Erik Larson has set the bar very high for himself. Devil InThe White City and Thunderstruck were wonderful reads as was Isaac's Storm to a lesser extent. In The Garden of Beasts is not very engaging and it's characters are relatively uninteresting. The topic is also very tired.
I would recommend any of his other books over this one. It's really not worth the read.
Garden of the beasts doesn't have the same magnetic pull as devil in the white city. It's an interesting story but with so many negative opinions on the Dodds it's hard to invest in them.
Larson tells a story of the poisonous cloud of Nazi fascism slowly wafting in. No one really noticed. A little noxious smell - no real worries. American Ambassador Dodd,however, does see the casualties. Nobly he is never intimidated by Washington good old boys or Hitler's minions. He speaks out against the strangling implementation of Hitler's mad plan.
This is a perspective I never thought about. A very good "read."
I have read The Devil in the White City and thought that I would like to read another of his. This one was very well written and interesting. The reader was good. There were times I wished I had the text in front of me b/c I got names mixed up. But that really didn't affect the enjoyment.
A history book that reads like a novel. Lots of very personal and intimate details. Informative and engaging.
This was a very good account of an inside view of Germany in the early to mid 1930's. It places an American family in Berlin and shows the evolvement of the Nazi Party from the time Hitler became Chancellor. While the story is real, I really came away feeling disappointed in the overall performance of Dodd in his role as U.S. Ambassador to Germany. Particularly his thoughts and inaction regarding the Jewish population of Germany. I am also disappointed in the U.S. government administration during this time in history. If the accounts are correct, U.S. and other foreign representatives were living it up during a time when most of the world was going through the Great Depression. They seemed almost sympathetic to Germany in regards to the "Jewish problem". I realize that this was a very different time compared to the present, but to treat other people so, so poorly ( I know this way of putting it does not even remotely come close to a description of the atrocities the Jewish people endured), is just so difficult to fathom why.