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Cafe Berlin
     

Cafe Berlin

4.0 1
by Harold Nebenzal
 

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The hypnotic thriller of Berlin before World War II.Cafe Berlin is a hypnotic literary thriller and an unforgettable portrayal of the feverish, decadent world of Berlin clubgoers in the months leading up to the Nazi rise to power. Utterly accurate in its depiction of historical and military events and astoundingly rich in detail, Cafe Berlin is vivid and compelling

Overview

The hypnotic thriller of Berlin before World War II.Cafe Berlin is a hypnotic literary thriller and an unforgettable portrayal of the feverish, decadent world of Berlin clubgoers in the months leading up to the Nazi rise to power. Utterly accurate in its depiction of historical and military events and astoundingly rich in detail, Cafe Berlin is vivid and compelling.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Screenwriter/film producer Nebenzal, whose credits include Cabaret, mixes seedy ambiance and solid historical detail in this darkly kaleidoscopic first novel. The narrative unfolds as Daniel Saporta, aka Salazar, hiding out in a Berlin attic in 1943, feverishly records the city's decadent nightlife between the wars. A Syrian Jew, Saporta assumes the identity of a Christian Spaniard when he moves to Berlin in 1930 and opens a nightclub whose lurid shows titillate high-ranking Nazis and solid German citizens. Recruited into a British spy ring in 1941, he forces his live-in lover, Samira Mansour, a Jewish dancer, to become the mistress of a Nazi officer fond of sadomasochistic sex games. Samira uncovers the cooperation between Hitler and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, the real-life Palestinian leader who sought the Nazis' help in a plan to annihilate the Jews. While his tormented lover sinks into cocaine addiction, in late 1941 Saporta undertakes a mission to Yugoslavia, where Croatians are slaughtering Jews, Serbs and Gypsies with the help of Bosnian Muslims, minions of the Grand Mufti. Saporta's diary, extending to Berlin's capture in April 1945, is punctuated by bad news from the outside world, delivered by his club's street-smart ex-manager. An absorbing, ingenious debut. (Sept.)
Kirkus Reviews
First published in 1992, and now in development as a movie by Wolfgang Petersen (The Perfect Storm, etc.), Nebenzal's debut returns to the scene of his screenplay adaptation for the movie Cabaret—prewar Berlin in all its decadent splendor. Affirming the story's political and military accuracy in a headnote, Nebenzal depicts café society with, as Kirkus noted, "headspinning authenticity." The story of a Sephardic Jew masquerading as a Spanish club owner, it covers a wide range of society in cosmopolitan Berlin. Kirkus praised Nebenzal's "Nabokovian, termite-like detail" on all the areas of life it enters, even as war takes hold. In short: "after a strong start, it gets only better." Film rights to Advanced Medien

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780879512842
Publisher:
Overlook Press, The
Publication date:
03/28/2001
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
281
Product dimensions:
5.52(w) x 7.98(h) x 0.79(d)

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Cafe Berlin 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Bonnie9 More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Highly recommended.