Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dorrance Publishing - Book 1

Dorrance Publishing provided me with a free book in exchange for posting a rview on my personal blog as well as on a retail site.

The first book I chose was "Beneath the Snows of Stalingrad: Betrayed by Fate" ,by Frank J. Irganag PhD. This book is about a young medical student and his fiance who goes to nursing school. It is set in World War 2 Europe so, of course, the story is about this young man's journey through the war and it's effect on his life.

What I loved about this book is the different areas of the war the author took you too. Most of this type of book takes you to the concentrations camps or the ghettos through the eyes of the victims. This author, instead, takes us to Africa and to Russia at the same time reminding the reader of the often forgotten victims: the German people.

The main character volunteered to be a soldier and was deployed to Africa. Through his great leadership there, he was drafted to be a member of the fighting SS, the Death Heads with whom he fought with in Stalingrad. His trips home when he was on leave were great depictions of the people just trying to live their lives around what their politicians were doing. The parts of the story while he was away at war were very graphic in parts, graphics that aren't typically heard of in these types of books. The starving and freezing soldiers were there, but the medical atrocities caused by the weather and desperation of those troops were addressed as well as what was done withe the tens of thousands of dead bodies.

There were some things I did not like about this book. First, there wasn't really a plot. This book was written like a shot in time of a persons life, with no real climax or resolution, it was all just flat. Of course, there were exciting parts that could be conceived as climatic, but no high point to the story. Also, sometimes it was hard to love the main character. He cheated on his fiance and rarely felt bad about it. He lost many of his friends in war, but the author did not protray the characters feelings so the reader sympathized with him; it was very cold. What I liked least about the way this book was written is that there wasn't really an ending. Everything about the ending was just sad and unsatisfying.

I do recommend this book to anyone who likes this time period as it is different than most others. Overall, I really enjoyed it.

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