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 readas 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
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.