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In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and…
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In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in… (edition 2011)

by Erik Larson, Stephen Hoye (Reader)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,5692551,049 (3.83)226
Member:debs4jc
Title:In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin
Authors:Erik Larson
Other authors:Stephen Hoye (Reader)
Info:Random House Audio (2011), Edition: Unabridged, Audio CD
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:history, World War II

Work details

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson

  1. 70
    The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer (kraaivrouw)
  2. 30
    Through embassy eyes by Martha Dodd (marieke54)
  3. 20
    I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years 1933-1941 by Victor Klemperer (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: The published version of Klemperer’s secret wartime diary are a vivid and personal account of day-to-day life in Nazi Germany. Writing with sophistication and insight, he records the stories of ordinary Germans and their hopes and fears during the dark days of the war. This provides interesting points of comparison with Dodd's experiences.… (more)
  4. 20
    Resisting Hitler. Mildred Harnack and the Red Orchestra by Shareen Blair Brysac (marieke54)
  5. 10
    Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: If you found In the Garden of Beasts moving and want to read fiction about the Third Reich, try Every Man Dies Alone, a haunting novel based on actual events surrounding a couple that attempted to undermine the Nazi regime.
  6. 11
    Red Orchestra. The Story of the Berlin Underground and the Circle of Friends Who Resisted Hitler by Anne Nelson (kraaivrouw)
  7. 02
    The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America--The Stalin Era by Allen Weinstein (spacecommuter)
    spacecommuter: Erik Larsen's In the Garden of Beasts draws on The Haunted Wood and the notebooks of Alexader Vassiliev as sources. The Haunted Wood mentions Martha Dodd, her romance with Boris Winogradov and her father extensively, and includes additional evidence of Martha's espionage that Larsen mostly omitted from his book.… (more)
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» See also 226 mentions

English (246)  French (3)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Italian (1)  All (255)
Showing 1-5 of 246 (next | show all)
Was surprised by how little happened in this book with the main characters. Larson seems to leave you to make a verdict on their actions, although, to me, they didn't really stand out. What I valued most about this book was the detailing of Hitler's rise to power from 1933, i.e. His chancellorship and his capture of power upon the death of Pres Hindenburg. Would not recommend to my teen readers. ( )
  rdwhitenack | Jun 17, 2017 |
This was an engaging novelization of history. I say novelization because Larson weaves together a very particular kind of story about the Dodd family and 1930s Hitler in Germany. As fascinating as the dramatic tale was, Larson's obsession with Martha's overt sexuality and her many lovers was often needlessly speculative about who exactly she slept with and why. It was frustrating to read a complex woman boiled down to a sex-addicted thrill seeker. It was particularly noticeable due to the lack of depiction of her brother or mother. Again, this goes back to the very particular kind of story Larson wanted to tell about this time. ( )
  e2d2 | Jun 2, 2017 |
Excellent read. Focuses most heavily on the years 1933-34 in Berlin (and Germany) from the perspective of the US Ambassador of the time. Ambassador Dodd arrived in 1933, just as Hitler was beginning his rise to power. My only wish is that the book had included more about the remaining years during which Dodd was in Germany. Great insider's view of the events of those pre-WWII years. ( )
  bness2 | May 23, 2017 |
Amazing research. Fills in a lot of missing gaps. ( )
  ikeman100 | May 7, 2017 |
Took me longer to read this than it did to read Devil in the White City because it wasn't as fast paced. My only real complaint is that Larson used so many characters that I had a hard time keeping up. ( )
  TinaMReid | Apr 23, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 246 (next | show all)
William E. Dodd was an academic historian, living a quiet life in Chicago, when Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him United States ambassador to Germany. It was 1933, Hitler had recently been appointed chancellor, the world was about to change.

Had Dodd gone to Berlin by himself, his reports of events, his diary entries, his quarrels with the State Department, his conversations with Roosevelt would be source material for specialists. But the general reader is in luck on two counts: First, Dodd took his family to Berlin, including his young, beautiful and sexually adventurous daughter, Martha; second, the book that recounts this story, “In the Garden of Beasts,” is by Erik Larson, the author of “The Devil in the White City.” Larson has meticulously researched the Dodds’ intimate witness to Hitler’s ascendancy and created an edifying narrative of this historical byway that has all the pleasures of a political thriller: innocents abroad, the gathering storm. . . .
added by PLReader | editNY Times, DOROTHY GALLAGHER (Jun 10, 2011)
 

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Erik Larsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cookman, WhtineyCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nudelman, ElinaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
In the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself in a dark wood where the straight way was lost. - Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy: Canto I (Carlyle-Wickstead Translation, 1932)
Dedication
To the girls, and the
next twenty-five

(and in memory of Molly, a good dog)
First words
Once, at the dawn of a very dark time, an American father and daughter found themselves suddenly transported from their snug home in Chicago to the heart of Hitler's Berlin.
Quotations
"Hardly anyone thought that the threats against the Jews were meant seriously," wrote Carl Zuckmayer, a Jewish writer.
Even the language used by Hitler and party officials was weirdly inverted. The term "fanatical" became a positive trait. Suddenly it connoted what philologist Victor Klemperer, a Jewish resident of Berlin, described as a "happy mix of courage and fervent devotion."
"There has been nothing in social history more implacable, more heartless and more devastating than the present policy in Germany against the Jews..."
An odd kind of fanciful thinking seemed to have bedazzled Germany, to the highest levels of government. Earlier in the year, for example, Goring had claimed with utter sobriety that three hundred German Americans had been murdered in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia at the start of the past world war. Messersmith, in a dispatch, observed that even smart, well-traveled Germans will "sit and calmly tell you the most extraordinary fairy tales."
After experiencing life in Nazi Germany, Thomas Wolfe wrote, "Here was an entire nation ... infested with the contagion of an ever-present fear. It was a kind of creeping paralysis which twisted and blighted all human relations."
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Book description
William E. Dodd becomes the American ambassador to Germany, where he witnesses first-hand the atrocities of Hitler's regime and watches his daughter fall in love with a Nazi officer.
Haiku summary
They come overmatched Think easy job, not so Leave disheartened (foof2you)

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The bestselling author of "Devil in the White City" turns his hand to a remarkable story set during Hitler's rise to power. The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America's first ambassador to Hitler's Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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