- File Size: 2030 KB
- Print Length: 173 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: April 21, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00JUC91LI
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,866,227 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$9.99|
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Fire Answers Fire Kindle Edition
|Length: 173 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top customer reviews
There's a lot of obvious love of language, literature, and history here. I particularly enjoyed the author's occasional dig at the crumbling edifice that is scholarly publishing today. Mumma has done his homework and evokes a vivid sense of 1937 Upper West Side Manhattan, thick with the culture of Germans pulled between old and new world sensibilities. The split between those who feel remote pride at the rising power of the Fatherland and those who deplore Nazi atrocities is depicted believably, as is the main character's seething, silent hatred for what has become of his country. It's easy to sympathize with Hans Hartung, the immigrant who will eventually abandon his heritage to become the grandfatherly American Jimmy Cobbet, even when his judgments seem questionable.
Therein lies the heart of the book: an opportunity Hartung seizes to strike at Hitler. I won't spoil it -- though it's hardly a surprise, given the timeline -- except to say I was disappointed in how plainly it was rendered. An indelible moment in history is recounted here from Hartung's perspective with an almost total lack of passion. It seems as if the author felt reluctant to add drama to an already dramatic event. That's one approach, I suppose, but it creates a bit of a let-down when the thing you've been waiting for comes not with a bang but a whimper. Still, the novel's sense of time and place, the believability of the historic characters, and the satisfying connection between the contemporary characters provide more than enough reading pleasure to make the book worthwhile.
All in all, an interesting and enjoyable novel -- Mumma's first, according to his endnote. In his subsequent efforts, I hope he finds a way to add some more emotional fire to his careful craftsmanship. Robert Frost once said, "No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader." Here's hoping Mr. Mumma goes on to surprise himself.
Though it is not necessary, prior to reading one might consider a quick review of Hindenburg disaster footage and maybe a quick search on the German American Bund, Fritz Kuhn, and Ernst Toller, too. They’re all mentioned on the back cover of the book and reacquainting oneself with the drama and a few details of these events and characters could get one’s juices flowing right in the direction of the storyline from page one.