A Perfect Madness

( 78 )

Overview

It is the autumn of 1938 when Julia Kaufmann meets Erich Schmidt while studying medicine at the German University in Prague. With Hitler’s army soon to invade the city and the terror of World War II looming, it is the worst of times for a Jew and a German to fall in love. As the excitement of the eugenics movement gives way to outright genocide, and the fear sweeping across Europe grows into madness, Julia and Erich find themselves forced to travel two very different paths—ones which will determine the fate of ...
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A Perfect Madness

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Overview

It is the autumn of 1938 when Julia Kaufmann meets Erich Schmidt while studying medicine at the German University in Prague. With Hitler’s army soon to invade the city and the terror of World War II looming, it is the worst of times for a Jew and a German to fall in love. As the excitement of the eugenics movement gives way to outright genocide, and the fear sweeping across Europe grows into madness, Julia and Erich find themselves forced to travel two very different paths—ones which will determine the fate of their love and, ultimately, the fate of their souls.

A Perfect Madness takes us on a journey back to a dark time when the fight for survival often eclipsed the fight for the truth. Beautifully and provocatively written, it examines the crippling effects of fear on the human mind, asking painful questions of moral choice we cannot afford to leave unanswered.

About the Author:

Frank Marsh was a trial attorney for twenty-five years and then a university professor of philosophy, law, and bioethics. He has published six books on bioethics, numerous articles, and scripted documentaries dealing with medicine, genetics, and law. He also is the author of the novel Rebekka’s Children.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A novel of love, betrayal and ideology during the horrors of World War II. In this dense saga, Marsh (Rebekka's Children, 2009) weaves the love story of two college students in Prague whose union is as unlikely as it is unwelcome. In 1938, Julia Kaufmann, a Jew from Prague, and Erich Schmidt, a German, nevertheless pursue their affair even after being warned away from each other in the turbulent times before the second world war. Julia's family, who initially disapproves of her choice, soon comes to love and respect Erich. But the war intrudes on the budding romance, and Julia and her brother escape to England while Erich returns to Germany. His father, a prominent medical doctor with considerable influence in the Nazi regime, arranges for his son to work at a hospital, shielding him from the obligation to become a soldier. As the war progresses, their paths continue to diverge. Julia becomes an agent in the resistance movement, and Erich's hospital responsibilities intertwine with medical eugenics and euthanasia, progressing slowly from incurably disfigured children to the mentally unfit to a horrible culmination. Throughout their wartime experiences, both Julia and Erich cling to the idea that they will reunite and continue their lives together. Marsh thoroughly explores the shades of gray that can exist in wartime. Erich is a sympathetic character, yet his role in the war seems largely the result of his innate passivity--"stay silent to survive"--which is in stark contrast to Julia's developing courage. Despite the horrors surrounding them, many of the characters observe the beauty of the natural world, and Marsh's sensory descriptions, especially of sights and smells, enrich the story. The writing is eloquent, but not always economical--tangential, philosophical and at times dreamlike elements slow the pace. Perhaps that is Marsh's intention. Although the conclusion is not a surprise, it shouldn't diminish the story's lingering impression. Patient readers will be rewarded with a contemplative story that will likely inspire further discourse.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780983826439
  • Publisher: Brandylane Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/1/2012
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Frank Marsh was a trial attorney for twenty-five years and then a university professor of philosophy, law, and bioethics. He has published six books on bioethics, numerous articles, and scripted documentaries dealing with medicine, genetics, and law. He also is the author of the novel Rebekka's Children.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 78 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(54)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 78 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 13, 2012

    Highly Recommend

    Frank Marsh takes the reader on a thought-provoking exploration of his characters as they are drawn into events that challenge their integrity and threaten their survival. While telling a tale of forbidden love, the novel also addresses the effects of fear and desperation on personal choices and the sense of right and wrong. A Perfect Madness is a moving and well-written novel.

    19 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2012

    A Perfect Madness by Frank Marsh

    This book did for me what history books and others have not. It made the story of how such atrocities could have happened and how life could have coexisted during their execution real. Thank you to Mr. Marsh for a wonderful story that held my attention as it unveiled the very minds and hearts of those who lived WWII. It will remain with me.

    17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2012

    A Different Look

    This book provided a different look at WWII. It was a fast and fascinating read; studying the effects of the horrors of war on one's character and sanity. I found myself feeling compassion for Erich one minute, then getting angry at him the next. Survival brings about many emotions and great turmoil. If I had to find fault in this book it would be in the lesser telling of Julia's experiences. Although less time was spent with this character, the reader is still given great insight into her "adventures" as well. The more I read, I wondered how this story would end. No disappointment there; it was a most appropriate conclusion for this type of novel. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will most likely read more of this author.

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended for Discriminating Readers.

    Well-crafted, thoughtful novel about WW2, the Holocaust, and the Resistance. Takes you from the present to the past and back to the present again in a compelling story with memorable characters who quickly become real people in your mind and emotions.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2012

    Powerful, first-rate effort at an awful event in world history.

    Strong. Powerful. Having read hundreds of books (fiction and non-fiction) on WWII, specifically Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, "A Perfect Madness" ranks up there with the best.

    Marsh brings a perspective to the Holocaust, the probability of having seldom been broached.

    Congratulations, Mr. Marsh, on a good book.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2012

    An Excellent Book

    Best free book I have ever downloa,ded. It's not a light read. If you like history, especially WWII, you will LOVE this book. I would have paid to read it

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2012

    good

    I really liked this book. It truely was perfect madness. Taking you through the minds if the tortured and tortuers during hitlers reign.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2012

    Excellent Book. I recommend this as a must read for everyone.

    Excellent Book. I recommend this as a must read for everyone.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2012

    Spikeanon

    Cannot say enough good things about this novel. Well written, informative, thought provoking. A must read for anyone who enjoys history, or a good yarn.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2012

    A different approach

    I read a lot of WWII/Holocaust memoirs and fiction, but this one is absolutely worth the read. Different and haunting, going into the pseudoscience of eugenics in America and Germany that led further to concentration camps.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2012

    A Perfect Madness

    This was a really good book. It kept me in suspense

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2012

    Very enjoyable

    This was a wonderful read. I thought it was well written.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2012

    Could not put my nook down!

    Heart -wrenching perfection

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2012

    didnt like it

    it started out interestimg but then got very boring the book was sad ,and of course this period in history was sad ,i thought it could of ended better

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2013

    Good read

    I have read many books on this subgect but never from a Nazi's point of veiw this way.Eric puts a new look from those just forced into killing. We all have choices yet are we strong enough to fight for whats right. Reading this books makes me wonder.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    Amazing

    I don't really know what to say about this book aside from the fact that it was absolutely amazing. I could not put it down because i got so drawn in and so attached to the stories of the characters. It was very thought provoking and left you with an entirely new perspective about how such atrocities could occur. I highly reccomend this, and i will be reading it again.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2012

    Wow

    This was a tremendous book. It drew you into a past filled with horror. At times i had to stop reading because it was so intense. Having an uncle who liberated a death camp and brought back pictures he himself took made this seem all the more real.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2014

    Gripping read

    This is a well written story without long winded superfluous paragraphs that tend to flag interest Any account of this period is important to remind us of man's weakness for cruelty when faced with his own survival

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    Couldn't put it down.

    A thought provoking look at how war can change a person's ideals stripping away their humanity one layer at a time. How the mind can rationalize even the worst evil deeds when death is feared more than losing your soul. And when faced with the same horrors and devastation some stand courageous holding on to their ideals chosing death rather sacrificing their humanity. A very good book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2013

    Loved it!

    I couldn't put this book down, the 709 pages, flew by. More than a love story, a history of WWII somewhat.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 78 Customer Reviews

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