Atticus Books is a fairly new publisher doing some wonderful things. First off, they published The Bee-Loud Glade, a book by a very good friend of mine, Steve Himmer, and which I’ve talked about several times already (here, for starters). They’ve also put out an e-novella by Himmer called The Second Most Dangerous Job in America, which I’m ashamed to say I haven’t read yet. I plan to correct this mistake very soon.
There are several titles in their catalogue that I’d like to read, namely John Minichillo’s The Snow Whale and Nazareth, North Dakota by Tommy Zurhellen.
However, I had the pleasure of reviewing one of their latest titles for Necessary Fiction recently. Kino, by Jürgen Fauth, is somewhat hard to describe succinctly. The book is about a young woman out to uncover a few family secrets, it’s about the German film industry of the 1930s, it’s also a little bit about contemporary politics and media, and it’s also a little bit about love and marriage.
Here is a little bit of what I had to say in my review:
Much of the joy in reading this kind of novel comes from an admiration of the author’s research and skill in putting that research together into a coherent story. Kino is filled with real historical characters and events—people like German filmmaker Fritz Lang, actor Rudolf Klein-Rogge and many others, and of course Goebbels and several events pertaining to the Third Reich’s negotiation of German art and culture during the 1930s and 40s—but the novel cleverly inserts itself as a fictional footnote to this period of film history, even going so far as to suggest that the discovery of Klaus “Kino” Koblitz’s films will necessitate a re-evaluation of the merit of certain film makers previously credited with the development of revolutionary techniques. Suddenly, deliriously, the “real” and the “possible” begin to merge. Fauth becomes Kino—or is it the other way around?
You can read the entire review here.