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The Losing Role Paperback – December 10, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453855459
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453855454
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #833,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"The book’s pacing and dialogue are sharply turned ... Anderson skillfully portrays transformation in all of his characters." —Historical Novel Society

"A touching yet painful story ... [Max] is human in the face of hardship and choses to continue living, but on his own terms." —Awesome Indies

"A terrific book that deserves a wide audience. It is exciting and funny and keeps you thinking long after the action is over." —Rose City Reader

"Excellent dialogue, well-crafted characters, and enough dramatic tension to saw a Panzer in half." —The New Podler Review of Books

"The book does a marvelous job of showing the ‘fog of war’ wherein no one truly understands what is going on once the attack has begun." —Historical Novel Review

"A perfect combination of plot-driven action and character study." —Red Adept Reviews

Awesome Indies Approved
B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree
Independent Novel Best of 2010, The New Podler Review of Books

About the Author

Steve Anderson is the author of The Losing Role and other novels. Anderson has also written Kindle Singles, short stories and screenplays, and was a Fulbright Fellow in Germany. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

More About the Author

Steve Anderson is the author of Liberated: A Novel of Germany, 1945, Under False Flags: A Novel, and The Losing Role as well as the nonfiction Kindle Singles Double-Edged Sword and Sitting Ducks. Anderson was a Fulbright Fellow in Germany. He is also a literary translator. He lives in Portland, Oregon. http://www.stephenfanderson.com

More about Steve Anderson:

Years ago, Steve Anderson planned to become a history professor. Then he discovered fiction writing -- he could make stuff up, he realized, using history and research to serve the story. Anderson writes novels that introduce a little-known aspect of historical events, mixing in overlooked crimes, true accounts, and neglected underdogs.

Anderson has written narrative nonfiction, short stories and screenplays. He has worked in advertising, marketing, and journalism. He's been a waiter, a language instructor, a freelance copywriter. Recently he became a literary translator of German to English, focusing on crime and mystery fiction by Alexander Hartung, Marcus Hünnebeck, and others.

He has spent time abroad, mostly in Europe, and lived in Germany. His most exciting memories include striking out into Eastern Europe with a backpack when the Berlin Wall came down.

Anderson lives in his hometown of Portland, Oregon with his wife René. He remains a soccer dork and follows Portland Timbers FC.

Customer Reviews

An interesting story, well written, with some surprises.
Russell Phillips
The Losing Role is an excellent WW II espionage thriller that transcends the genre, making it a story that you don't have to be a history buff to enjoy.
DED
The story is well researched without getting bogged down in historical details.
J. Beaty

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By DED on July 7, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
Late in 1944, the German Army pressed westward along the western front in a desperate attempt to break the Allied advance. The offensive would later come to be known as the Battle of the Bulge. While plenty of novels and movies have portrayed the American side of the struggle in Belgium's Ardennes forest that winter, Steve Anderson's The Losing Role examines the story of a German soldier caught up in a cause he knows is lost.

Max Kaspar is an out-of-work actor drafted into the German Army to fight a war he doesn't have the stomach for. A former emigrant to America, Max's English speaking skills, not to mention his acting ability, lands him a part in Operation Greif, the brainchild of SS Colonel Otto Skorzeny. The plan is for English-speaking soldiers to sneak behind American lines and wreak as much havoc as possible to better the odds of Panzer divisions breaking through American lines. Max, however, has plans of his own.

Max has seen enough of the horrors of war to know that Germany is fooling itself if it can think it can win. The Russians are fueled by revenge on the Eastern Front and the Americans, well, there's no end to the resources at their disposal. It's Max's hope to use the cover of the operation to desert the Army and find passage back to America, where he can rejoin his family and renew his career. But any soldier can tell you that nothing ever goes as planned in war.

Anderson doesn't offer much hope for Max. It seems as if everyone has an ulterior motive and Max isn't sure who to trust, or for how long. Each encounter he faces could be the one where he gets caught or killed. Anderson deftly elevates the tension when Max stumbles over words, phrases or elements of American culture that any American would know.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Heather on May 15, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"He considered leaving again- just walking off into the trees and never coming back. He didn't. This was all about tomorrow, and the day after that. So he rolled up in a ball on the back seat and closed his eyes, squeezing them shut until he'd fooled himself into something like sleep." This is how Max in Steve Anderson's The Losing Role gets through another night as a German soldier who is a man in the wrong place at the wrong time of his life.

Anderson is an artful writer who makes the images in this story come alive. It is also well researched- a late relative of mine was a young German officer during WWII, and The Losing Role brings back to my mind the stories told to me of these very places and the people he met. Especially of the anxiety involved in "playing a part" to protect the innocent people around him, while planning escape to save himself and get to America.

Will Max be successful in his journey? I really enjoyed reading his story, and am looking forward to much more from Steve Anderson!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Man of La Book on January 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
"The Losing Role" by Steve Anderson is a historical fiction book which takes place during World War II. The story follows a failed German actor who is drafted to infiltrate American lines posing as an American officer.

Max Kaspar, a.k.a. failed German-American actor Maximilian von Kaspar, is fighting on the Eastern front when he is drafted by the SS for an unknown mission. Soon Max discovers that he has been recruited to impersonate American officers and cause havoc behind enemy lines.

Realizing the absurdity of the plan, Max devises his own plan which ultimately, he hopes, will bring him back to America and to his true love, the theater.

I'm a sucker for espionage thrillers especially if they take place in WWII.

"The Losing Role" is an interesting book with a refreshing twist, it is told from the view point of a German solider - and a likable one at that. Max has been disillusioned by the promises of America, he has been grinded by the rough life of an immigrant and an actor and has decided to go back and protect the Fatherland.

As an immigrant I can certainly understand Max's disappointment. Many immigrants come to America with a promise of "streets lined with gold" only to realize that the only thing guaranteed is hard work and that there is no such thing as "easy money".
No matter what everyone else say.

Mr. Anderson made Max an affable character, an actor wearing a uniform due to his naïveté. We meet Max on the brutal Eastern front, fighting the Russians, but learn about his life in America through flashbacks.

This is a well researched and fascinating book. Mr.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By teacher on May 16, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
I got this book in part because I am very familiar with the Battle of the Bulge and the story of the Germans sending soldiers to impersonate Americans. I wanted to see how Anderson blended the story together and I have to say he did so beautifully. Very well written, a great story. This is definitely worth the price!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kyle L. Rhynerson on December 31, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a good historical fiction novel set in WW2 told from a German perspective about a real blackflag (i.e., counter-intelligence) operation.

I liked how the author takes you into the mind of Max Kaspar, who is an anti-hero. He struggles with his feelings for Germany and for America, since we find out he lived in both countries.

There is some foul language as the German soldiers attempt to impersonate the cussing that was common to American soldiers. There was also a non-graphic reference to homosexual and heterosexual relationships, but thankfully they were in passing, and not a central element of the story.
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