Every Man Dies Alone - Hans Fallada Having read through 185 pages and disliking every minute spent with the book, I am stopping. All of my criticisms remain. Fallada wrote this book in 24 days. It shows. IF SOMEONE WANTS TO READ THIS BOOK - CONTACT ME, MAYBE WE CAN SWAP bOOKS!

P.S. I went back and reread the Kirkus review. I should have read the review more carefully. It is clearly stated that the characters are "archetypal to a fault". I recommend that carefully read Kirkus's review. Here follows a link to that review:
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/product.aspx?r=1&ISBN=1935554042&r=1. It is found at the bottom of the page.

I am on page 172 and I thought I just cannot stand reading more of this book...... then I went and looked at the book description and noted that 22 of my GR friends have this on the to-read shelves. Of the four of my friends who have read the book, one gave it 5 stars and three others gave it 4 stars. The average rating is 4.11 with 728 people having read the book! And I really hate it. Now I am thinking I simply must finsih reding it to give a complete report of my views. If I stop now, I haven't given the book a fair chance. So I will continue but the following is what I am currently thinking.

Nobody can say that his author has a way with words. The writing is just plain ordinary. The characters are primarily despicable, so it is logical that their language is too. I must accept that. However I do not believe that despicable people have to be described by means of a flat text. Their is no sarcasm. There is no humor. There is no irony. The text is just plain flat.

Fallada want to draw a picture of the fear that dragged all Germans down under Hitler's regime. We are to understand how the German people suffered too. I have no problem with that; they too suffered under Hitler. BUT there is NO discussion whatsoever about how originally the Germans in fact looked at Hitler as a person who would bring order to their life and economy. There is not a hint of this in the text.

The primary couple in this book are trying to revolt in their own little way, and of course that is good, but but I thoroughly dislike the brutish way in which the huge majority of Germans are depicted. Some of these Germans were moral, good, just people. Other than the couple, I see none of these in this book. Every German official is depicted as a dumb clout. There is one jurist who tries to help a Jew and even he is drawn in negative contours. The fear prevalent in the German socity is made very clear. Most people didn't have the strength to fight this, but some did.

So what am I saying? I am saying that the picture drawn of the German population is done without insight or nuance. That is what I think now. I will continue reading.

Through page 86: What isit with me? This book has gotten rave reviews, and me - I keep falling asleep when I read it! I don't feel for any of the main protagonists and the writing is just plain ordinary. I hope it gets better.

And here is a quote from page 86 to show you what I mean:

"While Enno is trotting around the streets, timidly looking for his Tutti, Borkhausen has got up from his bed, gone to the kitchen, and savagely and broodingly eats his fill. Then Borkhausen finds a pack of cigarettes in the wardrobe, slips it in his pocket, and sits down at the table again, pondering gloomily head in hand."

"Which is how Otti finds him when she returns from the shop. Of course she sees right away that he's helped himself to some food, and she knows he didn't have any smokes on him and traces the theft to her wardrobe. Apprehensive as she is, she starts an argument right away. 'Yes, that's my darling, a man who eats my food and snitches my cigarettes! Give them back right now. Or pay me back for them. Give me some money, Emil.'"

Boring!