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December Books 9) Berlin: City of Smoke

9) Berlin: City of Smoke, by Jason Lutes

I really enjoyed the first volume of this series, and I really enjoyed this one as well. Covering the period from June 1929 to September 1930, it doesn't have the same narrative climax (May Day 1929) as the previous book, but it does have a strong set of internal plot arcs. Marthe and Kurt delve deeper into the heart of what makes the city tick, but at the cost of their own relationship; Kid Hogan, an African American jazz clarinettist, finds love and corruption in the city's music halls; and the marginalised, the exploited, the Jews, the Communists, the unemployed, all have their stories at least illuminated if not necessarily told. I'm only sorry that, first, we will presumably have to wait another four years for the next and final volume, and second, that it will presumably only take us to the Nazi seizure of power. But this is strongly recommended.

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