The problem with this book is that it’s neither fish nor fowl. Roth is a literary writer. He’s trying to write genre fiction: alternative history. In Roth’s hands, the two don’t mix. The result is as appetizing as mixing soy sauce into coffee and trying to enjoy it. The result is foul.
Downing’s novels are wonderful, dark yet hopeful vignette’s into the evil and ?? of the human soul. This one follows an extended family’s story in the last gasps of Hitler’s Germany. What I like most about Downing is the focus on “small” people and events caught up in the epic fails and Great Men of history. His stories are all the more real for it.
Read all of Downing’s “Stations.”