geli Raubal, were actually romantically involved. Don’t get me wrong, I really hate Hitler and think he was evil, but I’ve never seen definitive proof of this. Eminent historian Ian Kershaw says there’s no proof one way or the other, and I agree with him on this. But I digress.
Anyway, there’s an entire plot point involving Hitler’s son, who was spirited out of Germany as a small child. He later returns and leads a neo-Nazi movement that—surprise, surprise—tries to take power in a (failed) putsch, just like his daddy did. At the end of the book, we have a lot of characters dead (including Hitler’s son and a Paraguayan journalist) and a lot of pointless screeds about how the left-wingers are going to save Germany from going Nazi again.
Seriously, this book is a bit long. Save your time and read something else. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did. I was so disappointed in this one that I don’t know if I’m going to read the other Glenn Meade book I got from the library, The Romanov Conspiracy. (And anyone who knows me will know I’m a sucker for anything Russia- and Romanov-related. Something has to be pretty bad to make me contemplate passing up a book involving Russia and the Romanovs.)
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