- Paperback: 290 pages
- Publisher: Lethe Press (March 15, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590213092
- ISBN-13: 978-1590213094
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #674,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The German Paperback – March 15, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Lambda-winner Thomas (The Dust of Wonderland) sets this powerful thriller in a small Texas town in 1944. As a mysterious killer preys on the community's young men—leaving pro-Nazi notes inside the victims' mouths—the frightened residents cast blame on the area's sizable German population. Their chief suspect is Ernst Lang, a gay ex-soldier who fled Germany years earlier. Lang has been an exemplary neighbor, but his nationality and sexuality make him a target for a largely ignorant and panicked populace looking for a scapegoat. The supernatural element of the story is decidedly understated, but the novel's overall thematic power and narrative eloquence are wrenching. Thomas's compelling imagery (religion and politics are "gardens of atrocity" that grow "fat succulent flora") and disturbing portrait of humanity at its worse will haunt readers long after the last page is turned. (Apr.)
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The German... is a grisly, engrossing page-turner from Lambda awarding-winning author Lee Thomas. [It] isn't a conventional mystery novel, but rather an intriguing period piece complete with historical references and character studies that will likely provoke thought and discussion and remind its readers how far we ve come. --Edge New York
Award-winning author Lee Thomas wields tension like a knife in his latest murder mystery, The German. The novel establishes such a thick mood of dread and anticipation during its first ten pages that even the bravest readers will need to muster the courage to continue. Those who do will be rewarded with a complex and intriguing plot in which Thomas examines themes of racism and sexual repression amidst a rich portrayal of 1940s Texas - a setting that is as engrossing as it is shockingly abhorrent. As tumultuous as this reality may be for the reader, it makes for a truly thought-provoking and gripping work of fiction. --Rue Morgue Magazine
With The German, Thomas chips away at the thin coat of varnish that separates the veneer of civility from the undercoat of barbarism. The result is a novel that builds slowly with painstaking attention paid to character development and the establishment of mood to an unexpectedly fierce, heartrending finale that's less an eyebrow-raising surprise and more a series of rapid-fire sucker punches that will leave you slack-jawed and breathless. Devastating in its unflinching look at the nature of human cruelty arising from fear of the unknown and gorgeously rendered in a literary style that calls to mind earlier Peter Straub, The German is this summer's must-read genre title. --Lambda Literary Foundation
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Top customer reviews
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There are a string of murders of young men in a small Texas town where there are many German immigrants during WW2. There is a murder mystery element to the story as the Sheriff of the town tries to solve these gruesome murders.
What I enjoyed most about the book, besides it being a great horror story, is the thought-provoking narrative about xenophobia and other forms of bigotry. The German explores the narrow line between patriotism and xenophobia. It also explores the dangers and conflict of homosexuality in a small town during the 1940’s. Evil feels pervasive throughout the story and can come from any character including the “good” ones. While there is an underlying supernatural narrative the real evil is amongst humanity.
Lee Thomas is quickly becoming a writer who has my full attention and I look forward to furthering my way through his catalog.