Review – Address Unknown

Address Unknown by Kathrine Kressman Taylor

Address Unknown

A short epistolary tale of how people change – sometimes out of all recognition.

Synopsis from GoodReads:
A rediscovered classic, originally published in 1938 and now an international bestseller. When it first appeared in Story magazine in 1938, Address Unknown became an immediate social phenomenon and literary sensation. Published in book form a year later and banned in Nazi Germany, it garnered high praise in the United States and much of Europe.

A series of fictional letters between a Jewish art dealer living in San Francisco and his former business partner, who has returned to Germany, Address Unknown is a haunting tale of enormous and enduring impact.

This book.

It is very short but very powerful, or so it seemed to me.  Yes, some of it was very predictable given the time period in which this takes place but a lot of it was still shocking.

My only complaint is that it’s very brevity worked against it.  I couldn’t understand Martin (the character who has returned to Germany).  Not completely.  Maybe it’s because I didn’t WANT to understand his decisions or maybe it was the lack of information we get, seeing as this story is told by letters at a time when it took months to get a letter from Germany to California.  Either way, I never really understood his mindset.

This is a short book, not even really a novella, but if you get the chance I highly recommend Address Unknown – and, in particular, the foreword written by Taylor’s son.

5 stars.

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