Filipe Martins

Littell had the chance to have written something extraordinary...if only

As Benevolentes - Jonathan Littell

The good

It's not very often that we get to see the german side of WWII, so i really enjoyed that to begin with. The Nazi fall is particularly interesting, and the best part of the book is without a doubt the fall of Berlin. Then, I really liked reading about the bureaucratic side of war, about the so called "paper" soldiers. I know a lot of people complained about that, but it's fascinating how important it was for the germans to make all actions to at least seem/look justifiable and more than that legal. But what i really liked about the book (also because I'm quite fascinated with WWII) was that i felt right in the middle of the conflict, which brings me exactly to what I didn't like about the book.

The bad

I hated that he takes us off the fall of Berlin, right in the middle of the action, in the best chapter of the book, for a completely ridiculous chapter in the house of his brother-in-law. I hated how he goes light on Stalingrad, again right in the middle of it (he's shot and then we have pages and pages of dreams). But what i disliked the most was Aue's connection to his sister. I've found to be highly unnecessary,ridiculous, distracting and quite annoying to tell you the truth.