Search This Blog

Monday, August 22, 2016


A Review of John-Philip Penny's PANZERFAUST: The Fall of Nazi Germany

Normally Berlin Noir Reviews takes a bit of a break in the summer. Our assumption is that folks are out and about during the sunny weather and less inclined to be pouring over blogs on screens blinded by sun glare. But that doesn't mean we've forgotten our fellow Berlin Noir fans.

Case in point: Penny's PANZERFAUST: The Fall of Nazi Germany. Not noir per se but still a quick read  as summer wanes. It is a short story, some 41 pages, and was offered free for you Kindle at the time of this review.

The tale introduces us to Wolf Winter, a member of the Hitler Youth brainwashed into Nazism at a very young age. It is Berlin, the year 1945, days before the end of the war. Young Wolf has grown adept with the panzerfaust, or armor fist, used to destroy Russian tanks clanking into the city. He's a dedicated National Socialist weapon but he's a dying breed - both figuratively and literally as the surviving Volkssturm have mostly, and realistically, given up hope of any kind of victory and are resigned to their fate. Not Wolf, however, he's determined to fight until the end.

As I said, this is a short story not a novel. It moves very quickly and Penny's characterizations are spot on and deftly depicted in the brief narrative. As for the writing itself, Penny shows great promise but is not quite there yet. I see only good things for his work as he has the skills just not the experience. 

PANZERFAUST: The Fall of Nazi Germany is worth your time. If you can get it as part of the free promotion, you won't be disappointed. If not a sample will tell you if the writing is worth paying for. It moves well, it captures the feel of the harrowing period and the situation. The characters come across as three-dimensional - no small feat within the confines of the short narrative. I would love to see more this writer on this subject.