HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Have you checked out SantaThing, LibraryThing's gift-giving tradition?
dismiss
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Cesare: A Novel of War-Torn Berlin

by Jerome Charyn

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3013607,722 (3.62)7
On a windy night in 1937, a seventeen-year-old German naval sub-cadet is wandering along the seawall when he stumbles upon a gang of ruffians beating up a tramp, whose life he saves. The man is none other than spymaster Wilhelm Canaris, chief of the Abwehr, German military intelligence. Canaris adopts the young man and dubs him "Cesare" after the character in the silent filmThe Cabinet of Dr. Caligari for his ability to break through any barrier as he eliminates the Abwehr's enemies. Canaris is a man of contradictions who, while serving the regime, seeks to undermine the Nazis and helps Cesare hide Berlin's Jews from the Gestapo. But the Nazis will lure many to Theresienstadt, a phony paradise in Czechoslovakia with sham restaurants, novelty shops, and bakeries, a cruel ghetto and way station to Auschwitz. When the woman Cesare loves, a member of the Jewish underground, is captured and sent there, Cesare must find a way to rescue her. Cesare is a literary thriller and a love story born of the horrors of a country whose culture has died, whose history has been warped, and whose soul has disappeared.… (more)

None.

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 7 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I abandoned this early on. Back in November when I requested this book, I really wanted to read it. But now I have decided that I am just not at a place in life where I can read about the atrocities and intrigues of Nazi Germany. Maybe in some other year that isn’t 2020.
  seeword | Aug 29, 2020 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A very dark tale of Nazi Germany and all it's evil atrocities. I had a very hard time with this book, so much brutality and death. I think it is very well written but the subject matter and story itself are deeply disturbing. But is is WWII so I should not have been surprised. I learned even more about Nazi's and their craziness than I ever wanted to know. Recommended if you have the stomach for it. ( )
1 vote erinclark | Jul 28, 2020 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Cesare, Caesar, a name that evokes an image of the all conquering hero of ancient Rome. German Admiral Wilhelm Canaris dubbed him such when the seventeen year old naval cadet saved Canaris’ life. Ever since, Cesare has been groomed to do what he does best. At times he steals through the night saving Jews from the Nazi death squads, gaining the reputation of a golem protecting his people. At other times he brings death to those who would harm his mentor Admiral Canaris. Like his mentor, he wears the uniform of his country but he is appalled at their criminal behavior. The two have a symbiotic relationship, each protecting the other. Each knowing the dark secrets that they keep hidden from those who would destroy them. Eventually the disease that corrupts the highest ranks of the German government reaches out to put a stop to even the most legendary of heroes. Well researched observation of the everyday horror of a society gone mad. ( )
  Ronrose1 | Mar 9, 2020 |
The controlling metaphor for Jerome Charyn's Cesare: A Novel of War-Torn Berlin is the 1920 German film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. The mad doctor displays his slave, the sonambulist Cesare, in a side-show at a fair and then sends him out to strangle the doctor's selected victims. It's phantasmagoric: the set is painted with arcane symbols and even the innocent fair-goers seem sinister. The evil of nightmare oozes from every frame.
Charyn adopts and adapts this atmosphere as he draws his reader into Nazi Berlin, and later, Theresienstadt. Uncle Willi Canaris, a historical figure who was chief of German military intelligence, is Caligari to his Cesare, the fictional Erik Holdermann. In this novel Canaris is not only doing the bidding of the Nazis, but is also using his organization to protect and save as many Jews as possible. Holdermann is one of his most trusted and effective agents and a surrogate son.
For the Nazis appearance, is everything. For Charyn's readers the appearance is not even skin deep. When Erik arrives at last at Theresienstadt, a delegation from the International Red Cross is expected. The whole camp is involved in setting up the fiction that the place is a little paradise for the wealthy Jews who can afford to be placed there. In one telling scene musicians, so starved that they have little breath for playing, try to make music on damaged instruments. "... it was like a chorale of goats bleating into a tin pail." "'Ah,' said the ministers,'Jewish Jazz.'"
Cesare is not a book to "like" or "enjoy." I am grateful to have read it and to have as part of my psyche an antidote to any feeling that Nazi Berlin was a good setting for adventure or romance.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. Thank you, Bellevue Literary Press. ( )
2 vote LizzieD | Feb 16, 2020 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This historical fiction asks what if Wilhelm Canaris had been working against the Nazis instead of for them? It's an interesting premise, but I couldn't get into the story or the characters. This was a well written book, but just not for me. ( )
  Jillian_Kay | Feb 7, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

On a windy night in 1937, a seventeen-year-old German naval sub-cadet is wandering along the seawall when he stumbles upon a gang of ruffians beating up a tramp, whose life he saves. The man is none other than spymaster Wilhelm Canaris, chief of the Abwehr, German military intelligence. Canaris adopts the young man and dubs him "Cesare" after the character in the silent filmThe Cabinet of Dr. Caligari for his ability to break through any barrier as he eliminates the Abwehr's enemies. Canaris is a man of contradictions who, while serving the regime, seeks to undermine the Nazis and helps Cesare hide Berlin's Jews from the Gestapo. But the Nazis will lure many to Theresienstadt, a phony paradise in Czechoslovakia with sham restaurants, novelty shops, and bakeries, a cruel ghetto and way station to Auschwitz. When the woman Cesare loves, a member of the Jewish underground, is captured and sent there, Cesare must find a way to rescue her. Cesare is a literary thriller and a love story born of the horrors of a country whose culture has died, whose history has been warped, and whose soul has disappeared.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum

Jerome Charyn's book Cesare: A Novel of War-Torn Berlin was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Sign up to get a pre-publication copy in exchange for a review.

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.62)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3 6
3.5 2
4 2
4.5 2
5 1

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 152,483,242 books! | Top bar: Always visible