A rediscovered classic, originally published in 1938 and now an international bestseller.When it first appeared in Story magazine in 1938, Address Unknown became an immediate social phenomenon and literary sensation. Published in book form a year later and banned in Nazi Germany, it garnered high praise in the United States and much of Europe.
A series of fictional letters between a Jewish art dealer living in San Francisco and his former business partner, who has returned to Germany, Address Unknown is a haunting tale of enormous and enduring impact.
Angela from @readingwithang_ did a couple of posts of “audiobooks eight hours or less to boost your reading goal.” I recently got into Audible, so when I had a free credit, I selected Address Unknown by Kathrine Kressmann Taylor. I had seen it at B&N around Christmastime, so I recognized the cover. The audiobook narrated by Rob Shapiro and George Newbern is 1 hr 8 mins, easy to finish in one afternoon, and probably most powerful if read in one sitting.
This novel, which addresses the dangers of Hitler’s ideologies, is crazy, because Taylor published it in 1938, before World War II had even begun. I’m writing this review on February 24th (2022), the morning when Russia invaded Ukraine, so it’s very timely to see how war and dictatorship can divide people in different countries or with different ethnicities.
I really enjoyed listening to these fictional letters between a Jewish businessman in San Francisco and his German friend. I did not expect the progression of events and the outcome of the friendship. The sense of justice, while sad, is also extremely satisfying. Taylor perfectly captures human nature, our desire to trust in our friends, and our indignation when we are betrayed by those we trust.
I give this novel five stars. I highly recommend this short novel to anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction or studying human nature.