Friday, January 4, 2013

The Patient Ecstasy of Fraulein Braun, by Lavonne Mueller

Eva Braun is in love with the most powerful man in Germany, and to Adolph, Germany comes first.  Adolph will never love her as he loves Germany, and she accepts this.  She pines for him in a way that is almost religious in nature, and succumbs to his every wish, no matter how perverse.  For her loyalty, she is rewarded with a wedding, followed by her own death.

Given that I went into this book knowing it was about Adolph Hitler and Eva Braun, and the fact that is is marketed as a "disturbing erotic look" at their story, I am not sure what I expected.  What I got was a disgusting book.  I am not sure how much of the behavior of the historical figures in the book is accurate, but it was filthy.  The extreme kinks of Hitler and the ridiculously promiscuous behavior of the wife of a high ranking officer are so extreme, it made me a bit nauseated. 

The historical aspect of the book is fascinating, focusing on the last days in Hitler's bunker, the panic and paranoia that was running rampant among the ranks, and the fall of the perfect Nazi kingdom.  Make no mistake, the writing is solid, and engaging.  But the subject matter is a bit appalling.  I am sure there is a market for it, after all, I read it (in hindsight, I wish I had not).  I really just do not care to know how Hitler got his rocks off, though I am sure some people would love to know.

What got me most was the unabashed nature of the book.  There was never any hint that Hitler's actions were even slightly wrong, let alone as morally reprehensible as we all know them to be.  And the blind fervor with which these people believed in Hitler, to the point they would murder their own children and commit suicide?  I have a hard time fathoming that; I would hoping this book would make me understand, and all it did was make me ask more questions.

I received a review copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.


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