April 28, 2009
New Yorker, others pick up on Every Man Dies Alone
by Dennis Johnson
The Melville House project to revive the reputation of the late German writer Hans Fallada, particularly by bringing attention to his forgotten masterpiece, Every Man Dies Alone, continues to draw remarkable attention. A New Yorker review says “The book has the suspense of a John le CarrÃ© novel, and … shows how acts that at the time might have seemed ‘ridiculously small,’ ‘discreet,’ and ‘out of the way’ could have profound and lasting meaning.” Meanwhile Kurt Andersen‘s Very Short List selected yesterday, with a review saying it was “an extraordinary novel” that “reads like a thriller” that is also “a moral tour de force.” A review in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune concurred, saying that “Primo Levi, the renowned Italian-Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, called this ‘the greatest book ever written about the German resistance to the Nazis.’ It is, in retrospect, an understatement. This is a novel that is so powerful, so intense, that it almost hums with electricity.”
Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.