Archive for May, 2009

Commentary Review

May 1, 2009

“Although The Kindly Ones is constructed like an airport potboiler, its scope, its intellectual sophistication, and its stately prose all point to Littell’s enormous literary ambition. His knowledge of the war, down to its most hidden bureaucratic crannies and its most private anguishes, is astonishing, particularly for an author who speaks no German.” More of the review here.

Reading Group Guide Question

May 1, 2009

In an interview, Jonathan Littell said of the novel and his protagonist Max Aue, “I was aiming not for plausibility, but for truth. Novelistic truth is different from historic or sociological truth.” Does he achieve his goal? As a portrait of a perpetrator and his motivations, does the novel ring true for you?