In The Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and An American Family in Hitler's Berlin - Erik Larson
Last year, I read Erik Larson's Devil in the White City
. I immediately fell in love with his writing style -- his ability to take non-fiction and write it like it was fiction. To create a world that existed and immediately pull the reader in. The problem with a lot of non-fiction authors is that it gets a little dry. We're so far removed from the action in the book that it seems far away. That's not a problem in Larson's books.
In the Garden of Beasts follows the American Ambassador to Berlin right before World War II. Ambassador Dodd is not a typical member of the State Department - he's a history professor that just wanted an easy post so he could work on his grand work of a history of the American south. Unfortunately that was not possible while in Berlin.
Knowing what I know about World War II and Hitler's regime, it's really interesting to see the perspective from Americans at that time. At first, Dodd's family was actually sympathetic to the Nazi regime.
This book is very well written and interesting. No real dry parts either.
Should You Read It? Yes! Even if you're not a huge non-fiction fan, this book would appeal to you. It's got romance, action, and you might even learn something.
Labels: books, recommendations