Sunday, December 30, 2012

In the Garden of Beasts

Erik Larson on In the Garden of Beasts

During the Christmas break I was able to finish reading In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. Larson also wrote a very popular book I read a couple years back called The Devil in the White City about the World's Fair in Chicago in the 1890's (and the story of a serial killer who lived in that time) which I highly recommend.

In the Garden of Beasts is a true story about the ambassador to Germany during Hitler's rise to power in the 30's. To be honest, I would typically avoid reading books that touch this particular topic, but my wife had recommended this one so strongly that I gave it a shot. No regrets here.

The story of Ambassador Dodd and his family in Germany is fascinating, told from a perspective that does not go out of its way to present Dodd as a hero, does so, and then does the exact opposite. One of the best parts of this story was the unique point of view that Larson provides on the thoughts and perspective of various individuals and family members who lived through this pivotal time period. This book made its way under the tree of at least three people on our list this year. Great read.

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