- File Size: 732 KB
- Print Length: 284 pages
- Publisher: Antenna Books (June 14, 2012)
- Publication Date: June 14, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B008BUHBKS
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,717,819 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The People's Hare Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
The end was particularly poignant. While some have stated it felt like it was a different story at the end, I felt it was perfect. There was an allegory to his Hare character to how we treat technology and the internet.
I hope to see this book rise from the ranks of "discounted independent published book" to "a modern classic, and part of a top 20 recommended reading list" I loved this book so much, I shall order a print version very soon.
My last words are: Mr Minnis, I do hope you're writing some new tales in the same spirit and quality soon. I can't wait.
The People's Hare follows the journey of Albert Behrens, a young Berlin artist, who acquires fame as the creator of a propaganda comic strip hero. Albert's success is short lived and he encounters a dramatic and continuous downward spiral from celebrity, first to the eastern front, with its rain, mud, heat, cold, death and despair, to capture by the Russians and imprisonment in a gulag for ten years, repatriation to both east and west Germany, to Chile in 1967, and then to Israel after he is captured by Mossad.
Albert's creation of the Hare is a serendipitous idea formed by our protagonist, after reading an article about Superman in an SS publication. Albert believes Germany needs a weapon of deception, perhaps a cartoon hero, not unlike Superman, but different- clever, cunning, fearless and full of tricks.
Although he is just a young unknown artist, Albert's suggestion finds its way to Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler, chief of the Gestapo and head of the SS-"the second most powerful man in the Reich."
The dialogue between Albert and Himmler, over a period of many months, almost makes you believe Minnis personally transcribed those comments in the deep recesses of SS headquarters. Tension filled and believable are the conversations between Albert Behrens and Himmler as they discuss Berliners' disinterest in the war and "Germany's Jewish Problems."
Albert's comic strip, "Lights Out" is an immediate success, but with celebrity comes romantic temptations to which Albert succumbs, resulting in the loss of his true love, Renata, another young Berlin artist. Albert is sent to the Eastern Front in February 1943, captured by Russians in April 1945, and is sent to a Russian gulag where he reunites with Willi Morgen, a former colleague.
Albert emigrates to Chile in 1967 where he, a girl friend, Annmarie, and others plot to overthrow President Allende, and his cybernetic approach to the Chilean economy. Albert's farcical attempt at a coup of Allende is usurped by General Pinochet in 1973.
Minnis injects a balance of history, romance, intrigue, excitement, subtle humor, and not so subtle humor, throughout The People's Hare. It is very unique and striking.
At face value, Albert's tale of rise, fall, and possible redemption follows a fairly traditional arc, but it's the deeper context, the historical and almost mythological underpinnings of the book that move it from an above average read to one that should absolutely be read. Readers willing to give the book the time it deserves will discover layers of meaning not often found in literature today, making The People's Hare a novel that can be revisited again and again, yielding something new each time.
Those many layers do not, however, make the book dense or inaccessible. It is quite the opposite, being well-paced, and very well written, easily keeping the reader engaged in the story. If you are at all interested in historical fiction, The People's Hare is a must read. If you're interested in a well told story filled with memorable characters, it's a must read. In short, The People's Hare is just that: a must read.
I would highly recommend it.