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The Death Of The Adversary (1959)

by Hans Keilson(Favorite Author)
3.59 of 5 Votes: 3
0374139628 (ISBN13: 9780374139629)
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
review 1: For the first ten pages or so I thought I was going to have to agree with reviewers who found this boring. And it is much harder to read than the relatively breezy (if also thought-provoking and disturbing) Comedy in a Minor Key. But after the puzzling abstraction of the initial pages, in which the interdependence of the protagonist and his enemy are discussed, the plot becomes gradually more and more concrete. Nazis and Jews are never mentioned by name, but it becomes clearer and clearer why the narrator is attempting so desperately (and unsuccessfully) to produce a logic (the need of elks for wolves, in the novel's terms) that would explain the necessity of the rise of his enemy.
review 2: This is a fairly amazing book. Hans Keilson wrote this book during WWI
... moreI as he fled Germany for the Netherlands about the emotions, the inner turmoil, of being a member of an un-named group who is the subject of the exploitative ire of "the adversary". Of course, he's writing about the Jews, about Hitler, but the quiet contemplation of the horror, the building of events, is incredibly powerful. Keilson presents the emotions that fed the events, the self-deception that allowed it happen, the evolution of hate and how it feeds on itself. Really powerful. But at the same time, he's so relentlessly analytical that you want him to let loose, to feel instead of being so persistently considered. On the other hand, the thoughtful quality makes it easier to read than it could have been. Recommended. less
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Shattering! A unique take on the relationship between oppressor and victim.
Great read. This is an amazing writer.
Pat's bookclub interested in (Chicago)
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