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  • Stasiland

  • Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall
  • By: Anna Funder
  • Narrated by: Denica Fairman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 330
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 263
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 265

In 1989, the Berlin Wall fell; shortly afterwards the two Germanies reunited, and East Germany ceased to exist. Anna Funder tells extraordinary tales from the underbelly of the former East Germany. In a country where the headquarters of the secret police could become a museum literally overnight, and one in 50 East Germans were informing on their fellow citizens, there are thousands of captivating stories.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Important book

  • By Jane on 01-27-10

Author's narcissism blights otherwise good account

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-07-14

Any additional comments?

This book is indeed laced with riveting accounts from ex-Stasi and the people they oppressed. You'll hear tense stories of teenage girls sneaking past dogs to jump the wall, meet with greying old ex-Stasi pensioners who reminisce about striking fear into the hearts of their neighbours and get an intimate sense of the surreal details of East German life that are even now being forgotten. But to get to these portions, you'll have to spend hours listening to Ms. Funder describe the inside of her Berlin apartment, detail her urban malaise, outline the workplace tensions at her public broadcasting job, etc. These plodding (and frequent) sections read like passages from a teenager's travel blog, and it's frustrating to think that Ms. Funder decided that the minutiae of her Berlin existence deserved equal billing beside the incredible stories told by her various sources. If a better (and more humble) writer had had access to the sources available to Ms. Funder, this book could have been a Pulitzer Prize winner. But as it stands, this is not the definitive account of East German life you're looking for.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful