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Siegfried Follies

By Richard Alther

       Two orphans in Hitler's Germany struggle to survive as Munich is destroyed. Blond, blue-eyed Franz, a Hitler Youth, lives and works in a Nazi birthing home. He witnesses atrocities that no child should see. Then one day, a filthy, speechless Jewish boy is thrown from a train and Franz rescues him. Together Franz and J create a home, beginning in the basement of the opera house, and survive the loss of their families and the terrible Holocaust, becoming brothers in the process.

Alther's novel is fast moving story. Though it covers thirty years in the lives of Franz and J, it is rich with exciting characters and a plot that makes history come alive as these two boys from vastly different cultures learn to love each other as brothers and then go their own ways in the world, only to yearn for a reconnection with each other. The boys' struggle for identity in the post-war world takes them on very different paths and they lose track of each other, but their love for each other is never forgotten and the course of their search to find each other again is a testament of hope.

Richard Alther defies being categorized as a writer. Siegfried Follies is quite a divergence from Alther's gay novel, A Decade of Blind Dates. This novel will, by turns, make you uncomfortable and make you laugh out loud, but it will keep you glued to the pages.

The Book

Regent Press
October 1, 2010
Trade Paperback
1587902044 / 978-1587902048
Fiction/Historical / Germany
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The Reviewer

Beverly J. Rowe
Reviewed 2010
© 2010