Review: The Boys From Berlin – Ira Levin

The Boys From Brazil - Ira LevinMy version: Paperback
Genre: Fiction Nazis
Publisher:
Little Brown
First published: 1976
Bought


From the cover:

In this classic thriller, Ira Levin imagines Dr Josef Mengele’s nightmarish plot to restore the Third Reich. Alive and hiding in South America thirty years after the end of the Second World War, Mengele gathers a group of former colleagues for a sinister project – the cration of the Fourth Reich. Ageing Nazi hunter Yakov Lieberman is informed of the plot but before he hears the evidence, his source is killed…

Spanning continets and inspired by true events, what follows is one of Ira Levin‘s most masterful tales, both timeless and chillingly plausible.


There is a Speesh Reads The Boys From Brazil board hiding deep in the Pinterest rainforest, with lots and lots of interesting stuff to click on


A wonderful, thought-provoking story, rightly a classic of its kind. If you’ve seen the 1978 film each time it’s been on TV (me, though not so much since I moved to Denmark), you’ll still get plenty from the book. Amazingly, for a story I ‘knew‘ pretty well, the book still managed to surprise me with its tension and dissection of a madman’s project.

I did think that more could have been made of the gene/artificial insemination process, more explanation. It must have still been in its infancy back when the book was written, so a longer explanation would have worked. Also, not really explained to my satisfaction in the book, was – where did he get the money from, and then to Brazil/Paraguay to buy the necessary equipment? And where did the equipment come from? Someone would have raised an eyebrow about that, I’d have thought. And, why was he on a Paraguayan passport, when others were in Brazil, with Eichmann in Argentina at the time. I guess, only an investigation into the workings of the Nazi ratlines, an Odessa-type organisation, will answer that one. It is, with hindsight, a little like a forerunner for the kind of thing Michael Crichton in Jurassic Park was suggesting could be done.

But hey, that a book from 1976 can still have me scratching my head in wonder and heading off to follow up the topics raised (not least the ‘inspired by true events’ bit), must mean it’s (still) a bloody good book, I reckon.


You can buy The Boys From Brazil from Booksplea.se
There are many cover versions to choose from, this link is to the version I bought

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