Two babies are born. Two brothers. United and indivisible, sharing everything. Twins in all but blood. As Germany marches into its Nazi Armageddon, the ties of family, friendship and love are tested to the very limits of endurance. And the brothers are faced with an unimaginable choice....
Which one of them will survive? Ben Elton's most personal novel to date, Two Brothers transports the listener to the time of history's darkest hour.
©2012 Ben Elton (P)2012 Random House AudioGo
They all were
Simply a terrific book to listen to. Jot brings the characters to life.
This one I rank in my top 5 collection.
You cannot have one favourite character in this book. You get so attached to Paulus, Otto, Zilka and Dagmar.
his accents are brilliant wich helps you distinguish wich character is wich.
2 Brothers together while worlds fall apart.
I don't get emotional in books until I read this one. I find myself pondering over it for days. It really plucked at my emotional heart strings. Thank you for a great listen.
Love Books and listen while working out and on the way to and from work
I find Ben's historic novels fascinating. This is well written as well as a great story (i was born in Germany but move away 30 years ago and therefore I could be a bit biased to the story).
The main characters might be a bit 1 dimensional but it seems to work for the story and you don't notice it unless one sits back to analyse the story (like when writing a review).
If you like his previous book about WW1 then you will love this one. If you have not read that just don't expect black adder and you will get a lot out of it
This is an astonishingly good book: wonderfully written, craftily crafted and beautifully brutal. Firstly, that whole interwar period of the 1920's and 30's (especially in Germany) has always been a bit of a black hole for me, as history lessons in school were dominated by the World Wars, but here Ben Elton brings the Weimar Republic to life, with its extremes of poverty, decadence, violence and jazz. Secondly, it's also always been incomprehensible to me how the German public allowed the 'Final Solution' to actually happen, but as Ben Elton beautifully lays out here, it was a long, gradual, poisoning process that the nascent Nazi party put at the heart of its insane manifesto, and they took their time: small, ‘reasonable’ steps - all for the good of the nation - to bring it to its horrific conclusion. So the historical setting of the story had me from the very start, and so did the characters.
The family at the centre of the novel are wonderfully real (and having the twins being born on the same day as the Nazi party was officially formed was a genius touch). The cast of characters in the book range across the spectrum of classes in society yet everyone is drawn naturally and believably; they’re mostly people just caught up in the gale of the world, getting by as best as they can - none more so than the 4 children whose story we follow most closely. And the city too is used to reflect the changes each new era brings about: it brightens and comes to life in the boom years, then ages and darkens as Hitler’s spells wear off.
The plot is perfectly structured; it gives hints of things to come, while at the same time teasing you with false trails and dead-ends; this was that rare book that made me literally laugh out loud and cry in public (especially embarrassing as I’m a postie, and was listening to this on audiobook …).
So, overall, an incredible book - and beautifully narrated too - that’s going to stay with me for many years to come - thoroughly recommended!
"An amazing book"
I would of loved to hear Ben Elton read the book as he has done with prevues titles, although, it is well read.
As for the book itself, impossible to hit the pause button on. I was up late, sneaking chapters in at work and generally looking for any excuse to plug in my headphones and be transported into the gripping lives of these wonderful characters that I have fallen in love with. I have not been so fully absorbed by a book for a long time. A fantastic experience, one I did not want to end and highly recommended.
This was a little disjointed at the begining until the characters became established.
But it is REALLY WORTH continuing. It is a completly different take from the normal on WW2 a different perspective without negating anything.
A very moving and uplifting novel in one
Loved this book totally gripping and Ben Elton writes with such detail. I loved the suspense of not knowing which brother was the narrator- very clever have recommended to everyone.
"won't let you down - 5 OUT OF 5"
I am a fan of Ben Elton and have read quite a bit of his stuff. I always find it hard to pick a book, always debating, will I enjoy this? So I went for another Ben Elton thinking, he doesn't let me down and he hasn't this time either. As always the writing is quality, easy to follow, engaging, witty, dark, emotive. To top it off the naration (nice job JOT!) is superb. His accents are great (no attempts at poor German accents), and the tone quality of his voice is amazing. This book is, well 5 OUT OF 5! A MUST HAVE
best ever book
Wolf, he was so nice and gentle. Cool jaz man
Audio always good you do not have to stop doing stuff. Well read and really took me into the story
To long to listen to in one sitting and in spite of the story I did not want it to end.
You will learn more about the Nazis than you will think possible as well as listening to a great stony with many interesting characters
Loved this book, couldn't put it down & didn't want it to end. 1st Ben Elton I've read!
"Great story a must listen"
A really great story well told with believable characters and a few twists, dealing perfectly with a subject many find uncomfortable as to how we treat each other - unlike any other Ben elton book
The "twins" and their father
I was a little concerned as a review in Telegraph was not that complementary... But dismiss the negatives..this is a very very good novel... I listened and couldn't 'put it down'. It deals with the unpleasant lives of people trapped in a Germany under Nazi control... Those poor Jews ...
"Moving absorbing about real people 10/10"
Top! Best book I have ever listened to (or read) about Germany post WW1 through WW2. Having said that please don't think oh too depressing or heard it before. Yes of course this is about Jews and nazis hyperinflation etc etc, yes it will yank at your heart strings and you want to yell why? More than anything this is about a family and real people warts and all! It's a cracking read I can't stress enough to anyone thinking should I try this? Yes, it's not about people being gassed it's about a family
Yes I did cry in places I also laughed with them and I cared about them. The family who are German Jews were not shown as helpless people or really as Jews at the start, they were German people who all used different skills to improve the little they had.
I think this would be a far better book for older school children to read or listen to than a dry history book. I'm sure they would emotionally connect.
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