Two Brothers

Two Brothers The new novel from this well loved bestselling author Two Brothers is a heartrending story of two boys growing up under the darkening shadow of the Nazis Born in Berlin in and raised by the same

The new novel from this well loved, bestselling author Two Brothers is a heartrending story of two boys growing up under the darkening shadow of the Nazis Born in Berlin in 1920 and raised by the same parents, one boy is Jewish, his adopted brother is Aryan At first, their origins are irrelevant But as the political landscape changes they are forced to make decisions wThe new novel from this well loved, bestselling author Two Brothers is a heartrending story of two boys growing up under the darkening shadow of the Nazis Born in Berlin in 1920 and raised by the same parents, one boy is Jewish, his adopted brother is Aryan At first, their origins are irrelevant But as the political landscape changes they are forced to make decisions with horrifying consequences.

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Two Brothers

  1. Ben Elton was born on 3 May 1959, in Catford, South London The youngest of four, he went to Godalming Grammar school, joined amateur dramatic societies and wrote his first play at 15 He wanted to be a stagehand at the local theatre, but instead did A Level Theatre Studies and studied drama at Manchester University in 1977 His career as both performer and writer encompasses some of the most memorable and incisive comedy of the past twenty years His ground breaking work as a TV stand up comedian set the high standard of what was to follow He has received accolades for his hit TV sit coms, The Young Ones, Blackadder and The Thin Blue Line More recently he has had successes with three hit West End musicals, including the global phenomenon We Will Rock You He has written three plays for the London stage, including the multi award winning Popcorn Ben s international bestselling novels include Stark, Inconceivable, Dead Famous and High Society He won the Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger Award for the novel Popcorn.Elton lives in Perth with his Aussie wife Sophie and three children.

767 Reply to “Two Brothers”

  1. At 2 00 today I was on page 102 at 8 10pm I have finished it, could not stop reading it I implore you to read this book, the story will tug at your heart strings even bring you to tears.This could be my favourite book I have read all year

  2. This book should be added to the school curriculum It s amazing a totally human story of how normal life is changed by evil It s different to other accounts of being Jewish in the Third Reich but I can t quite put my finger on why I think it s the way they author writes I m a fan of Ben Elton s anyway but this is the first serious book I ve read by him I think it s so readable because nothing is overplayed not the tragedy, not the emotion, not the lunacy and not the normality And Elton doesn t i [...]

  3. Utterly gripping from the start, this story of two boys born on the same day in pre war Berlin, is a tour de force The boys, destined to become twins via a secret adoption of one of the boys at birth, grow from children to adult soldiers, born to Wolfgang, a musician in the heady Berlin nightclub scene, and Freida , a doctor a Jewish family living a simple life Until Hitler came to power Slowly , the author builds the feelings of abject terror and menace that the Jews endured on a daily basis da [...]

  4. I really, really wanted to like this book But unfortunately I just found it to be a bit of a mess all round, and I can t bring myself to give it than around 2.5 stars.Longer review to come I just didn t want to ruin it for my book club people by pointing out all its faults Okay so the lecture I m watching online is boring me, hence I decided to finish my review Unfortunately, I had quite a few problems with Two Brothers Firstly, the first half of the book moved extremely slowly And not only did [...]

  5. Just finished Ben Elton, Two Brothers I should say first that I have enjoyed all Ben Elton s writing but I would observe I hope objecively that the quality of his writing has improved over the years, this book is possibly his best yet Weaving biographical and historical detail into a story focused around the personal lives of those in Germany growing up through the rise of Hitler and Nazi Germany, it made me realise how little I knew of the internal aspects of Nazi Germany I would have considere [...]

  6. I d give this book 10 stars if I could What an amazing, amazing story And the tension I spent half the book wondering who Stone was Otto or Paulus and when I finally found out I spent the other half of the book wondering what had happened to the other My heart bled for Frieda, so courageous and kind, and even so for Wolfgang, ironically, because the pitiful he became the I remembered how he lived before so carefree and full of life There is nothing I can say about Dagmar that hasn t been said [...]

  7. There are many novels set in pre war Berlin but none quite so effective as Ben Elton s Two Brothers As the title suggests, the author uses the childhood and adolescent lives of two Jewish brothers to tell the story of happiness followed by despair and finally tragedy The brothers themselves form a Saturday club with the daughter of a wealthy Jewish department store owner and the daughter of the brothers family cleaner.The early years are happy and often funny but as each member of the club enter [...]

  8. This is an astonishingly good book wonderfully written, craftily crafted and beautifully brutal Firstly, that whole interwar period of the 1920 s and 30 s especially in Germany has always been a bit of a black hole for me, as history lessons in school were dominated by the World Wars, but here Ben Elton brings the Weimar Republic to life, with its extremes of poverty, decadence, violence and jazz Secondly, it s also always been incomprehensible to me how the German public allowed the Final Solut [...]

  9. I am disappointed with Two Brothers The premise of the story sounded really interesting from an historical point of view, and the characters seemed to have so much potential But the reality was just plain awkward.None of the characters stood out from one another, they actually became difficult to differentiate between The language seemed forced, over the top and Americanized a lot of the time, not at all what you might expect from Germany in the 1920 s through 1950 s I also didn t get the boys f [...]

  10. I feel like this book was a huge disappointment on the whole I had had it on my shelf for over a year as ironic as it may sound, I bought it while on vacation in Munich and the thing is, I ve been dying to read it for months I saw it as a really promising book but it just turned out as a disappointment in the end.Don t get me wrong, I tried quite hard to enjoy this book I really did It looked quite nice at first, with the Stengel parents backstory and all I really liked both Frieda and Wolfgang, [...]

  11. this is one of those books that i simply couldn t put down i really enjoyed the story and the twists were totally unexpected yes, we all know that it s very hard to read about the holocaust i m not always in the right frame of mind, but i simply have to do this every now and again makes one think and appreciate things again.

  12. Having never read anything by Ben Elton before I was drawn to this book by the subject Two brothers born in 1920 to Jewish parents in Berlin, also the birth of Hitlers party.It was an incredibly well written book, Elton had obviously done thorough research the characters where very believable One of the descriptions was of the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936 Elton described the event so well that you could feel the thunder of Heil Hitler as Hitler took his place in the stand From this I did some r [...]

  13. I can see that this book has had lots of positive reviews, and I know that Ben Elton has plenty of fans, so I appreciate that I am in the minority with a one star review I will try and explain my reasons for my rating.On the positive side, the idea behind the story is a good one We often hear of twins separated at birth, but what about twins united at birth Especially if these twins are born on the same day as the Nazi party got its name The idea immediately raises intriguing questions of nature [...]

  14. It s described as his most personal novel to date , and maybe that s the problem This is a frankly dreadful novel The basic premise two brothers living a complex life through WW2 is fair enough.But Ben Elton s usual problem in real life is that he doesn t know when to stop preaching it was always the weakness of his stand up comedy and in this book, he tells us that the Nazis were bad Then he tells us that they were very bad They did bad things And did you know that they were bad Yes, thanks, we [...]

  15. To be honest I was thoroughly disappointed with this novel after hearing so many positive reviews for it Characters, themes of the book, and the plot itself were really quite a big let down.I ll explain and breakdown my main issues with this book below Spoiler Warning 1 Obsession with attractiveness and Dagmar Easily my biggest issue with this novel is it s constant repetitiveness, Elton obviously holds attractiveness in high regard because I read about it in every other chapter Don t get me wro [...]

  16. By Ben Elton Grade AWhen one is confronted by a good book that one is in a real dilemma How to rate its merits and demerits Should one go back to basics taught eons ago in undergraduate courses or just follow the trends in numerous sites proclaiming to know what is right I have tried to do a balancing act.The book, like so many modern books, does not have a linear narrative It jumps between the 1920s Germany and the 1950s London The theme suits the style admirably well We start at the beginning [...]

  17. Ben Elton has written some very good lines The Young Ones and Blackadder alone would be enough to have made him a screen writing legend When he added the musical We Will Rock You and a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera to his accomplishments, most would have self satisfactorily called it a day He has also written some novels, which I have studiously avoided as someone who often judges books by their covers.If I had been asked to name the author of Two Brothers having read it without any knowled [...]

  18. Ive been reading WWII fiction for as long as I can remember, so we can say that my standards are fairly high I m not an specialist or whatever, but after a while you need to feel the history flooding through the book, otherwise it won t wotk out However, it took me a couple of hours to write this review and do it properly , I ve also read other reviews on GR just to have a better feeling, but I just can tIt was a great story and background pre WWII Berlin is a hell of a background but I just cou [...]

  19. If it s got the Brandenburg Gate on the cover, it s guaranteed to be a good read This throwaway comment, made by me when the book was given to me as a book group read, turned out to be spot on, and this book is a firm contender for the best book I have read in 2015.A couple of years ago, I read The Hare with Amber Eyes , by Edmund de Waal, the true story of the fate of his Jewish ancestors at the hands of the Nazis, and am still haunted by the book While Ben Elton s book is a work of fiction, un [...]

  20. So, I m not giving anything away if I say the book is about two brothers They are born at the same time as the Nazi party in Germany The book follows their lives and loves and weaves a wonderful tale of childhood fun, romance and then war My husband reads war stories than me, so I ll quote him here Where the book earns its accolades is how it provides insight into the workings of the national psyche in Germany over this tumultuous time How does a nation slowly turn on the Jewish people and beco [...]

  21. I always look forward to a new Ben Elton novel Often, the premise is stretched, the characters less than believable, and the writing slightly too in your face, but they re always, in the end, an enjoyable read, especially when the author wanders into the realms of speculative fiction However, when it comes to the historical novel going by this and 2005 s excellent The First Casualty , and perhaps even Blackadder Goes Forth Elton transcends his other work This novel evokes twenties and thirties B [...]

  22. The story, partly retold from 1956, is set in Berlin from the early 1920s up to and including its occupation by the Allied Forces in May 1945 The overview is from the perspective of two twin brothers and their dearest friend, Dagmar As the story unfolds the reader is drawn into the close and often tense intra relationship between the three central characters and the inter relationship of this close group and that of their immediate families, community, city and ultimately the government.Although [...]

  23. OK, lets be honest, this book does not know who its target audience is.The style is so yoof it can only surely be intended for so called young adults, indeed I only read it because I wanted a copy for my 16 year old s Christmas stocking and over the space of 2 shopping trips ended up with 2 copies.I ve led a far from sheltered life, but frankly if this is a book for young adults, there s a few too many c nts and f cks peppering its pages to make me comfortable in handing it over.In appealing to [...]

  24. Within the first hundred pages I was complaining to the person who lent me the book how terrible the dialogue was But he had loved this book so I persevered Ultimately, my perseverance did not pay off I ve read the other reviews here and can t really add to what they say about the poor characterisation, the abysmal and historically incongruous dialogue and the vomit inducing Dagmar love fest That she turns out to be an absolute monster is hardly compensation for having to read wade through that [...]

  25. As ever with Ben Elton s books, this is a quick, easy read despite it dealing with the most unpleasant period of recent history It s not fantastically well written but I do think he s improved The characters are a bit thin and one dimensional but the plot bounces along and it is quite hard to put down The only thing that I found myself objecting to was that there seemed to be no decent, ordinary German citizens in the story at all I assume that during WWII, many Germans went along with the disgr [...]

  26. Had the beginning of this novel not been so overwrought, I would have liked it much better.I really struggled to get through the first third or so It was meandering and the writing felt off to me Once the focus really shifted to the Stengel twins it became much better The depiction of Germany in the pre war years was poignant and insightful powerful I grew to care for the characters except for Dagmar, never liked her or bought the boys fascination with her and was invested in seeing their story [...]

  27. Fantastico Compreender a Segunda Guerra Mundial e o por que de tanto dio gratuito Este livro narra a historia de uma fam lia com dois filhos g meos nascidos no mesmo dia do partido Nazista na Berlim cheia de problemas, economia fragilizada entre ricos e pobres Momento n o poderia ser mais oportuno para os devaneios de Hitler A vida desses dois irm o se desenvolve assim como o Partido de Hitler Mais um livro sobre a II Guerra Mundial, mas para este eu aplaudo em p Obrigada Mara pelo delicioso pre [...]

  28. A very enjoyable read The storyline was interesting and had me gripped throughout I loved the authors style of writing A great work of historical fiction.

  29. Ah, Ben Elton you certainly know how to tug at my heart strings My fascination with WW2 is so great that of course this is a book I was going to have to read, especially after hearing such great things about it from the publisher s rep.A Jewish couple have a baby and adopt a German boy who was born on the very same day Fast forward 15 or so years later when the purge of Jewish blood is being carried out ripping the family and the twins apart Add into this the knowledge we get in the first few pa [...]

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