Hans Fallada’s anti-fascist novel Alone in Berlin is no bundle of laughs. I suppose that is to be expected, considering the book was originally titled Every Man Dies Alone (Jeder stirbt für sich allein). Fallada, who was declared an undesirable author by the Nazis, wrote the novel shortly before his death in 1947. This is another book that has been hanging around on my bookshelves for some time (though not as long as Catcher or Brideshead). I found it gripping – I read it in three days – but it contains some harrowing passages. If you read it, don’t expect a happy ending.