The Boys from Brazil
B. The main subject is the future of The Third Reich, but the book is mainly about the cloning of Hitler and the tracking down of (former) Nazi's. The writer tries to show the reader what could have happened if some events had or hadn't occurred. He takes a historical example and continues this with fiction.
The main events are the gathering of 7 men among who are six former SS officers and Dr. Mengele, an infamous doctor who operated in the concentration camp Auschwitz, who experimented with all sorts of weapons and chemicals on Jews. The other event is the phone call from Koehler, an amateur Nazi hunter, to Liebermann just before he is killed. The call is about the killing of ninety-four 65 year old men spread over the entire world.
An example of a representative fragment is the moment where Mengele explains his "masterplan" of creating 94 Hitlers –clones and that the killing of the ninety-four 65-year old men was just a minor step to create the identical environment that Hitler experienced.
The action partly takes place in Europe, Latin America and in the end, America.
The environment is rich , for example in the beginning Mengele and his party spend a lot of money in a Japanese restaurant in Brazil, educated, for Mengele is a doctor and Liebermann teaches at a university and religious because Liebermann and companion Rabbi Gorin are Jewish. The story has a historical background, that is of course the second World War and both Mengele and Liebermann are based on true characters and some of the facts have actually happened.
The genre is called faction, because it has the best of both, faction and fiction.
Yakov Liebermann (62) is a true harmless, fanatical pacifist, based on Simon Wiesenthal, who was a Jewish war victim, who dedicated his life tracking down ex-Nazi's who had escaped their sentences and tries to keep the memory alive to prevent it from happening again. Josef Mengele is a notorious German doctor, who truly existed, who experimented on Jews in camp Auschwitz and escaped to Brazil after the War. He looks very important and rich but in his heart he is always afraid of getting caught and does not fear violence. They are opponents in the fight for sentencing War criminals.
One of the most important minor characters is Rabbi Gorin, based upon Rabbi Meir Kahane, who in opposite of Liebermann does support violence to chase Nazi's. He helps Liebermann in finding and prosecuting Mengele.
Liebermann has a big argument with Rabbi Gorin about the future of the Hitlers to-be. Liebermann gets shot by Mengele when he tries to escape but recovers and Mengele is killed by the dogs of one of his own creations.
The book has an open ending, with one of the young Hitlers drawing a picture of a great crowd cheering at him, the Fuhrer.
The title resembles the boys (Hitler clones) from Brazil, where they were created.
The book is a Novel, one continuous whole. The author takes the place of the omniscient narrator, he heightens the tension by using striking dialogues, to decrease the tension he uses some light forms of comedy, like the commands for the Dobermans of the little boy; "Ketchup" for retreating , "Pickles" for attacking and "Mustard" for killing. The more disgusting the taste the more lethal the command. The descriptions of the events and their relations are the dominating factor in the book, they are very realistic and sometimes able to create the illusion that it really happened.
About the author
Ira Levin is an American novelist and playwright born on the 27th of August, 1929. He was the son of an importer of toys. He wrote successful books, such as A kiss before dying, Rosemary's Baby and The Stepford wives and the famous Death Trap. Which were all great successes. He won awards such as the Edgar Allan Poe award. The author appears to support the believes of Liebermann (Wiesenthal) but it is not an irritating factor in the book and it is more likely that he is trying to teach the reader what could have happened.
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