Review: Sarah Cohen-Scali – Max

Max
Sarah Cohen-Scali

Max isn’t born yet. But once he is, he will be the first of his kind – the first of a bred blonde haired, blue eyed Nazi. Self-aware and self-proclaimed as brilliant, this novel follows Max’s growing up in Nazi Germany where he doesn’t know that the Nazi’s are ‘evil’ and knows nothing but his relatively privileged life.

28231016Max’s unique mature mindset makes it possible for the author to expose monstrosities in a matter-of-fact manner that nonetheless touch the reader and leaves them thinking about humans in general. Sometimes it felt like there was too much to absorb.

Something that irritated me about the cover was that there were ‘Two boys, two destinies.’ I spent the first half or so of the novel wondering when the perspective would change to the other boy, but in fact that never happened. The perspective remained with Max, even as his views and understandings changed.

This novel remains readable while also providing insight into an area of Nazi Germany that many people may not know about. It is based around the true story of a facility and breeding project that had been set up in order to breed perfect little Germans who follow the will of Hitler. The beginning of genetics! My favourite!

This novel has been translated from French, and there are no objections here from me. The dialogue and descriptions still flowed seamlessly, and I didn’t even know it was translated until I looked on GoodReads for the cover!

I think I enjoyed Dog Boy (also by Text Publishing), more than I enjoyed this one. While Max was more absorbing (I read it straight through, keeping me up past my bedtime), Dog Boy left me with more to think about. Either way, they are both worth 5 stars.

4star

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