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Fred Uhlman Reunion – Book Review

This is not so much a novel as a novel, and it is also short, as it is only 93 small pages. But don’t let that put you off because it’s an excellent read.

It opens in 1930s Germany in an elegant high school where 15/16 year old boys, young men, are making friends, seemingly for life. How were they to know that so many lives would be so tragically cut off?

After a shaky start, the shy Hans Schwarz befriends the more confident and aristocratic Konradin. Hans comes from a Jewish background and that factor eventually invades their friendship.

This period in history has been recounted a million times, and with good reason, because there are lessons that resonate to this day. All the characters are heavily drawn and memorable and, for the most part, decent human beings. So where did it all go so wrong?

The book also contains a two-page introduction written by the late and much-missed Arthur Koestler, and is worth reading on its own.

Reunion is beautifully written and easy to read, and this is certainly a book for anyone who can’t handle the huge volumes that so often dominate bookstores. It’s not a new book either, but don’t let that put you off because it’s so memorable and a story that lingers in your memory.

Jeffrey Archer wrote about Reunion: “I wish I had written this.” Certainly, he is not alone in that, especially of his correspondent.

Reunion is a Fontana Books publication at ISBN: 0006151647 and is available from most Internet bookstores.

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