Monday, January 23, 2012

Review # 106: The Last Way Station - Hitler's Final Journey by Jon Reisfeld

        On April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler puts a pistol to his head and pulls the trigger, ending his monstrosity of a life; but soon after, he finds himself at "a way station" between Heaven and Hell - awaiting judgement. Will the atrocities he's forced to relive bring redemption or damnation? Or is the evil within him too strong for salvation?

     This seventy-two page novella caught me completely by surprise. I don't particularly enjoy reading books based on the "what ifs" of real events. I feel like fictitious accounts take away from the real circumstances these books are based on. Adolf Hitler was an evil man, and his acts of hate, murder, and genocide are still sensitive and taboo topics of discussion. A book about his crimes was expected, but I did not expect a book chronicling his possible journey into the afterlife and the punishment he received there. This is a very interesting and unsettling topic, and John Reisfeld brings up a good point - What would be an appropriate punishment for Hitler's earthly sins? Well, if this purgatorial afterlife existed, then I'd have to say that Hitler would get a fitting castigation. The way the author describes Hitler's personal "Hell" is detailed and disturbing. The fact that Hitler had to relive the horrors he imposed on his victims was strangely fitting, yet difficult to read - the pain and suffering of these people is unimaginable, and I was glad the book didn't go deep into his crimes. It was interesting to delve into the speculative psychology of Hitler, and to realize the depth of his hateful convictions. Overall, I appreciated this fast-paced novella for its interesting plot and its thought-provoking topic. I recommend this novella to adults who are intrigued by historical fiction/fantasy.

Rating: On the Run (4/5)

***I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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