Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Escapes Underneath the Berlin Wall - My Review of the book "The Tunnels" by Greg Mitchell

When this book first fell into my hands, I thought, "Wow. This is a big book! How will I ever get through it?" Although it was bigger than I had expected, I was pleasantly surprised at how interesting and gripping it was. I went through it fairly slowly but I didn't lose interest one time!

The book is about the Berlin Wall crisis as a whole, but specifically focusing on the tunneling attempts. The tunnels that were built are a dramatic pictur
e of how desperate the people of Berlin were to have their freedom. This book reads like a thriller and is filled with suspense and complex characters and the missions and the risks that brave men and women took for their families and loved ones.

This was a truly riveting book and I enjoyed it thoroughly! One thing I look for in a book about history is that it tells a story. Many history books are somewhat dry and filled with details and honestly, I quickly lose interest because of the writing style of the author. But Mitchell did a great job telling a story – the story of those who were passionate to have freedom.

In the acknowledgments, Mitchell writes: “When I started this book, I had no idea how many of the key tunnelers, couriers, and escapees were still living, or if they would be reachable, and if so, would be willing to speak with me. I made a list and, surprisingly, I was able to arrange lengthy interviews with nearly all of them, and then some.” It is evident when reading this book that his eyewitness interviews made all the difference in the world. He did a very thorough job and all of the interviews he conducted add an incredible depth to this book. It is almost as if he is writing down their story on their behalf. This book gave all the different perspectives from citizens of east and west Germany, members of the press, members of the government, etc. I appreciated how it showed all the different sides of the story.

I was definitely impressed by this book and although I do not appreciate the occasional language, I would definitely recommend this book to someone interested in this topic. “The Tunnels” definitely left me with a greater respect for the freedom that I have.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. But the opinion is completely and entirely my own.