#10Books set in – Berlin

Alone in BerlinBerlin is a city with so much history. Here’s 10 books to borrow from the library. They include a range of stories from political oppression to tales of romance and adventure.  Ten captivating novels to evoke Berlin.

Hans Fallada – Alone in Berlin – Berlin, 1940, and the city is filled with fear. At the house on 55 Jablonski Strasse, its various occupants try to live under Nazi rule in their different ways: the nervous Frau Rosenthal, the bullying Hitler loyalists the Persickes, the retired judge Fromm, and the unassuming working-class couple Otto and Anna Quangel

Christopher Isherwood – Goodbye to Berlin – . Evokes the gathering storm in Berlin before and just after the rise to power of the Nazis, as seen through the eyes of a series of individuals

Chloe Aridjis – Book of Clouds – Adrift in Berlin and with no desire to return home to Mexico, Tatiana tries to distance herself from the city’s past. Yet the phantoms of Berlin are more alive to her than the people she passes on her daily walks. When she takes a job transcribing notes for the reclusive historian Doktor Weiss, her life in Berlin becomes more complex

Ian McEwan – The Innocent – McEwan acknowledges his debt to the historian David Martin for the true story of the Berlin Tunnel or Operation Gold. To this truth, McEwan has wedded a fiction of tragedy and a love story of a sort

Anna Funder – All that I am: Stories from behind the Berlin Wall – stories of people who found the courage to resist the Stasi, Slumberland: a novelthe communist regime’s secret police

Len Deighton – Funeral in Berlin Classic spy thriller

Jonathan Littell – The Kindly Ones – This Faustian story with a terrifying twist is the fictional memoir of Dr Max Aue, a former SS intelligence officer, who has reinvented himself as a family man and owner of a lace factory in post-war France

Ida Hattemer-Higgins – The history of history: a novel of Berlin – A young American woman stumbles one morning from the forest outside Berlin – hands dirty, clothes torn. She can remember nothing of the night. She returns to the life she once knew, but soon an enigmatic letter arrives from an unknown doctor claiming to be ‘concerned for her fate’

Paul Beatty – Slumberland – After creating the perfect beat, DJ Darky goes in search of Charles Stone, a little-known avant garde jazzman, to play over his sonic masterpiece. His quest takes him to a recently unified Berlin, where he stumbles through the city’s streets ruminating about race, sex and love in search of his artistic – and spiritual – other

David Thomas – Blood Relative – Atmospheric page-turner that brings the often-grim realities of socialist Berlin to life. A murder mystery-come-psychological thriller with a dark underlying mystery, it grips you tight and keeps you guessing until the very last page

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3 thoughts on “#10Books set in – Berlin

  1. It isn’t set in Calcutta, but another great book about India is Nectar In A Sieve by Kamala Markandaya, which was written in the 50s. It’s a beautiful portrait of rural life in India in the middle of the last century, and a sad document of the suffering of the poor.

  2. The Kindly Ones is a very good book indeed. It’s not without its flaws, and the ending lets it down a little for me, but it’s well worth a read nevertheless.

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