This is one of those books that I’ve had in my room forever and just have never gotten to it. It’s little, no more than 130 pages, and about WW2 and how the Nazis move in to take over a town. (‘The town’ as they call it, they aren’t very specific about where it is. And they never refer to Hitler as anything but ‘The Leader’.)
Basically the entire book is the Nazi’s getting coal from one place to another, but using the people in the town as the means of doing so, they are having them build railways and load the coal too. People are not taking kindly to being told what to do and they are fighting back. Secretly of course. If you are found out the Nazi’s just shoot you and more than likely your whole family.
This isn’t your typical book about WW2, at one point he actually got me to sympathize with on a couple of the Nazi’s. (Super hard feat, right?) But this particular group there were several young men who were questioning ‘The Leader’ a little bit and wondering if he were crazy. They were lonely, wanted to go home, and not sure that they were very well liked, which was important to some of them.
He showed that just because there were a lot of evils in that war that doesn’t mean that the other side weren’t people too. There were so many unspeakable evils, but he wrote that in this particular town there were people who just wanted to do their job (which was moving the coal) and build a life for themselves there.
Needless to say, that could not happen as everyone was viewing as the worst thing to ever happen. Naturally.
This book was fantastic, but even though it was small, it took me a little while to read, which I also kind of liked. It gave me food for thought. Obviously well written, he’s a famous writer for a reason, and the plot was interesting. I would never have thought to write anything like this and he did a terrific job. Makes me want to read ‘Of Mice and Men’ again.