- File Size: 658 KB
- Print Length: 157 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group (January 8, 2015)
- Publication Date: January 8, 2015
- Sold by: Hachette Book Group
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00LSX3TLU
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,056 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Hachette Book Group
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The Girl Who Wasn't There Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Ferdinand von Schirach is the grandson of Baldur von Schirach, first head of the Hitler Youth, and then Gauleiter of Vienna. He was responsible for sending thousands of Jews to their deaths. He was tried at Nuremberg and served a 20 year term at Spandau Prison near Berlin. He was released and spent some time with his sons and their children before dying in 1974. Ferdinand knew his grandfather a bit and seems like many Germans of the post-war generation who have tried to understand what their parents and grandparents did in the years of the Third Reich. (This last is speculation on my part, given what I've read about the von Schirach family.)
Ferdinand became a criminal defense lawyer in Berlin. His avocation was writing novels. He's written several, including one, "The CollinniCase", about post-war trials, and a book of short stories about crime.
He's now published "The Girl Who Wasn't There", about a possible crime committed by a performance and installation artist. The crime was murder, but no body was ever found. Sebastian von Eschburg, the artist, was from an old family that had seen both better times and much madness. While in jail, he hires Konrad Biegler, a famed defense lawyer but gives him very little to work with, defense-wise. Von Eschburg had supposedly confessed to the murder of the unknown woman during police interrogation but the exact means to obtain the confession is suspect.
Von Schirach's writing style is terse. Very terse. That alone will throw some readers. He doesn't coddle the reader. He imparts every bit of information like he's having it pulled out of him. Even after finishing the book and thinking about it, I still can't decide who's good and who's bad. Maybe no one is, according to the author. Certainly no character - with the possible exception of Biegler - is drawn in a cut and dried manner. The reader has doubts about all the characters in this short book. I've decided to give it a five star rating, but any reviewer who gives it one star is equally correct. Von Schirach's books are a fascinating, but frustrating look at who we are and who we were. (The translation is done beautifully by Anthea Bell.)
Well done intelligent read. Highly recommended.