A Farce of A Different Kind
Bruce Von Stiers
There have been a lot of fact and fiction written about Nazis. Some of it is okay, some great and some just plain awful. But once in a while a writer will come up with a unique spin on a member of the German High Command.
One such writer is Ian Cassidy. He has written a novel that has been tagged as a “farce of epic proportions.” His novel is titled The Unsinkable Herr Georing. Published by Cassowary Press, the novel deals with, you guessed it, Reich Marshal Hermann Georing.
The novel opens in 1938, just a few short years before Great Britain is dragged into war by the Germans. Hermann Georing visits an estate just outside London. There the reader finds out a certain kinkiness that Georing has the he keeps hidden from the world. The reader also finds out that Georing is not happy with his station in life and would like to have nicer things and be free of all of this world domination hoopla. He especially likes what his colleague, Von Ribbentrop, has had done with his British estate.
Then the novel moves onto 1944. The Germans may indeed be losing the war. And Georing is working on an exit strategy. He knows that soon he will have to flee Germany if he wants to keep his life and worldly goods. So Georing sets his assistant Konrad on a bizarre and entertaining journey to make it happen.
The novel moves back and forth between Germany and Spain. It is at a port in Spain that Konrad is trying to buy a boat and have it outfitted for a trans-Atlantic journey. But the main cargo will be Georing and his wife and daughter. And of course, Georing must flee in style. So areas of the ship must be redesigned for living space that would accommodate someone of Georing's stature.
As the author is British, and this was supposed to be a farce, I half way expected dialog along the lines of Monty Python. Or possibly bits and pieces of Inglorious Basterds. What I found was actually more straight forward storytelling with some kink and crinkle thrown about in different places. Which was okay. Because this novel was really a pretty good read.
The novel moves between different plot elements. The reader gets to meet the truly motley crew who are retrofitting the ship for Georing. Then there is Georing himself who is quite a character. And the reader is also privy to the proclivities of the not so squeaky clean Konrad. There is a race against time as Georing tries to get a move on ahead of the Gestapo and the Allied forces rapidly advancing in Europe.
I had kind of a dilemma here. While there were funny bits in the novel, I felt it wasn't exactly what I considered to be a farce. So to be clear on exactly what farce meant, I looked it up in the dictionary. The definition listed things like improbable plot situations, exaggerated characters and slapstick for effect. Except for that last bit, that pretty much described the essence of the novel. So I guess you could say that by definition this novel was truly a farce.
Improbable situations and circumstances, slightly over-the-top characters and a bit of kinkiness is what The Unsinkable Herr Georing is all about. It was an entertaining reading experience. And who knows, Georing may well have been trying to escape to live the good life in another part of the world.
The Unsinkable Herr Georing is available at amazon.com.
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© 2013 Bruce E Von Stiers