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The Executioner From The Silent Valley: A Historical Fiction Novel

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“If you are able to write 180 pages of your memoir without putting the pen down, I might let you live…” Klaus Holland loves no one other than himself. He victimizes people for being Jews or for just being alive. He is an old Nazi criminal who escaped to Brazil and was caught and prosecuted. He is now forced to write his memoirs as part of his punishment – the same “If you are able to write 180 pages of your memoir without putting the pen down, I might let you live…” Klaus Holland loves no one other than himself. He victimizes people for being Jews or for just being alive. He is an old Nazi criminal who escaped to Brazil and was caught and prosecuted. He is now forced to write his memoirs as part of his punishment – the same punishment he used to give Jews at the concentration camp. This punishment makes him remember and re-live his cruelty as the concentration camp commander and as a man. Deus Esperanca learns from his mother that what he believed to be his family’s history, was just a bunch of lies. He discovers that his real father is Klaus Holland – the sadistic Nazi fugitive. Having this information and his father being aware of what he knows, their lives intertwine and create chaos.


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“If you are able to write 180 pages of your memoir without putting the pen down, I might let you live…” Klaus Holland loves no one other than himself. He victimizes people for being Jews or for just being alive. He is an old Nazi criminal who escaped to Brazil and was caught and prosecuted. He is now forced to write his memoirs as part of his punishment – the same “If you are able to write 180 pages of your memoir without putting the pen down, I might let you live…” Klaus Holland loves no one other than himself. He victimizes people for being Jews or for just being alive. He is an old Nazi criminal who escaped to Brazil and was caught and prosecuted. He is now forced to write his memoirs as part of his punishment – the same punishment he used to give Jews at the concentration camp. This punishment makes him remember and re-live his cruelty as the concentration camp commander and as a man. Deus Esperanca learns from his mother that what he believed to be his family’s history, was just a bunch of lies. He discovers that his real father is Klaus Holland – the sadistic Nazi fugitive. Having this information and his father being aware of what he knows, their lives intertwine and create chaos.

30 review for The Executioner From The Silent Valley: A Historical Fiction Novel

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kolockr Ruth

    "For those who smile, wherever they may be." This is the dedication of Reasons to Kill God, one of the most fascinating and thought-provoking books I've read recently. To begin with, this is the most original dedication I have ever read. Instead of dedicating his book to one's ever-loving wife, supportive friends, or trusty editor, the writer prefers to convey a heartwarming message to all humankind, while slightly hinting about the plot. I read this book twice in a row. At first, I had to read it "For those who smile, wherever they may be." This is the dedication of Reasons to Kill God, one of the most fascinating and thought-provoking books I've read recently. To begin with, this is the most original dedication I have ever read. Instead of dedicating his book to one's ever-loving wife, supportive friends, or trusty editor, the writer prefers to convey a heartwarming message to all humankind, while slightly hinting about the plot. I read this book twice in a row. At first, I had to read it very, very slowly. Not especially long, this book is nevertheless as deep, powerful and surprising as an ocean. Just like an ocean, its seemingly calm surface conceals turbulent deep. Like an ocean, it will make you gape for air, only to stand all the twists in the plot. Reading it, I recalled Columbus' saying, "you can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” In other words, to fully understand this book, you must open your mind and forget all your conventions regarding good and evil, love and hate, and even God. All its characters, even those hard to sympathize with, like the main character, are unconventional, richly described, and intriguing. Its very title, "Reasons to Kill God," provokes a variety of emotions, ranging from fear and resistance to acceptance. But it mostly generates a response which is beyond words. It is a masterpiece written in a fluent, fascinating way. It just "feels real," which is what I appreciate the most in books.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ramon Remires

    Usually, I recommend Historical fiction/nonfiction books. This time, however, I felt like sharing with you something else, a book which has its share of history, yet feels, so to speak…different. A book with slightly more profound meaning and message than those I usually read. It is shorter than the books I often read, but I was surprised at the writer's clear and economical use of language, in unfolding a plot full of passion, drama, and suspense. Most importantly, it is full of twists on every Usually, I recommend Historical fiction/nonfiction books. This time, however, I felt like sharing with you something else, a book which has its share of history, yet feels, so to speak…different. A book with slightly more profound meaning and message than those I usually read. It is shorter than the books I often read, but I was surprised at the writer's clear and economical use of language, in unfolding a plot full of passion, drama, and suspense. Most importantly, it is full of twists on every single page, from start to finish. It is historical fiction by definition, yet it is more likely to be cataloged as a physiologic thriller; the main character of which is Klaus Holland, a man with a traumatic childhood who grows up to become a Nazi concentration camp commandant and escapes to Brazil towards the end of WW II, where he lives under an alias. As part of his new life, he associates with a local prostitute named Carmela, who later dies while giving birth to his child. Just before dying she names her son Deus, Portuguese for God. Six years later, Holland retrieves Deus from an orphanage. By then, Holland already lives with another local prostitute, Klara, who becomes Deus' stepmother. One day, Klara happens to tell her stepson she is a Holocaust survivor. Shortly before her death, she gives him two photos of her and Holland but dies without explaining him their significance. Eager to learn more about the photos, Dues, now a distinguished history student goes on a quest which brings him to American Professor Gabriel Balaguer, an expert on Nazi atrocities. From now onwards, the plot thickens as more disturbing facts revealed, about all characters. This book is a shocking, mesmerizing tale about interracial loves, hates, and acts of revenge, masterfully intertwined, which keeps intriguing you, challenging your presumption, all the way to the main character's climactic transformation. Despite being fiction, it depicts the Nazi atrocities with blood-curdling realism. P.S The "God" referred to in the title is nothing like what you might have ever imagined it to be, so even true believers, of any religion whatsoever, will not find it offensive.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Assaph Mehr

    Having grown up in Israel, I was drawn to this book by the subject matter of Nazi war criminals, especially considering the author and unique point-of-view used. What to Expect The story is told by a Nazi war criminal, Klaus Holland, hiding in Brazil post WW2. When he's found out and sent to trial, he's sentenced to recounting his life's story. The novel is therefore is autobiography, written hastily in the hours before his execution, and covers some major episodes before, during, and after the Having grown up in Israel, I was drawn to this book by the subject matter of Nazi war criminals, especially considering the author and unique point-of-view used. What to Expect The story is told by a Nazi war criminal, Klaus Holland, hiding in Brazil post WW2. When he's found out and sent to trial, he's sentenced to recounting his life's story. The novel is therefore is autobiography, written hastily in the hours before his execution, and covers some major episodes before, during, and after the war, as well as the life of his son for whom Holland implicitly addresses his writing. What I liked This is a book to make you think. The protagonist is of the worst specimens that humanity has ever produced, and sees no wrong in his actions in life. By telling the story from this view point, Olokita will challenge you to consider morality, and the transitions from everyday human life to the worst horrors of war and genocide. Olokita nails Holland's point of view, in a way that makes you curious to keep reading and follow his story, despite the occasionally meandering and often horrifying events he describes. What to be aware of The narrator is omniscient, or at least tried to present himself that way. The point-of-view is first person when he tells of his experiences, and shift to third person when he accounts for events where he was not present (though he's still very much the narrator). It makes a very interesting literary device, as the novel keeps in Holland's voice throughout, but some readers may find it confusing. A bigger point, for me at least, is that the plot feels meandering around the middle. There is somewhat less coherence, with some unclear points and the pace is erratic. Since the author gives little reference points, time feels a bit fluid in how quick or slow it passes between events. This occasionally gives the impression that the author is striving to reach his point quickly, with less regard to rigorous plotting or secondary-characters' arcs. A minor note, this is a translation from Hebrew. Some English constructs feel too cumbersome, which is probably an artefact of the translation. Considering that anyone reading this novel won't be doing it for any mass-market entertainment value, I doubt this would stand in the way. Summary This is a very interesting novel. If you like literary fiction, of the kind that challenges your beliefs and makes you think, read it. Stick with it to the end, think of the protagonist, and think about what Olokita is saying. Remember that this isn't escapist fantasy, but far too uncomfortable description of the lows of human condition. It might make you evaluate life and literature differently. -- Assaph Mehr, author of Murder In Absentia: A story of Togas, Daggers, and Magic - for lovers of Ancient Rome, Murder Mysteries, and Urban Fantasy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mazy Bracha

    27/1 is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and I would like to recommend a book that most of you probably don't know (it was translated only a month or two ago from Hebrew into English, and I have already reread it in English.) This is the review I published in Israel a year ago when I read the book for the first time, and at the end of the report, I added a few more insights after a second English reading. In both cases, my review will not be able to explain how much this book has 27/1 is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and I would like to recommend a book that most of you probably don't know (it was translated only a month or two ago from Hebrew into English, and I have already reread it in English.) This is the review I published in Israel a year ago when I read the book for the first time, and at the end of the report, I added a few more insights after a second English reading. In both cases, my review will not be able to explain how much this book has caused me a profound shock, especially of myself. This is my recommendation for International Holocaust Remembrance Day. *** When I was twelve, my mother, like all mothers, wanted me to have a party. I also wanted a big party and gifts. "It's not right to grow differently in a group of equals," she said, and I agreed with her. My mother worked hard. For almost a year she worked in several jobs to raise enough money to produce the event. But, at the end of that year, she got sick, and things got complicated with daddy, so we both forgot about it, and there was no party. Later on, she and I would talk about the days of that time, about daddy and high school, and about this party that never came true. A party she had admitted she planned for herself. Did I ask her why? Hell yea! Yet she only replied that there were lies that one could not explain. "When you have children of your own, you will understand." that's what mother said. Olokita's Reasons to kill God is a book that made of lies that adults tell themselves and their children. Like Olokita's other book, "Wicked girl," (which I read in Hebrew) this one also moves back and forth in time and plays the reader as if he too part of the story. With excellent writing, Olokita tells a story through the eyes of an escaped Nazi criminal who was forced to bear the raising of Dios, a six-year-old boy who forced on him by brazilin law as a result of pleasures he had spent with a prostitute in Brazil. As the plot reveals, we exposed to life stories of many people, so different from each other, and they all intersect at the end of the book into one extraordinary tale. Reasons to kill God is a surprising and addictive book that read at once, like Olokita's previous book; This book is not easy to grasp regarding content, the horrific heroes and the high level of writing. I must admit that at first, I thought it was a book that talked about God, a guide like or a book about life. Not, This is a book about the most despicable people, as well as the good ones and the lies we all tell ourselves in our way of life. In short, this is a book suitable for anyone planning one day to grow up. *** After rereading the book in English I managed to get some new insights about the war, the Holocaust and people in general. And most disturbingly for me - this book made me for the first time in life to identify with the worst side of human beings, and I am shocked by myself.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bert Chuba

    This book deserves my prize as the most different and surprising book I've ever read and as by saying that, I think it doesn't matter what I'll write here as a review since I'll never be able to convey the feelings I genuinely contain regarding its message. This book is a 140-pages of drama describes the perspective of its hero life from a Nazi criminal point of view. It is a story about a person whose life alienated him and turned into a monster. It is a horrible man that took his place among This book deserves my prize as the most different and surprising book I've ever read and as by saying that, I think it doesn't matter what I'll write here as a review since I'll never be able to convey the feelings I genuinely contain regarding its message. This book is a 140-pages of drama describes the perspective of its hero life from a Nazi criminal point of view. It is a story about a person whose life alienated him and turned into a monster. It is a horrible man that took his place among other beasts in Nazi party rule. Immediately after losing the war, he tries to deal with a world whose values ​​have changed and is no longer part of the customs. The hero tells us his life story while he is on trial in the shadow of a U.S court long after World War II ended. He doesn't renounce his actions and doesn't even understand what was wrong with it nor regret his evil deeds. During reading, the hero tells the reader about the history of his family life. Ostensibly, the story supposed to cause the reader a deep shock or at least a rejection because it presents the Nazi criminal as the hero of the book and thus creates him as a man deserve in living, which one can identify with, but the book won't make you feel this way, OH NO! It did everything many other books I read couldn't do; It retaliated my mind with feelings I thought I should never have. And yes, it is permissible to believe so, because once you do that, one realizes how much we can all be right there - walking in this evil monster's footsteps. Once finished reading you can finally understand how easy it is to depend on circumstances to replace one set of values ​​with another and for a moment to confuse your role as a human being with that of other mortals God. I am now still overwhelmed by my thoughts. These are mainly philosophies about what is permitted and what is forbidden and about the price we and our future generations will have to pay for our future actions.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Khyati Gautam

    The history of Nazi concentration camps where the Jews were brought and tortured to death is well known. I have read about Nazi rule during my school days and have developed a sense of disliking for their inhuman behavior. This book just brings out a story from those times. Klaus Holland aka Matheus Esperanca who is a Nazi fugitive hiding in Brazil loves himself. After six years of his encounter with a pregnant prostitute, he comes to know of his son Deus. He picks him up from an orphanage and The history of Nazi concentration camps where the Jews were brought and tortured to death is well known. I have read about Nazi rule during my school days and have developed a sense of disliking for their inhuman behavior. This book just brings out a story from those times. Klaus Holland aka Matheus Esperanca who is a Nazi fugitive hiding in Brazil loves himself. After six years of his encounter with a pregnant prostitute, he comes to know of his son Deus. He picks him up from an orphanage and rears him along with another of his lovely ladies Klara. It is after years when Deus decides to unbury the truth behind his identity and family which leads him to Professor Balaguer and his wife Heidi. Eventually, Deus and Heidi fall in love with each other and settle for a family. Klaus who is being tried at the court of U.S.A confesses his brutal ways of killing his victims back at the concentration camps. But one day as he stumbles upon a photo of his son, his wife & his grandchild, something clicks and this overwhelms him. He is filled with remorse and guilt. Read the book to find out why? In a truly fascinating manner, the author attempts to bring forth the life of a war criminal. He describes his characters so well that their lives with its set of challenges appear palpable. Klaus’ demonic ways of killing his victims made me hate him. His self-obsession truly infuriated him. But his last days saw in him the emergence of a human being. I liked how the story began and developed holistically. I didn’t find any loophole or any unnecessary dragging. The pace was perfect and the narrative crisp and engaging. Also, the information about world war 2 has been traced adequately well. The flow of the narrative kept me hooked to the story. However, I disliked the treatment of women characters. Agreed that the atrocities inflicted upon them portrayed reality but why a woman is objectified with her prime motive to just bend down and satisfy a man’s carnal desires? This particular thing didn’t interest me. Otherwise, the book is pretty good in its overall approach. I would seriously recommend this book for its good content on history and short length!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Janet Tomasson

    According to Olokita's Facebook page, he's been a well-known Israeli writer for several years but prefers to write under an alias. This is all the info I managed to gather about him. Nevertheless, I decided to give this book a shot, because the plot intrigued me, and, to be honest Because I got the book from the author as a gift. In a nutshell, it's the story of Deus Esperanca, son of Matheus Esperanca, the alias of Klaus Holland, a Nazi fugitive hiding in Brazil. It starts with Holland's trial, According to Olokita's Facebook page, he's been a well-known Israeli writer for several years but prefers to write under an alias. This is all the info I managed to gather about him. Nevertheless, I decided to give this book a shot, because the plot intrigued me, and, to be honest Because I got the book from the author as a gift. In a nutshell, it's the story of Deus Esperanca, son of Matheus Esperanca, the alias of Klaus Holland, a Nazi fugitive hiding in Brazil. It starts with Holland's trial, where he's presented as an utterly immoral person, who suffers no pangs of conscience at his victims' fates, after playing God as a concentration camp commander. Far from following the Nazi War Criminal's stereotype, Holland never tries to win sympathy by pretending to have "acted under orders." To the contrary-he proudly and remorselessly described the ingeniously cruel ways with which he killed his victims. His atrocities seem to be a perfect manifestation of selfish and megalomaniac nature, which the book presents in unsettling yet so fascinating way. Deus' mother was a Brazilian prostitute that Klaus was her regular client. Shortly after giving birth to Deus, she died, leaving him to an orphanage. It is only when his son, Deus, is six that Holland finds about him when the orphanage offers Klaus to take him home. As an adolescent, Deus starts uncovering family secrets. Eager to find out the whole bitter truth, Deus eventually gets acquainted with Professor Balaguer, an expert on Nazi Fugitives, and especially with his wife, And she also has a significant role in the story. From that moment onwards to the surprisingly bitter end, their fates intertwined. Starting somewhere in the 1960s, where Holland stands trial, the plot moves back and forth in time, letting all the numerous character contact each other, to reveal to Deus' his terrible family secret. I was driven to read this book by another book I read dealing with Nazism, namely In the Garden of Beasts, which portrays prewar Nazi Germany through the story of US Ambassador to Berlin. Opposed to this book, Reasons to Kill God tells the evil guys' story, in the form of a Nazi War Criminal's biography. Klaus Holland, just like Hannibal Lecter, the main character of Silence of the Lambs, is an anti-social psychopath who mocks the readers' conventional morality. Just like Lecter, Holland turns out to be a character you'd love to hate. This is a page-turner, written in a uniquely unsettling style. Despite being told mostly as a first-person life-story of a Nazi sadist, this story will attract you from cover to cover.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Adva

    Reasons to Kill God. What happens to a Nazi criminal who managed to escape off military forces casing him? What happens to him in a casual encounter with a woman? In Hebrew, there is a sentence that goes like this 'It all happened as the carrot rose and beat the gardener.' Meaning, that as a result of a chance encounter with a prostitute, everything set up to the right ending. The book is written fluently, matter-of-factly, intriguing. Just go on and read it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Martha

    This is a dark story but speaks of compassion too. The story opens as Klaus Holland is required to write his own memoir – which is a punishment he used to give Jews before killing them. Klaus was a sadistic Nazi officer who didn’t blink at the cruelty of the concentration camps where he was a commander. He escaped from Germany at the end of the war and was able to hide himself in Brazil. He continued to be a self-centered, crude man who holds himself out as a rich man above all others who are This is a dark story but speaks of compassion too. The story opens as Klaus Holland is required to write his own memoir – which is a punishment he used to give Jews before killing them. Klaus was a sadistic Nazi officer who didn’t blink at the cruelty of the concentration camps where he was a commander. He escaped from Germany at the end of the war and was able to hide himself in Brazil. He continued to be a self-centered, crude man who holds himself out as a rich man above all others who are there for his pleasure and use. Klaus wasn’t initially aware that he fathered a son by his regular prostitute who died giving birth. On her deathbed, the mother named her son “Deus”. Several years later, the head of the orphanage shows up at Klaus’ door to tell him to come collect his son. He brings Deus home and announces that the woman who currently ‘services’ him will be the child’s mother. Deus and Klara grew close as they suffer abuse at the hands of Klaus. When Klara realizes she is dying she tells Deus the truth about his mother and father. She explains that Klaus is one of the last uncaptured Nazi criminals. Deus sets out to meet an American professor who once specialized in hunting Nazi war criminals. Before flying to America, Deus leaves a letter telling his father what he knows. When Deus returns to Brazil he doesn’t realize that his visit has triggered those who want to find Klaus and bring him to justice… or some other punishment. There is a sudden clash as Deus and Klaus reach the conclusion of their strange connections. The format of this novel is a little difficult to follow. I found the point of view (pov) confusing to accept as Klaus writing his memoirs even as chapters are presented from the pov of other characters (particularly his American pursuer) and the journey of his son while he is away in America. The author manages to weave in twists and raise questions as to how a son might react to learning his father is a war criminal. This is also a novel that is difficult to read emotionally due to history and the horrendous cruelty and gritty situations. I can only take deep breaths and ponder how someone (many someones) could be so evil and view themselves as God. This story is darker than most, but I found it a worthwhile, engaging read. I recommend it to those who are interested in Nazi history from the perspective of the criminal and a son. Source: Author Review Request.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Píaras Cíonnaoíth

    Emotional, captivating, and thought provoking... “Everybody aspires that at least one’s death will turn him into a good memory. However, my father is gone now, yet he, like so many mortals, stands trial before me.” Award winning author I. V. Olokita writes in a way that evokes new ways of thinking with the reader. He embodies challenges with his writing to rouse debate and opinion. He certainly accomplishes this here with his historical fiction novella, Reasons to Kill God. The book description Emotional, captivating, and thought provoking... “Everybody aspires that at least one’s death will turn him into a good memory. However, my father is gone now, yet he, like so many mortals, stands trial before me.” Award winning author I. V. Olokita writes in a way that evokes new ways of thinking with the reader. He embodies challenges with his writing to rouse debate and opinion. He certainly accomplishes this here with his historical fiction novella, Reasons to Kill God. The book description gives a sneak preview: ‘Klaus Holland loves no one other than himself. He victimizes people for being Jews or for just being alive. He is an old Nazi criminal who escaped to Brazil and was caught and prosecuted. He is now forced to write his memoirs as part of his punishment – the same punishment he used to give Jews at the concentration camp. This punishment makes him remember and re-live his cruelty as the concentration camp commander and as a man. Deus Esperanca learns from his mother that what he believed to be his family’s history, was just a bunch of lies. He discovers that his real father is Klaus Holland – the sadistic Nazi fugitive. Having this information and his father being aware of what he knows, their lives intertwine and create chaos.’ The book had every element a good story should have. An intriguing plot, attention to detail, but best of all fleshed out, well-written and well-rounded character development. There’s an abundance of well-illustrated scenes that make you feel like you are right there in the story, and that’s something I really look for in a good book. It’s one of those stories that come along once in a while that makes you want to read it non-stop until you get to the end. I’m giving nothing further away here. And this, I hope, will only add to the mystery and enjoyment for the reader! I’ll be looking forward to reading more from I. V. Olokita the future. I would definitely recommend this book. Five stars from me.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lael Braday

    In Brazil, Nazi fugitive Klaus Holland, aka Matheus Esperanca, raises his son by a prostitute with a Jewish kapo from Udenspul, the concentration camp he commanded. The son, Deus, considers the kapo his mother, and after her death, takes mysterious photos from her to a professor in his US university to research his ancestry, where he learns the true identity of his father and the extent of his crimes. Olokita brilliantly uses the concept of god as a measurement of morality, or rather lack of In Brazil, Nazi fugitive Klaus Holland, aka Matheus Esperanca, raises his son by a prostitute with a Jewish kapo from Udenspul, the concentration camp he commanded. The son, Deus, considers the kapo his mother, and after her death, takes mysterious photos from her to a professor in his US university to research his ancestry, where he learns the true identity of his father and the extent of his crimes. Olokita brilliantly uses the concept of god as a measurement of morality, or rather lack of humanity, as Klaus plays God in determining who dies, though his own religious beliefs remain deliciously ambiguous. The character development is so well done that dear reader will be researching names. Although written in third person for everyone else, Klaus is in first person, bringing the reader up close and personal to a man with his own version of right and wrong based on his complete lack of empathy, exploring the idea of how powerful he believes himself. The ending revelation is quite coincidental and is evidenced only by Klaus’ perception, so it’s not clear why it’s readily believed by Deus and his new love Heidi. It’s anti-climactic after the delightful irony of Klaus’ downfall. With so many rumors, legends, and news items, inspiring a plethora of literature, on the Holocaust, this unique story of a fugitive hiding out in South America is a definite must-read. It’s themes rove beyond the simple good vs. evil and the idea that one can distinguish such traits in anyone, with characters revealing the dangers within themselves. I received a digital copy of this fantastic novel from the author for an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Barb

    Klaus Holland an old Nazi tells his life story on paper which the judge makes him do before his execution just like he did to the Jewish people in the concentration camps and then just kills them, because he could and because there were no consequences for him.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jack Brown

    An excellent, unexpected thriller. The type of books that read in one breath.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Booklover

    The plot is full of surprising twists, all the way to the completely unexpected ending.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ronald Keeler

    I received this book through Booksprout as an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) in exchange for a review. I received no compensation other than the fun of reading the book. This was a challenging book to read for two main reasons. The style of writing in which the story was written made it occasionally difficult to determine which character was dominant and presenting a point of view. The second difficulty might be due to the format of an ARC. There are distracting spelling irregularities and clumsy I received this book through Booksprout as an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) in exchange for a review. I received no compensation other than the fun of reading the book. This was a challenging book to read for two main reasons. The style of writing in which the story was written made it occasionally difficult to determine which character was dominant and presenting a point of view. The second difficulty might be due to the format of an ARC. There are distracting spelling irregularities and clumsy phrasing such as “Could have they come all the way here …” (Kindle locations 1814-1815). While I do not consider the phrase wrong, it reads like an outdated, formal style. I don’t know whether changes are planned before final publication but I feel this novel should go through one more examination by a copy editor. Otherwise, it reads as if it were written by an accomplished writer whose second language is English. This is a 4.5 Amazon star read. I would give it five stars if there were changes to some of the phrasing. The story is very interesting with small surprises occurring throughout and two huge surprises at the end. The last surprise is presented in the form of a question and should provoke a lot of reader thought. The story’s surface level is well presented in Chapter One, The Trial. The protagonist, Mateus Esperanca, has a name that the reader can almost safely forget. His real name is Klaus Holland, a former commandant of a Nazi death camp. He had been living under the name Esperanca in Brazil until his true identity was discovered and reported to authorities. In Chapter One we read Holland’s methods of deciding who would die and when. There was no question that everyone would die, but they would die according to Holland’s “format,” a method he detailed to the court with pride. The court accepted his guilty admission of killing more than three hundred thousand Jews and sentenced him to death by a unique method. First surprise. This is the only chapter where the story is told on a surface level but the “hook” presented spurred me to read the novel in one session Over the next ten chapters, the story is told on a surface and secondary, deeper level in tandem. In print, the book is ninety-nine pages so it could theoretically be a fast read. If a reader accepts the author’s invitation to examine on a deeper level the motivation of several characters for their actions, the novel will take longer. I could not find any character that could be described as “normal.” Every character was twisted either as they embraced their flaws or were forced to act in terrible ways for their survival. Klaus Holland’s casual acceptance of death and complete willingness to kill to avoid possible, not certain, future problems is a horror show all by itself. His very existence dooms anyone in his realm of relationships to either physical or moral extinction. Readers who will enjoy this novel are fans of philosophy and logic. Klaus knows that his actions are outside what is acceptable behavior to most. He rationalizes it through detailed internal dialogues and these are fascinating to read. This is a character no one would want to meet; they probably would not know the true character if such a meeting took place. I highly recommend this novel despite phrasing and writing style. It is a psychological thriller without claiming to be one. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Johen Lvinson

    After receiving multiple recommendations, I bought a paperback of it on Amazon. As one who once ran a bookshop, I examined it shortly after I took the book out of the envelope. This book is small by dimensions and relatively thin. It was still difficult for me to understand how all those compliments received by other readers converged into such a minimal size book. Two days ago I started reading it. I finished three hours later with long lists made by me for better understanding. 1. By the name of After receiving multiple recommendations, I bought a paperback of it on Amazon. As one who once ran a bookshop, I examined it shortly after I took the book out of the envelope. This book is small by dimensions and relatively thin. It was still difficult for me to understand how all those compliments received by other readers converged into such a minimal size book. Two days ago I started reading it. I finished three hours later with long lists made by me for better understanding. 1. By the name of it, I expected a book with a religious tone. There was nothing about religion in this book. There are many beliefs, but they are relevant to people and not for worshiping any God. 2. I expected historical fiction and got more of the psychological thriller. The dosage linking events regarding time sequence and tension which entangled in it is pretty accurate. 3. I feel sorry for myself for during reading I managed to pity a Nazi criminal. I think there is something fierce about the writer's actions that made me look through the criminal's eyes and more, actually identify with him. 4. The amount of insights I left with is enormous. One relates to female view during WW2 and specifically to the role of Jewish women in Nazi concentration camps. The second issue I want to expand on is the theory of creating the monster and whether a person has responsibility for his actions given that his parents and society have taught him to act so. 5. Some of the story and the characters are real, and I am sure of that. It doesn't make any sense that the author made them up. 6. Until the last page of the book I had some assumptions about what would happen next, and at the end of it, they all shattered. It happened several times during the reading, and when I skimmed back to expose authors credibility, I realized that it was in front of my eyes and just missed it. At first, I thought it was my fault, but then I realized that this was probably a method that the writer deliberately used (the last place you look for is in front of your eyes). 7. Language - I don't know yet what to think of its style of writing. It is unusual, on the other side it is sometimes very outdated. There are no grammatical errors or time problems that I've noticed, so I tend to believe that the writing work, deliberately done in such a manner. Anyway, it didn't diminish the pleasure of reading and in some places even added some authenticity.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Trey Stone

    Reasons to kill God follows war criminal and thought-to-be-dead Nazi, Klaus Hermann as he is taken to court after being caught by the authorities in South America. He is allowed, as a last meal kind of deal, to write down his life story before he is executed, and off we go. We start with his escape from Germany before we arrive in South America, and from there we get insight into the rest of his adult life, the women he courts, the children he sires, how he lives, what he thinks and how he ends Reasons to kill God follows war criminal and thought-to-be-dead Nazi, Klaus Hermann as he is taken to court after being caught by the authorities in South America. He is allowed, as a last meal kind of deal, to write down his life story before he is executed, and off we go. We start with his escape from Germany before we arrive in South America, and from there we get insight into the rest of his adult life, the women he courts, the children he sires, how he lives, what he thinks and how he ends up being caught. It’s a good book, there’s definitely an exciting story here, but it’s not without issues. The book has been translated to English and though I’m happy to forgive issues that arise during translation, I can’t really attribute them all to just that. The writing is often elegant and almost beautiful, but at times this falls completely through. It felt like there was a sudden change in style, almost as if there are two different authors. There are far too many exclamation points as well as ones doubled with question marks which make the dialogue seem unnatural. I can deal with angry, shouting characters, but not constantly and not when asking normal, everyday questions. There’s also often a jump from scenes that are separate in time and space, without any paragraph or indication that these should be separate. There’s also no stylistic difference between dialogue and thought, which made it difficult to discern that some things are internal, until you get to the “he thought” at the end of a sentence. This often made me confused, having to backtrack. Whole sequences of the book are about Klaus’ son when he’s off on his own, but the book is written in first-person from Klaus’ perspective so how does he know what happened to his son if he wasn’t there? It's obviously written from an omniscient point of view, but this confused me for a while because I still thought we were seeing the story from Klaus' perspective. There’s a thrilling story to be found here and I quite liked the way it came together by the end. It makes you think, makes you wonder, as well as just entertaining you along the way. But it was at times a struggle to grasp it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Grady

    ‘Nobody may die until I permit them to.’ Israeli author I.V. Olokita earned his BA in logistics and MA in emergency and disaster situations management and has spends his life managing medical aid to global disaster areas. He has published three books to date; REASONS TO KILL GOD is translated from the Hebrew original. He is a best selling author in Israel and it is likely that recognition will ignite in the US with the publication of this novel. Opening with a trial may seem anticlimactic for a ‘Nobody may die until I permit them to.’ Israeli author I.V. Olokita earned his BA in logistics and MA in emergency and disaster situations management and has spends his life managing medical aid to global disaster areas. He has published three books to date; REASONS TO KILL GOD is translated from the Hebrew original. He is a best selling author in Israel and it is likely that recognition will ignite in the US with the publication of this novel. Opening with a trial may seem anticlimactic for a novel but in this case it presents a fine mood set for the story to come. The subtle manner in which the Olokita introduces his main character is indicative of the tale that follows: ‘“Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?” “I do, your honor,” I replied, loud and clear. “Are you Mateus Esperança?” the Prosecutor asked. “Yes, I am,” I replied once again, with confidence. Silence fell over the makeshift courthouse erected especial¬ly for me in that godforsaken town, usually visited by only ghosts and mortals gone astray. “Was your previous name Klaus Holland? Are you the son of Maria and Albert Holland?” the Prosecutor kept asking, without waiting for my answer. “Yes,” I confirmed, triggering an explosion of loud curses, cries, and wailings, which the Judge’s gavel tried in vain to suppress. “Quiet, quiet! Order in the court!” a dark-skinned, great-legged court orderly cried on and on, almost cracking his voice. “Please, tell me, sir, about your procedure over there, in Undespul Camp,” the Prosecutor enquired once the atmo¬sphere in the courtroom calmed down a little.’ In a radically different manner Olokita raises the spectre of the Holocaust in the creation of a lad’s discovery that he is the descendent of Klaus Holland, an old Nazi criminal and not the Hispanic Mateus Esperança. That much alone is worthy of writing but it is the way that the author intertwines the past with the present that makes the story ring uniquely true. Two continents, two tales – woven into a tapestry that is at once horrifying and illuminating. This is a very fine book form an obviously gifted writer of substance. Recommended.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Chitra Iyer

    Having been on the bestseller list in Israel (and the subject being WW2), I couldn’t resist the invitation to review Reasons to Kill God by I.V Olokita. I love historical fiction, except for the romantic ones, and I tremendously loved the writing style in this book. Before I rattle on, let me begin with a summary and get down to the details. Summary The protagonist is Klaus Holland, a Nazi criminal, who has always prided himself in hating (and killing) the Jews. The story is about him and his life Having been on the bestseller list in Israel (and the subject being WW2), I couldn’t resist the invitation to review Reasons to Kill God by I.V Olokita. I love historical fiction, except for the romantic ones, and I tremendously loved the writing style in this book. Before I rattle on, let me begin with a summary and get down to the details. Summary The protagonist is Klaus Holland, a Nazi criminal, who has always prided himself in hating (and killing) the Jews. The story is about him and his life journey and how, till the very end, his beliefs feed his ego and thereby, his actions. It is a fantastic retelling from a Nazi point of view, something I have never come across. A blunt but interesting tale. What I Liked As mentioned above, I have never read anything like this. It is Klaus’s story through and through and also of the people close to him. The tale is short and very precisely executed. I simply loved the writing style, the author managed to keep the brisk pace and the sharp plot together. I am not used to reading stories about the bad guy. And that;s exactly what I loved about the book. Although, there is a moment of repentance towards the very end, I liked that it showcased the pure raw emotions of the protagonist. What I Did Not Like Although I liked the writing style, the narrative was a bit too random at times. I had to first read a little to begin to understand where this was all going. Not entirely a negative but for some readers, it may be. Other Details This is the second book by the author that was published in 2015 and topped the bestseller list. His first book Ten Simple Rules has won an Israeli literary prize. Would I Recommend It? Oh yes! If you are someone with interests in the World War 2 and in reading something from a Nazi’s point of view, then definitely give this a try. It is a one of a kind read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Happy Booker

    Reasons to kill God is a short story historical fiction book written as a psychological thriller. It is written in the first person narrative and begins with Mateus being on trial at court. He is a Nazi criminal who is caught and forced to write his memoir on his encounters. This was the same way he used to punish the Jews when he used to be a camp commander. Mateus talks about his family, his father, in particular, being a Sadist and what he dealt with growing up. He talks about his son, the Reasons to kill God is a short story historical fiction book written as a psychological thriller. It is written in the first person narrative and begins with Mateus being on trial at court. He is a Nazi criminal who is caught and forced to write his memoir on his encounters. This was the same way he used to punish the Jews when he used to be a camp commander. Mateus talks about his family, his father, in particular, being a Sadist and what he dealt with growing up. He talks about his son, the war and everything he can before his execution. What I enjoyed about this story was that the protagonist was someone I should have hated. He was a criminal and had committed crimes one could never forgive, however, by reading his side and having a story written in his words and perspective; it was enlightening to see the transition and true feelings of someone in his place and status. I predominantly enjoyed the fact that the work was translated and nothing seemed to have lost its value in the process of it being converted. I recommend this book to people who like to read historical fiction and stories about the war.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Deniz Horowits

    I almost abandoned this book at the end of the third chapter. It was just too much for me. I am a third generation Holocaust survivor, and as a lover of historical literature (mainly fiction), I am always eagerly reading books about the period of Second World War including the crimes of the Nazis. But this book opens with a violent blow - the hero of the book is the commander of a Nazi extermination camp that manages to escape, and years later when he stands on the stand in court, he tells from I almost abandoned this book at the end of the third chapter. It was just too much for me. I am a third generation Holocaust survivor, and as a lover of historical literature (mainly fiction), I am always eagerly reading books about the period of Second World War including the crimes of the Nazis. But this book opens with a violent blow - the hero of the book is the commander of a Nazi extermination camp that manages to escape, and years later when he stands on the stand in court, he tells from his perspective the story of his life. As I wrote, the beginning was not easy for me, at least not until I remembered it wasn't a real story. And so, because the story itself is fascinating and the writing is good, I kept reading until the end. And I'm so glad I acted this way. This book is excellent!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Murphy

    I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I enjoy reading books about WWII so I requested a copy of this book. This book takes place at the end of the war and is about a Nazi criminal. Not usually the type of WWII books I read. This is a very short book and I started and stopped it at least four times before finally finishing. I had a lot of trouble following the story at times. There were many times when the action changed immediately from one paragraph to I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I enjoy reading books about WWII so I requested a copy of this book. This book takes place at the end of the war and is about a Nazi criminal. Not usually the type of WWII books I read. This is a very short book and I started and stopped it at least four times before finally finishing. I had a lot of trouble following the story at times. There were many times when the action changed immediately from one paragraph to another and I had to go back and read to realize what had happened. In other books, I think a new chapter would have been started in those places. While the book was interesting and as I mentioned a different type of WWII book, it was a tough read for me.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brett Wallach

    I love books, and all art forms, that challenge the audience. Reasons to Kill God has one of the most vile villains you'll ever come across. And for the most part, it is he who tells this story. This searing book compels the reader to look at the world through the eyes of an unrepentant Nazi war criminal, as well as see the ramifications of his actions to his own son, and others in their circle. The writer is unflinching in this narrative, and the prose is some of the most haunting you will ever I love books, and all art forms, that challenge the audience. Reasons to Kill God has one of the most vile villains you'll ever come across. And for the most part, it is he who tells this story. This searing book compels the reader to look at the world through the eyes of an unrepentant Nazi war criminal, as well as see the ramifications of his actions to his own son, and others in their circle. The writer is unflinching in this narrative, and the prose is some of the most haunting you will ever read. It's not just another "Oh, the Holocaust was bad" tome. This one is unique, and I can't encourage you strongly enough to read it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    This is a powerful book and wasn’t exactly what I was expecting from the cover, it was however, way better! I’m a fast reader but I still tend to stay clear of reading books twice as I remember them, but in this case, I may make an acceptation and read it again, I think it deserves multiple readings to ensure the reader gets everything that this book has to offer. It’s a powerful book, rich with emotions that makes the reader stop and think about the world then and how it is now. The author has This is a powerful book and wasn’t exactly what I was expecting from the cover, it was however, way better! I’m a fast reader but I still tend to stay clear of reading books twice as I remember them, but in this case, I may make an acceptation and read it again, I think it deserves multiple readings to ensure the reader gets everything that this book has to offer. It’s a powerful book, rich with emotions that makes the reader stop and think about the world then and how it is now. The author has done a wonderful job writing such an epic piece that held my attention and page turner as fast as I could. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amy Shannon

    Powerful! Olokita pens a magnificently powerful story in Reasons to kill God. This is one of those stories that you can't help but not put down, but find it hard to read as well. It's that powerful. It's one of those historical stories that is thrilling and fascinating, but also heart-breaking and terrifying. The pain and torture that the Nazi brings to this story is overwhelmingly emotional and shocking. I highly recommend this story, and the title is definitely fitting. It may be that book, Powerful! Olokita pens a magnificently powerful story in Reasons to kill God. This is one of those stories that you can't help but not put down, but find it hard to read as well. It's that powerful. It's one of those historical stories that is thrilling and fascinating, but also heart-breaking and terrifying. The pain and torture that the Nazi brings to this story is overwhelmingly emotional and shocking. I highly recommend this story, and the title is definitely fitting. It may be that book, that you read repeatedly and keep on your shelf forever. I look forward to reading more by this author.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Presgraves

    This book was a really good read for me. I have always been interested in WW2 stories, but I usually prefer them to be non-fiction. However, this one read almost like it was non-fiction. I liked that it wasn't just a story about an escaped Nazi war criminal but also about everyone else he touches, from the prisoners at the cap to the other Nazis to his own family. This was well-written and I enjoyed the story and lesson it had to share. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am This book was a really good read for me. I have always been interested in WW2 stories, but I usually prefer them to be non-fiction. However, this one read almost like it was non-fiction. I liked that it wasn't just a story about an escaped Nazi war criminal but also about everyone else he touches, from the prisoners at the cap to the other Nazis to his own family. This was well-written and I enjoyed the story and lesson it had to share. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    An intriguing page turner which gives a snippet of pre and post the life of a Nazi war criminal who deems himself God by virtue of the fact that he passes judgment on defenceless Jews. This is not the type of book I would read ordinarily, however, the title and the front picture captured me and compelled me to give it a chance. I'm glad I read this book. I read it in no time. The cleverly orchestrated, and the continued twists in the story peaked my interest throughout. It's definitely the kind An intriguing page turner which gives a snippet of pre and post the life of a Nazi war criminal who deems himself God by virtue of the fact that he passes judgment on defenceless Jews. This is not the type of book I would read ordinarily, however, the title and the front picture captured me and compelled me to give it a chance. I'm glad I read this book. I read it in no time. The cleverly orchestrated, and the continued twists in the story peaked my interest throughout. It's definitely the kind of book I would recommend. It's short, uncomplicated and well written.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lit Hamerrsmith

    Disturbing, different and thought-provoking. It is a book that describes history as an imaginative story but is much more than that. It is the first time for me to hate and love a book hero and instead of being ashamed of it I am proud to have read it. If ignoring the background noise of the translation and the jumps between periods - this book is essential to humankind survival efforts in so many ways.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Avraham David

    I read the book in Hebrew and now also in English. As far as the subject is concerned, it is not easy and the manner of writing (by the evil man's words) does not make life easier for me. I needed a rereading to contain the full story power, but I'm glad I did it. This book will accompany me for a long time.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Chechick

    Food for your thought This book is essentially different from other World War II books I have read so far. The book is told from the perspective of a fleeing Nazi criminal and tells a fascinating story, disturbing and full of Twists.Though it's an imaginary thriller, even after reading the book you will still be thinking about what you read and thus the book becomes even more significant.

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