After Dachau

After Dachau

3.3 6
by Daniel Quinn

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Daniel Quinn, well known for Ishmael – a life-changing book for readers the world over – once again turns the tables and creates an otherworld that is very like our own, yet fascinating beyond words. Imagine that Nazi Germany was the first to develop an atomic bomb and the Allies surrendered. America was never bombed, occupied, or even invaded, but


Daniel Quinn, well known for Ishmael – a life-changing book for readers the world over – once again turns the tables and creates an otherworld that is very like our own, yet fascinating beyond words. Imagine that Nazi Germany was the first to develop an atomic bomb and the Allies surrendered. America was never bombed, occupied, or even invaded, but was nonetheless forced to recognize Nazi world dominance. The Nazis continued to press their campaign to rid the planet of “mongrel races” until eventually the world – from Capetown to Tokyo – was populated by only white faces. Two thousand years in the future people don’t remember, or much care, about this distant past. The reality is that to be human is to be Caucasian, and what came before was literally ancient history having nothing to do with those then living. Now imagine that reincarnation is real, that souls migrate over time from one living creature to another, and that a soul that once animated an American black woman living at the time of World War II now animates an Aryan in Quinn’s new world, and that due to a traumatic accident memories of this earlier incarnation assert themselves. Compared by readers and critics alike to 1984 and Brave New World, After Dachau is a new dystopian classic with much to say about our own time, and the dynamics of human history.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
From the author of the bestselling novel Ishmael, 1992 winner of the highly controversial $500,000 Turner Tomorrow Fellowship, comes this absorbing cautionary tale imagining a homogenous future society. In 1992 A.D., when the narrator, Jason Tull Jr., the dilettante scion of a famous, incredibly wealthy family, graduates from college, he decides to work for We Live Again, an underfunded foundation dedicated to tracking down and authenticating reported instances of reincarnation. After 10 years and hundreds of dead-end investigations, Jason encounters the case of Mallory Hastings, a 28-year-old librarian from Oneonta, N.Y., who, following a minor car wreck, regains consciousness as a deaf mute. Hoping he has finally stumbled onto the elusive "Golden Case," Jason gains Mallory's confidence. He is ill-prepared, however, to cope with the enormity of his discovery: the person now occupying Mallory's body is Gloria MacArthur, a Manhattan artist born in 1922 A.D. But this is only a hint of a dark, complex conundrum, for the "new" Mallory has scarcely learned to talk when she realizes that Jason's A.D. is not the Christian anno Domini. Quinn's provocative, Orwellian tale imagines that Adolf Hitler beat the Allies to the A-bomb in 1944 and set in place a chilling plan to achieve a world of Aryan perfection. In Mallory/Gloria's brave new world, 2002 years have passed "after Dachau," the chilling A.D. of the title. (Feb.) Forecast: Since the publication of Ishmael and its two companion volumes, My Ishmael and The Story of B, Quinn has gained a cult following. The added intrigue of a revisionist, Nazi-dominated history will likely rally fans, and Context's vigorous promotional plans, including a 20-city reading tour in March to support a 30,000-copy first printing, may extend Quinn's reach. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
This disappointing, poorly conceived new fantasy novel mixes reincarnation, sf, Abstract Expressionism, and the Holocaust. The plot will be familiar to readers who know Quinn's most popular novel, Ishmael, the story of a telepathic gorilla and the dark secrets he reveals about man's conquest of nature. In After Dachau, the year is 4000 C.E., and a dark secret about human history is once again revealed, this time related to genocide. The Aryans have systematically exterminated every other race, and they have somehow been able to conceal the truth about this horror from the masses. Although Quinn's work in Ishmael and elsewhere suggests that he has had interesting and important things to say, this is not his best work. The plotting and characterization are very weak, and Quinn's observations about racism and bigotry, which might have redeemed the novel's other weaknesses, are, unfortunately, superficial and uninspiring. Not recommended. Patrick Sullivan, Manchester Community Coll., CT Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Damning and damnably elegant." — Entertainment Weekly

"Provocative, Orwellian .... [an]absorbing cautionary tale." — Publishers Weekly

"Hairpin plot twists that spin wildly from mass genocide to the rediscovery of abstract expressionism.... After Dachau is a rare moral thriller in the tradition of Fahrenheit 451." — Village Voice Literary Supplement

"A ghostly and subtle thriller/fantasia/parable about (more or less) how we conceive of history, identity, time. Think Brave New World." Esquire Magazine

"Quinn's powerful writing style consistently impresses, as does his talent for creating suspense." Rocky Mountain News

"Entertaining... A taut, gripping, sinister, and often fun book." Hartford Courant

Product Details

Steerforth Press
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Penguin Random House Publisher Services
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2 MB

Meet the Author

Daniel Quinn is the author of Ishmael, The Story of B, My Ishmael, and Tales of Adam. He lives with his wife, Rennie, in Houston, Texas.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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After Dachau 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
CurlieGurlie More than 1 year ago
I can, in all honesty, say that this is one of the best books I have ever read. This was my first time with a Quinn novel, and although I can't speak to his other work, this one will stop you dead in your tracks. He is able to successfully craft an alternate reality and history without confusing the reader, while at the same time challenging you to question everything that you thought to be true -- about history, about our existence, about humankind in general. It makes you wonder if this work of fiction is really fiction after all. The book's ending, as well as the revelation of the "correct" three words on the blackboard, moved me to tears. After this one, you'll definitely look at the human race in general through different eyes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was fortunate enough to see Quinn on the book tour, and even though I hadn't read the book yet, I knew I was in for something good. And i was right...I read the whole book in a day, and having read everything else by Quinn, this one goes in another direction than the Ishmael trilogy and Beyond Civlization. The clear and consise writing made this a quick but throughourly(sp?) enjoyable read, and the plot twist in the middle almost made me jump! The underlying message may be lost on those not familiar with his works, so if you read this first, be sure to check out the Ishmael trilogy(Ishmael, Story of B, and My Ishmael) as well as Beyond Civlization. Your outlook on the world will never be the same. Message aside, it's still an enjoyable and suspensful read. Some parts, especialy near the end require ALOT of suspension of belief on behalf of the reader, but other than that I recommend this book to...well, everyone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is not as good as some if Quinns other books, like Ishmael, but it was still a very good read!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This new offering from Daniel Quinn (author of Ishmael) is a very intriguing exploration of how a culture's perspective on history can drive people. It is the story of a young man who is obsessed with reincarnation, finally finds the real thing, and how it blows to pieces the ideas upon which his whole world is founded. There are several chilling points in the book and at the end we see a small minority who is in a very similar position as those of us who have been changed by Quinn's previous books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
hey this book looks sooo broing but i have to reed it for AP US history but its ok but k
Psconn More than 1 year ago
Rambling prose and an exquisitely complicated and pointless set-up bury a marginally interesting idea. Imagine if the Nazis won. Imagine if that idea was touched on brievly, but hidden under a totally unbelievable parable about reincarnation, and populated by characters with all the human interest of stick figures. You have now imagined this book, and spent more imagination than the author did in writing it. Do not waste any more time. Move on.