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Published February 7th by Harper first published August 29th More Details Original Title. Berlin Germany. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about All That I Am , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of All That I Am. May 14, Violet wells rated it really liked it Shelves: 21st-century , world-war-two. I went into this book knowing nothing about the real life characters portrayed and found it worked equally well as elegant literary fiction and page turning thriller.

The novel has two narrators — Ernst Toller, the playwright and Ruth Blatt, whom Funder got to know late in her life and no doubt sparked the inspiration for this novel — but the character who fascinates Funder and who this novel is essentially about is Dora Fabien. To both Tiller and Ruth, the passionate and independent Dora is an indispensable flame of their wellbeing.

And also because as voices Funder makes no effort to distinguish them stylistically. But this was a minor misgiving and what the dual narrative lacks in artistry it makes up for in supplying dramatic tension. WW2 heroines have begun to be turned by novelists into super powered comic book characters — The Nightingale springs to mind.

Funder, though perhaps guilty of romanticising Dora for added dramatic effect, evokes this courage brilliantly through Dora.

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View all 10 comments. Sep 02, Dem rated it it was ok Shelves: war , historical-fiction , ww2. A book where the characters and the plot lacked and the constant time-shifts became more irritating as the book went on. This is a story based on mostly real characters and while I was a little interested in their lives the structure of the story was poor and quite frustrating to read.

This should have been my perfect fit but lacked on quite a few levels for me.

The characters didn't feel real even though its based on real people and I think this for me was down to the author fictionalising conv A book where the characters and the plot lacked and the constant time-shifts became more irritating as the book went on. The characters didn't feel real even though its based on real people and I think this for me was down to the author fictionalising conversations between these people and I just couldn't understand what was fact and what was fiction until the end and even then I felt it was too little too late.

The Novel is based on the true story of some of these people who opposed the Nazis rise to power and when in exile they tried to warn the World to the evils that Hitler and the Nazi Party was going to inflict on Jewish community. I think I would have preferred a non fiction account to satisfy my curiosity.

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I did a little Google searching after finishing the book and this was quite interesting and did satisfy my curiosity. I listened to this one on Audio and while the narration was good, the flash forwards and flashbacks might have been easier to follow in hardcopy. An ok read but I didn't feel and emotion or passion for either the characters or the story and while I have read a lot of books about this period in history this one certainly will not make my favourites shelf.

View all 6 comments. Like parallel train tracks, it runs alongside, but will never meet the life you are living. You know when you know a book is going to be good and the writing is fantastic and the story is brilliant but there is just something stopping you from tearing through it? I think the main problem that I had "None of us - teacher or taught- realised how an imagined life can sustain you as a possibility, a hope, and remain just that. I think the main problem that I had was that I seemed to have missed the one sentence that explained the date when each narrator was so I was getting all muddled.

Anyway, this book was fascinating. I loved the era, I loved the story. It is clear that Ms Funder knows this era and is passionate about it. I swear I could almost smell the cigarette smoke in the bars that Dora, Ruth and Toller visited. It was impeccably researched and I loved the cameos of prominent figures like Auden and Isherwood. Hmm, maybe I should send my lecturer an e-mail.

Sorry, where was I? Which is strange because the subject of the events that inspired this story is full of emotional intensity. It seemed very evocative of The Blind Assassin in that way, but not as in depth. It is a story of determination and fighting for what you believe in an era when it would have been easier, and safer, to sit back and do nothing. An advanced copy of this book was kindly provided by Viking.

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Apr 20, Sharon rated it it was amazing. The main effect this book had on me was a deep sense of my own lack of similar courage. This book is an excellent example of how best true stories can be converted into novels, without sacrificing either authenticity or readability.

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All too often I've seen obviously autobiography simply relabelled as "a novel", when in truth the writer has not made an The main effect this book had on me was a deep sense of my own lack of similar courage. All too often I've seen obviously autobiography simply relabelled as "a novel", when in truth the writer has not made an attempt to create a narrative arc or to develop characters so that we can identify with them and follow them on a journey that has a beginning, a middle and an end.

All That I Am

This book made me realise in what privileged and easy times we live today -- and how little we are challenged to face the real life-and-death issues which are still there, even though they are invisible. I have no desire to live through a time of war, but reading this book showed me how hard times can challenge us to the very edge of our endurance -- and we are better humans for it.

A devastating book -- for all the right reasons. View 2 comments.


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Feb 17, Kate Forsyth rated it liked it Shelves: aww , australian , contemporary , parallel-narratives , historical. I am very ashamed to admit that I could not finish this book, the most awarded and lauded Australian book of And another AWW! Was I too tired? Am I too frivolous? Or was the book just too slow and self-aware for my tastes? It should have ticked all my boxes. Historical fiction - yay! Set in Nazi Germany - yay!

All That I Am

About a brilliant, independent woman mostly forgotten by history - yay! I really, really wanted to love this book, but it just put me to sleep every night. I've left it on my bedside I am very ashamed to admit that I could not finish this book, the most awarded and lauded Australian book of I've left it on my bedside table and will hopefully return to it once I'm not so tired. Maybe in my next life. Sep 26, Helle rated it really liked it Shelves: historical-fiction , book-club-library.

The story is structured around their reminiscing and was for a long time confusing to me, partly because they take turns narrating from a first person perspective, and I had to go back and check the chapter headings to figure out who was who.


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  8. It took me quite a while to really get into the story; the first pages were a mediocre 3-star read to me. Then the real main character of the story, Dora Fabian, began to stand out more clearly, and the plot thickened as regards pre-war Germany. Dora — based on a real woman - was feisty, opinionated, smart and part of a group of free-speaking Socialists who saw the writing on the wall long before anyone else thought that Hitler was anything but a charismatic leader.

    She was a feminist at a time when few women were. Little by little the group had to flee Germany as the Nazi hold of the country tightened. Embedded in the political story are a number of complex love stories, a deep friendship and the ultimate betrayal — also based on facts. I was almost in tears when some of these events unraveled. To some extent the universality of them is what convinced me to give the novel four stars. A selection of phrases: I am now near enough to one hundred years old, which means it is only twenty times my life span since Christ walked the earth.

    None of us — teacher or taught realised how an imagined romantic life can sustain you as a possibility, a hope, and remain just that.