Is he the victim of false accusations, or the victimizer of his own people in Nazi Germany? Feeling assaulted in both mind and spirit, Gottliebsohn begins to experience terrible dreams -- images of people he couldn't have known, places he couldn't have seen. As details of a past he does not recognize accumulate, Gottliebsohn finds himself facing an impossible choice -- one whose alternatives are as unthinkable as the events that shaped them.
©1968 S.L. Stebel (P)2011 S. L. Stebel
"Shattering...an excellent and solid thriller" (San Francisco Chronicle)
"A superb suspense story... serious novel of genuine interest" (L.A. Times Book Review)
"Compelling, both surprising and frightening" (Publishers Weekly)
"Brilliant! Imaginative, fast-paced, excellent all-round, written with style and substance. If I had but one book to give to those on both sides of hate-filled conflicts The Collaborator would be that book!" (Ray Bradbury, Psychology Today)
Stunning historical thriller kept me on the edge of my seat. Superbly crafted plot, brought to life by Michael Bell's acting.
Great, dramatic storytelling. SL Stebel's novel kept me engrossed. A true craftsman with story, plot and character. Real balance, which is rare. I very much enjoyed piecing together the puzzle of Ernst Gottliebsohn. A novel which sheds light on today's issues in Israel and Europe.
Breathes life in each and every character. A massive performance. His rendition of Captain Kohn is true art. My first audible.com book and a real treat. Stories woven together like this are few and far between. Bell is superb.
Yes. Ahead of its time and a joy to experience. Stebel kept me listening, with surprise after surprise. And what an ending! I'd love to give it away, but...
Truly Ray Bradbury's review says it all. Brilliant. Imaginative. Fast-paced. And with style. Bonus points for style.
I would definitely listen again. This is the kind of story that will continue to yield surprises upon re-reading. And Bell's performance is engaging and masterful.
I can't reveal the twists without being a spoiler; I will just say that there are several that are mind-blowers.
Michael Bell didn't just read; he performed. He used his voice to create character, and that made it much easier to follow the story than some audio books I have listened to.
The ending was moving and cathartic.
When I read fiction, I want to be pulled along by a compelling story and characters I care about. "The Collaborator" is old school storytelling that is satisfying and engrossing. Stebel creates a world and populates it with people we feel we know, then puts them in situations that are at once unthinkable and all too real.
I would and will recommend this book in an instant. S. L. Stebel has managed to craft a superbly engrossing story populated by some of the most complex characters I've encountered in years. Most striking are the moral conflicts. Good people, people who share the same opinions, hopes, and fears, can have radically different ideas about how to deal with events, and those different ideas can lead to shattering outcomes. This is a book about a little-discussed and deeply important part of history, and I can't think of a better piece of writing about that time. How to heal after horror? Can you, or are there some people who still live, yet are destroyed? A fast-paced story, a deeply satisfying surprise ending, and a perfectly matched narrator make this audiobook a winner.
The main character was particularly fine, and grew in complexity in surprising ways throughout. There are no cardboard characters here anywhere.
I have not listened to him previously, but would again. He handles character voices well and his delivery matched the material.
Yes, it was, but at the same time I didn't want it to end. I listened to it over the course of a week.
I hope you will add more of S. L. Stebel's work!
I loved this story -- my first Audible audiobook.
The set-up intrigued me -- an important figure accused of great evil who can't remember. Then we follow the machinations of the accused and others who try to get him to remember, piecing together the story in bits. Just when you think the predictable is coming, there's a surprise. The book touches a lot of political bases and educates about the issues of Israeli and European politics in the 1960s. The writing is dramatic and swept me along.
My favorite scene? The ending. Can't give it away but it made me wonder how else it could have ended.
"The Collaborator" by S.L Stebel is novel of political intrigue driven by the psychological implications of the duality and juxtaposition of self and other. Set in the early post World War II period as Germany and Israel begin to move toward normalized relations, the novel is successful as a political thriller and as a mystery. Stebel's depiction of the machinations of the Israeli ruling party to save their mission of improving relations between the two countries as adversity compounds is a savvy commentary on realpolitik that is not diminished by the action's historic context. The answer to the question, "who is Ernst Gottliebsohn?" an amnesiac statistician acting as a functionary of the mission is not revealed until the very end, after what can only be described as a spectacular inversion.
The plot of the novel turns on several well drawn characters engaged in a search for the "real" Ernst Gottliebsohn as negotiations are being held in Germany. One of these character's search for the "self" of the statistician results in a greater understanding of his own inner conflicts. Norman Glass is an American psychiatrist who is chosen to aid Gottliebsohn to find out what is behind his amnesia and hopefully clear his name. In the process of trying to get Gottliebsohn to remember what happened in Cologne in 1939, Glass is also shown to be in a process of self discovery, the result of which, though not pleasant, is healing.
The audio version of “The Collaborator “ is greatly enhanced by the skill of the voice actor Michael Bell’s reading of the text. Bell employs subtle variations of inflection and tone, making the different characters engaged in dialogue instantly recognizable to the listener. The reader’s rendering of Captain Kohn as the investigator on scene, who essentially has Gottliebsohn in a kind of mobile custody is especially enjoyable. Kohn’s character serves as a comic foil for the morose accused and as a revealer of secrets, a detective in the tradition of Dickens' Mr Bucket from "Bleak House" or Dostoyevsky's Porfiry Petrovitch from Crime And Punishment.
Frankly I am at at loss as to how to rate this book. Given the subject it should have been great;it wasn't; it was overly detailed, very repetitive and a story line that all to frequently led nowhere. The narrator was first class but he couldn't save this book, I will look for the narrator in future but regretabley not the author
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