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Interesting,
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2 reviews

The Sleepwalkers
by Paul Grossman

Published: 2010-10-12
Hardcover : 320 pages
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Recommended to book clubs by 2 of 2 members
     Berlin, 1932.  In the final weeks of the Weimar Republic, as Hitler and his National Socialist party angle to assume control of Germany, beautiful girls are seen sleepwalking through the streets.  Then, a young woman of mysterious origin, with her legs bizarrely deformed, is ...
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Introduction

(

     Berlin, 1932.  In the final weeks of the Weimar Republic, as Hitler and his National Socialist party angle to assume control of Germany, beautiful girls are seen sleepwalking through the streets.  Then, a young woman of mysterious origin, with her legs bizarrely deformed, is pulled dead from the Havel River.  Willi Kraus, a high ranking detective in Berlin's police force, begins a murder investigation.
       
                A decorated World War I hero and the nation's most famous detective, Willi also is a Jew.   Despite his elite status in the criminal police, he is disturbed by the direction Germany is taking.  Working urgently to identify the dead woman and solve the murder, Willi finds his superiors diverting him at every turn, and is forced to waste precious time on a politically-sensitive missing person case.  Colleagues seem to avoid him; a man on a streetcar stops him from reading a newspaper over his shoulder; he is uncomfortably aware of being watched.  But he persists, and soon enters the dangerous Berlin underworld of debauched nightclubs, prostitutes with secrets to hide, and a hypnotist with troubling connections.
               
                As he moves through darkness closer to the truth, Willi begins to understand that much more than the solution to a murder is at stake. What he discovers will mean that his life, the lives of his friends and family, and Germany itself will never be the same


                The Sleepwalkers is a powerful, dramatic debut thriller of a nation's unstoppable corruption, featuring a good man trapped between his duty to serve and his grave doubts about what, and who, he serves.  

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

What fascinates contemporary audiences about the Weimar Republic?

Do you see any similarities to the conditions of Weimar Germany with present-day society?

Do you think there are advantages to being an outsider in society?

Can an ordinary person affect history?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

Note from the author:

I’ve been fascinated by the Weimar Republic for a long time with its radical politics and startling achievements. In 1930’s Berlin, there were prominent Jewish policemen who had jurisdiction over the Nazis before they seized control of the government. I wanted to dramatize this short-lived power dynamic and examine the seeds of the Holocaust. Essentially The Sleepwalkers explores the relationship between the individual and history: how easy it is in hindsight to recognize the danger of certain circumstances, but how difficult in the moment it is to know what tomorrow will bring.

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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "The Best Kind of Thriller"by ebach (see profile) 10/31/11

Sometimes I just can’t wait to blurt it out: THE SLEEPWALKERS by Paul Grossman is an outstanding thriller. Like Joseph Kanon’s books, this is excellent historical fiction as well.

Th

... (read more)

 
  "The Sleewalkers"by mpaniaguatej (see profile) 04/16/11

is a very good novel that approaches the beginnings of the Nazi power in a different way and how fear can change an entire nation in sleepwalkers

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