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Another Green Worldby Richard Grant
Synopses & Reviews
The boy arrived nameless and barefoot. They reckoned he could get by without shoes a while longer, until a suitable pair could be stolen. But names, they had plenty of those, more names than people to wear them. So they began calling him Shlomo, or Solomon, because once there had been a Shlomo whom everybody had liked--when he got killed in an ambush, they blew up a supply train in his honor--and because the boy's lidless, owl-like stare gave him a look of preternatural wisdom. Nobody cared that he must have been called something else. The past meant nothing to these hungry, half-crazed heroes, and few of them expected to know a future. They were like birds shot in flight who would not survive the long, thrilling plummet to the ground.
Meanwhile there was a world to love: mountain lakes that shone black and bottomless like the eyes of a god; sunlight as hard as ice shards; slow-motion waterfalls; a tang of smoke in the upper air; pointed trees and naked, bronze-toned rock; and beyond, unrolling in yellow and green, the vast plain of Northern Europe, like a primed canvas on which generals painted their wars.
Nobody knew where the boy had come from, and he seemed unable to tell them. Certainly he had traveled far because his feet were bleeding from the journey. He was undersized, like everyone who had grown up in the ghettos and the camps, and might have been any age from eight to twenty. He stared at them and at the black spruces and the pitiless blue sky. His eyes drank the world in and gave nothing back. For all you could tell, he was blind. For all you could tell, he was gripped by visions, searing glimpses of eternity. Whatever the truth was, he was not disposed to share it.
He had come, they supposed, seeking the great man, the guerrilla chief, wily and stouthearted, who gave hope to what few of his people remained. The great fighter, so people said, struck at the niemcy, the dogs--that is, the Germans--on roads and in forests and in their own well-patrolled lairs. He fought them by night and by daylight, using whatever weapons were available, including his own hands. He had never been beaten, never outsmarted, never caught. The more fervent members of his cult swore he had killed a man with his eyes alone. For years the niemcy had hunted him, snarling at his heels like a pack of ravening wolves, yet he had slipped out of their jaws. And still the contest dragged on, the ritual chase, even as hunters and hunted were together dying off.
How much of this legend the boy might have heard was beyond knowing. He sat patiently at the center of the camp, not too close to the fire, not too far away, barely responding when people spoke to him, accepting what food they had to offer with no more than a nod of thanks. He ate like an animal, gnawing and grunting.
A week passed or more--there was little point keeping track, unless a rendezvous or a timed detonator was in question--before the great fighter returned from a mission deep into Poland. He came alone, slipping into the mountain hold so quietly that the sentries might as well have been asleep. Somehow, despite the dark, he noticed the boy straight off. He gave him a look that some described as thoughtful and others as distracted while moving quickly through the camp, summoning this one and that one--only his closest deputies, those h
The fates of four Americans--failing restaurateur Ingo Miller; Marty Panich, who works for the Roosevelt administration; expatriate Isaac Tadzieski; and journalist Sammy Butler--who meet in 1929 at a youth summit in the mountains of Germany intertwine as they uncover information about Hitler's Final Solution. Reprint.
In 1929, at a youth summit in the Weimar Republic, a group of young Americans meet on a remote mountaintop. Their shifting alliances, rivalries and sexual intrigues foreshadow the turmoil and violence that will soon engulf Europe.
Fifteen years later, these men and women are suddenly reunited as one of them discovers an incendiary document from Heinrich Himmler, offering proof of Hitler’s Final Solution. A journey from the confusions of youth into the chaos of war, Another Green World reaches from the last shimmering summer before the Great Depression into the darkest precincts of the twentieth century.
About the Author
Richard Grant was born in Norfolk in 1952, attended the University of Virginia, and served in the U.S. Coast Guard. He lives in Rockport, Maine, where he has been a contributing editor of Down East magazine, chaired the literature panel of the Maine Arts Commission, and won a New England Journalism Award for his column in the Camden Herald.
From the Hardcover edition.
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