Customer Reviews for

Skeletons at the Feast

Average Rating 4
( 192 )
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(95)

4 Star

(61)

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(20)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(6)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

It was all so true

I was born in Cologne Germany in 1939. When I was 5 years old we were evacuated to Sachseny in East Gemrnay.
After a wile there, we were urged to flee towards the West because the Russians were coming closer and everyone knew what they would do to women and fema...
I was born in Cologne Germany in 1939. When I was 5 years old we were evacuated to Sachseny in East Gemrnay.
After a wile there, we were urged to flee towards the West because the Russians were coming closer and everyone knew what they would do to women and female children.....

I was part of the people on the street and also dodged the low flying English planes. We went from farmhouse to farmhouse to ask for food and for baby buggies for the younger children, of which I was one.

Chris Bohjalian ia a wonderful writer. He brought out feelings I thought long forgotten.

Thank you Chris.

posted by Ushi on December 8, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Predictable and Disappointing

I should know better than to buy into the publisher's review. An epic love story this was not.

Of course, this subject matter is going to be depressing, and to some degree predictable, given that we have historic fact to draw upon. However, I was, perhaps, expectin...
I should know better than to buy into the publisher's review. An epic love story this was not.

Of course, this subject matter is going to be depressing, and to some degree predictable, given that we have historic fact to draw upon. However, I was, perhaps, expecting a different perspective or twist in the plot from this author.

As the journey of this rag tag group plodded on through Germany, so I plodded on through the pages, horrific atrocity after atrocity making me more miserable by the page.

Obviously, I was not expecting this to be a joyous, romantic romp, but I was expecting infinitely more than this book held.

posted by hd91364 on March 16, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2008

    Gripping World War II Novel

    I loved it, start to finish. This story of survival was very moving and had me in tears in a few spots. Great read; I would love to see it on the big screen!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2013

    A different angle

    This is a story about Worrld War II from a German family's perspective. A heart wrenching account of the atrocities and of human perseverance. I good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    FANTASTIC!!

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I cannot believe the absolute "ignorance" of the German people! They didn't know what happened to the Jews, but they knew enough to flee the Russians! A realistic look and the end of the war for the German civilian. Vivid imagery, extremely well written!

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  • Posted December 10, 2012

    Decent read

    Good account of WWII from more than just Germany's view but I enjoyed Double Bind much more. I enjoy his writing style overall.

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  • Posted August 24, 2012

    Really recommend this book!

    Really brings home WWII. A diverse bunch of people; French, Polish, Jewish and German and you see the war from each of their perspectives. This book kept me on the edge of my seat and I would recommend it to anyone wanting a closer look at what went on at the end of the Third Reich. This would be a great book for a book club.

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  • Posted May 20, 2012

    Difficult Historical Territory

    I liked this book. It is rare to find a book told from a German's perspective during WWII. I liked the characters, but at times I had a hard time keeping up with who was thinking or talking. It seemed the mother's voice and thought blended in with the daughter's, and I had to go back to figure out who indeed was speaking.

    I would hope for a little more in the romance department. There was a lot more death and destruction (which is historically accurate), but it would have been nice to see the paratropper and Anna's love blossom a little more. It seemed more of a back story.

    Overall, I would recommend the book. I like this author. He has a distinct style. I have read some of his other books and will read another starting tonight.

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  • Posted May 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    As someone who has an interest for history, I'm very appreciativ

    As someone who has an interest for history, I'm very appreciative of this book. As someone who simply likes reading, I had a great experience reading it. Skeletons at the Feast shows a perspective of World War Two not often considered. It's the perspective of rural Germans, who are both affected by Hitler's nationalist propaganda, yet unaware of just how evil their nation has become. The characters are real, conflicted, and believable. Their situation is a piece of history not often discussed, and for this I have a lot of respect for the author. This book has a lot to teach in more ways than one. It's filled with historical context and information, while at the same time having a crucial message. It forces us to apply this very important piece of history to today's world, mainly asking the question of: "what legacy is our generation leaving for the next?".

    While the book is intellectually inspiring, it is also recommended to anyone simply looking for a good read. While the book does take a toll on emotions (there are sad parts!), it's easy to follow, and the flow of the author's writing is pretty good. If you're wanting to get into a good drama (especially one which reflects the history of many people), than I highly recommend this book! I also think this would be an amazing, and very important book to bring to any book clubs looking for their next read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2012

    Good WWII Historical Fiction

    Very readable book. A nice change from other books by the author. I also enjoyed Midwives.

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  • Posted August 9, 2010

    would make a great movie

    I loved this book. I am recommending it for everyone. There are lots of books on WW2 out there but this is a unique perspective - one that we dont see often in the US - from that of a German family and their POW guest worker, trying to retreat from the Russian army. The character of Manfred/Uli will also stay in your mind long after you put this book down. I think of him as becoming one of the original Mossad agents - if he really survives the war.... Does he or does he not? There is a twist at the end. Reminded me a lot of the movie "Europa Europa" - without the humor.

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  • Posted May 13, 2010

    War is hell!!

    I devoured this book. Stayed up late one night reading it, and couldn't wait to get off from work so I could finish it. The characters are very real and the historical time & place they find themselves in is just insane. I found myself wondering how I would have responded in similar situations. Every character has some really good and bad characteristics. That just makes them more loveable and human. The setting is the end of World War II and a family of German aristocratic farmers must cope with the collapse of the Nazis and the imminent presence of the revenge-minded Soviet army. With a Scottish POW in tow (this will be their bargaining tool when they meet the British and/or American Army), they run for their lives. They slowly begin to learn just how horrific their Nazi party has been and how much it will cost them. Helping them come to terms with their nation's attrocities is a great character -- a Jew who's managed to escape a trip to a death camp. He's survived by taking on the identities of dead Nazi & Russian soldiers he comes across. There's a tender love story; or maybe the love story is a pathetic attempt by the family to ensure its future. It's good stuff. Read it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Awesome!!!!

    Loved this one a great story

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Not just another WWII book...

    The author begins in media res with three disconnected but simultaneous stories that become intertwined as they evolve. A story from the Shoah (Holocaust) from multiple perspectives including some not often portrayed. It was well written with twists, turns, and surprises along the way.

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  • Posted October 4, 2009

    Interesting twist on WWII

    I found this book very well written with good character development and easy to follow story line. It is another book on Germany during WWII but from a very different perspective. I really enjoyed the book and this author.

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  • Posted September 5, 2009

    Another Perspective of WWII

    Although we all have read different accounts of WWII from both sides, and we have heard first hand what went on in the "death camps", here is a chance to read an account of what happened thru the eyes of people who lived thru WWII but so far removed geographically from the heart of it, that they weren't quite sure what was really going on. They heard stories, but surely they were so horrible they couldn't be hapening. Then they are forced to flee their home for their safty and they get a true picture of the horror they have been hearing about and they themselves begin to live that horror in their traveling, hiding from the enemy, watching people die along the route, losing their horses, some to gun fire, some taken from them, trying to find food. Reading about the struggles of this family, just trying to survive, to get to a safe place, was thriling, the romantic story of Anna and Callum that was woven along with the rest just shows the reader that even in the worse possible times that love does find a way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2009

    Excellent book!

    Great, great story about a very sad time in history!

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Skeletons at the Feast

    This novel showed how it is to be a survivor. The characters held you through out the novel and the war scenes were not the kind we are used to but the kind you would see when fleeing a war zone. It held me rivited until the end. Good work by Chris Bohjalian.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A different perspective

    This book offered a different perspective of the effects of WWII. It was not easy for the common citizen. Everyone was touched and suffered loss. The book was a compelling read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2008

    An Allegory for Our Times

    Where to begin? Chris Bohjalian's work is always fascinating, and this work is no different, bringing a tight scope to the horrendous flight of Germans, concentration camp prisoners and other citizens of eastern Europe from the onslaught of the Soviet Army at the end of World War II. There are passages of severe violence and touching familial love ... along with true compassion for farm animals. It's all there. But what struck me the most was an underlying allegory with current political trends in the United States to stand by party loyalty rather than seeing the truth for what is it. In several passages in 'Skeleton,' Nazi sympathizers maintain their party fervor while Hitler's Iron Dream is burning down around them. As far as blind loyalty is concerned, is there any difference between Republicans maintaining support for George W. Bush, even though report after report proves he has repeatedly lied to the American people? And Fox News is nothing more than the party's propaganda department (I'm not saying Republicans are Nazis, just fact that their loyalty is blind, and Fox News is not an actual source for unbiased news). Back to the book, the Holocaust continues to be one of the one of the most interesting and dispiriting chapters in human history. Bohjalian captures the brutality of concentration camp guards, and the overwhelming desire of prisoners to survive with masterful skill. As the story comes to a close, a few Germans who had supported and idolized Hitler see through the smoke and embers of their dying country, wondering why they had been so blind. The most troubling aspect of their fall from grace is that prior to the Nazi takeover, Germany had a sophisticated and educated populace but the promise on an iron dream and continual disinformation overpowered their souls and led them to self-destruction. But life does go on, and Bohjalian ends his trip through hell with a glimpse of a promising tomorrow. Let's hope it continues.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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