×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Kindly Ones
  • Alternative view 1 of The Kindly Ones
  • Alternative view 2 of The Kindly Ones
     

The Kindly Ones

2.9 26
by Jonathan Littell, Charlotte Mandell (Translator)
 

See All Formats & Editions

“Simply astounding. . . . The Kindly Ones is unmistakably the work of a profoundly gifted writer.” — Time

A literary prize-winner that has been an explosive bestseller all over the world, Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones has been called “a brilliant Holocaust novel… a world-class masterpiece of

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Kindly Ones 2.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Kindly Ones is a brutal, and graphic account of every possible horror done during the Holocaust. Nothing is held back, everything is described in graphic, horrible detail. This does have some historical value, but almost all of the 950 pages is about this. The book almost desensitize the reader to these injustices. The plot gets lost in the repetition. Once you have read the frist 200 pages you have read the entire book. Very little commentary made by the author or the characters.
Wiliam_Maltese 11 months ago
ONE POWER-HOUSE MUST-READ BOOK! THE KINDLY ONES, written, originally, by an American, Jonathan Littell, in French, and translated into English by Charlotte Mandell, isn’t a perfect book, for sure, full as it sometimes is with pages of esoteric information (think Caucasian linguistics), and a strange formatting (which a friend insists is typical of some European-language published books), of paragraphs, and combined paragraphs (at least in the hardback) that can go on for pages and pages, even conversations confusingly only indicated by enclosing “em” dashes — within the text. It did, though, keep me reading, anticipatorily turning page after page, until its close-to-a-thousand page conclusion, usually having me more than a little fascinated and intrigued by this macabre tale of an incestuous, homosexual, non-apologist SS-officer, and analyst, in the World War II German war machine, with more scatology references than in William Maltese and Professor Drewey Wayne Gunn’s accounting of Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud tempestuous affair in ARDENNIAN BOY (LES GARÇON DES ARDENNES). Admittedly, I enjoyed this daring “take” on the insights into German character and psyche that saw so many enveloped in the hive mentality that participated in seriously setting out to overrun EuroAsia and eliminate not only the Jews but the gypsies, the gays, the mentally ill, the handicapped, the enemies of state, and even the Poles. The book’s main character Dr. Max Aue somehow manages to be physically present at, or hears first-person accounts of, a good many major WWII historical events, even the disastrous-for-the-German’s assault on Stalingrad, meeting most of the major German players, including Hitler, during those final days of massive Allied bombings of Berlin. Certainly, I found the revelations on the ineptitude, in many instances, of the German participants, the inter-agency feuding, and the constant intra-battles for personal power (likely not a small part responsible for the eventual German defeat), of particular interest, in the face of my so often having heard the German “side” described as paying minute and particular attention to detail. I’ve given this book a five-star rating, not because it left me in anyway uplifted in the end — indeed, quite the opposite, what with the book’s protagonist turning out decidedly smarmy in the end, but because of all of the books I’ve read lately, and I’ve read more than a few, this one kept me pretty much involved from beginning to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not easy read...but one worth the effort.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most extraordinary books I have ever read. Brilliant writing. A strong and graphic denunciation of the Nazi regime from the inside of the mind of a complex, perverse SS officer, whose very perversity reflects the world around him.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
In France, Dr. Maximilien Aue decides to write his memoir focusing on his war experience years ago. Now with a family, Max muses about when he was SS, not only did he oversee and report on the mass murdering of Jews in the Ukraine, he proudly and gleefully participated. He gave tours pf Auschwitz and Birkenau and survived Stalingrad and Hitler's final bunker. His big philosophical spin back in the early days rivals the middle ages how many angels on a pin as he mused how many bodies makes a grave mass? Looking back at what he considers his only failure, his tormented love for his twin sister, Una, who wants nothing to do with her Herr Doktor brother. Like much of his peers, he anticipated the end of the Third Reich so now what. He knew the Russians make the SS look gentle so he chose the West as Berlin burned. This is not an easy read as Aue is all over the place with his wandering dialogue that at times meanders more than the River Mosel and often feels like a particular sequence is eternal. Adding to the difficulty of perusing his account is that Aue is not likeable and does not seek redemption; in fact his dissertation is a matter of fact chat of a brutal way of life and death. In other words he is still a cold psychopath concealing his past inside a middle class family. Throughout readers will ask how a culturally aware doctor could commit atrocities but Aue never responds beyond his casual that's life, death and all the torture in between philosophy. Not for everyone, The Kindly Ones is a convoluted hard to follow essay that argues life is brutal, vicious and expendable with human predators hunting and torturing human prey. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JackL More than 1 year ago
This is a large, disturbing, and enthralling book. The mix of historical fact and military tech with fictional characters, vivid writing, and some suprise surrealist scenes make this a difficult book to label, much less review briefly. Suffice it to say, it isn't just about Nazis feeling bad about what they did. The first half of the novel deals with the massacre of Jews carried out by the Nazi soldiers and their hired help. The scenes are brutal, and the mental/emotional suffering of the German soldiers is in no way given as much weight as the horrors they enact upon the dying citizens. There is no doubt the Nazis are the bad guys, but the book doesn't just show them all as rabid bloodthirsty animals. That would be historically inaccurate, and more importantly, bad, bland fiction. This half of the book culminates in the main character barely surviving the battle of Stalingrad. The scenes here, too, are presented in a vivid and human-level manner and are almost a challenge for the reader to continue on. The second half of the book, after a long dream sequence that -in my view- kills the momentum, takes place with the main character hiding out and rebuilding his life in France. This half of the book doesn't reach the same heights as the first, in terms of both brutality and beauty of language, and it resides more on the intellectual plane. What does it say about Aue that he isn't repentant? And how do we, as readers, feel about it after spending so much time (and so many pages!) with this character? This is not a book to be read, reviewed, or taken lightly. I hope with the paperback publication in March of '10 more people will take a chance on it. An eBook would be nice as well (hint hint HarperCollins and/or Barnes and Noble)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AlphaHistoryGirl More than 1 year ago
Its a very long book...don't expect to finish it in one sitting (or three for that matter). But the book is strangely compelling in a graphic way, detailing the most horrifying acts committed by German soldiers under pressure by their superiors. The book goes to great lengths to show the moral/immoral sides of human nature. For the price, I say read it only if you're seriously interested in the holocaust, war-time psychological trauma, etc. There are other less painful reads that use the german soldier's perspective.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Easyarmylife More than 1 year ago
Great book, it would be an exceptional book if a little editing had been done prior to it's release. Sometimes the author got off subject and started rambling in the middle of sections of the book. Otherwise great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reccomended
Barbara Ann Petoskey More than 1 year ago
If you are determined to read this grammer school waste then borrow it from the library that is if they would have a copy otherwise your money will be in the swi
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i had to have help finding it, wish i had not asked for the help and left without it.
Charlieopera More than 1 year ago
This was an 8 day labor intensive read that in the end (or 400 pages from the end) left me very disappointed. The author offers some history but that can come from any number of non-fictional accounts of the holocaust, etc. The ending was simply absurd but I was grateful I got there ... so I could read Richard Yates "Young Hearts Crying" (a great book). Everyone should READ, amici ... and The Kindly is a book ... I'm just not sure you want to pay for the effort necessary to get through it.
sooz916 More than 1 year ago
A ponderous tome telling the story of the Nazi viewpoint during the Jewish extermination. The narrator speaks of the terrible depression the soldiers are forced to deal with because of the atrocious acts they are ordered to perform. Is the reader supposed to feel sorry for these men??? I guess they were in an untenable position, shoot the Jews or be shot, but still I find it impossible to relate. I gave up halfway through, bored to tears and annoyed with the author's perspective.