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The Insomniac Reader

Books and snarky commentary inspired by insomnia induced reading marathons.



Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World's Most Notorious Nazi - Neal Bascomb *I received a free ARC from Netgalley for an honest review*

This book goes into the details surrounding the capture of Adolf Eichmann, one of the most notorious Nazis in history and one of the major organizers of the Holocaust. This biography is intended for younger readers, and goes into detail the history of Eichmann's crimes, his family, the long plan of his capture, the capture itself, his trial and the repercussions of that.

One of the most historically significant things about Eichmann's capture was that his trial in Israel brought the horrors of the Holocaust back to public light. It reminded younger generations of what happened so that those who died would not be forgotten, and gave survivors an opportunity to talk about their suffering which really wasn't done before. This fact is very important and should not be forgotten.

The story of Eichmann's capture reads like a classic spy story. It's something you'd expect out of the movies. Forgeries, disguises, long plans in tiny offices, safe houses, trap doors, lengthy interrogations. All the fascinating details of that are here and it makes for an interesting read. Nearly everyone involved in Eichmann's capture was affected by his actions as a Nazi, and it was admirable to see people who had so much invested in his capture pull it off so well.

When Eichmann was captured, it was hard to reconcile how this older man who was behaving so subserviently that it was pathetic was once a person who was a terrifying authority figure. That is so often the case with the veil of absolute authority. It's like the great and powerful Oz being a sad man behind a curtain. It so often goes that way. Stripped of his uniform and his Nazi support, he was just a pathetic man standing trial, resigned to his grim fate.

For me the end was one of the best parts, where you find out what happens to the people involved in the captures years after the fact, which was a happy ending. Then you read about the fate of Eichmann's surviving family, his wife and children. That is more haunting.

Sometimes the writer tries to hard to make the book seem like a novel. other times the writing is too dry. That inconsistency in writing style can make the reader lose interest in some parts and become confused about some details along the way. While the writer does give explanation of how he found all this information and details, which was very thorough research, certain details like knowing how the secretary put out her cigarette and when during a meeting seems unnecessary and self-indulgent. There's really no way to know something like that as fact, and the writer is trying to hard to sound like a novelist when he does it.

There might be some annoying flaws in writing style, but overall this is an informative and in-depth look into the implications of Adolf Eichmann's capture and trial.