This is another book that made me laugh. This one is the story of 1930s Berlin theatrical set- designer called Egon Loeser (yes, the pun is intentional) who travels from Berlin to Paris to Los Angeles all for the love of a woman – or the chance to persuade said woman Adele Hitler (no relation) – to sleep with him.
The humour from the book is in the fact that Loeser sees himself as a great man and others as lesser and beneath him whilst all the time the reader sees him as the self absorbed, self deluded, full of petty jealousies ‘loser’ he really is. And this provides one of the dangers of a novel whose central character has either none or very few redeeming characteristics. Can you make a reader care about them enough to be engaged enough to get through to the end, especially if by the end there is no real sense of redemption even at the end (you can argue if this is the case or not with this book).
I can’t say I liked him, but I was engaged with the story which plays with history : Germany before the WW2 and the US after where the country suddenly became full of Germans, particularly scientists and writers, who had escaped or been co-opted in to working for the US government, Con-artists , soviet spies, Hollywood, Public Transport – why LA doesn’t have a public tramway, and , of course, teleportation.
Throw in a cast of recurring characters and some comedic – farce like – scenes and you have a very enjoyable novel.