Monday, May 28, 2012

the odessa file by:Frederick Forsyth

Let it not be said that I am a fan of YA fantasy books, but every so often I have a taste for something shall we say without hurting any feelings here more mature. Meaning books written before my time. Like the odessa file.  And no I haven't forgotten to use caps. It's written that way. All lower case. Published in 1972 which is before I was born.  Mr. Forsyth intertwines the very real life story of SS Captain Roschmann with that of a head strong reporter by the name of Miller (no relation) who seeks to find the self exiled Captain, and bring him to justice. Because of Mr. Forsyth's knowledge of events, and that time period not only from living in London, but as a Reuters, and BBC reporter, and as a RAF pilot undoubtedly with his own list of contacts he can call to meet in a pub for a pint. The reader is brought to the time, and place described in exacting detail throughout the story.  And, what a story it is.  According to the publisher Roschmann's story is backed by SS, and West German Records.  Anyone with a love of history particularly WWII history will wonder how much of the thrill of the chase is  fact or fiction? Which characters are real? Which are not? For it's already known that some are. Miller thinks it'll be no big deal to track down a man in hiding. He learns quickly he'll be against the men of the odessa former SS men themselves, and hired sympathizers who don't play well with others. Does Miller find his man, or end up floating in a canal. If you've never read odessa now is the time. A note of warning however. If you've never read, or spoken German before you may struggle with some of the town names in the book. but, be assured they are real places as described. And, the writing style is not what one who is new to reading would be use to. Be brave. Challenge yourself to read, or as in my case to re-read, and re-read again a master's work.