Dancing with Eva by Alan Judd - review by Sam Leith

Sam Leith

Memory Is the Key

Dancing with Eva

By

Simon & Schuster 224pp £9.99 order from our bookshop
 

As a literary editor, I often find myself staring in despair at the latest pile of books silting the shelves of my newspaper's cupboard and wondering: will there ever come a time when people get fed up with writing books about the bloody Nazis? Not a week of the year seems to pass without one: another historian picking over the bones of the regime in the hope of finding a microscopic scrap of factual meat neglected by other scholars; or, more ambitiously (and questionably), another novelist seeking either to inhabit and explain atrocity or to borrow its gravity.

This is risky ground: banality and bad taste are the least of the pitfalls. Look at how Norman Mailer just came a cropper with The Castle in the Forest. Alan Judd's Dancing with Eva avoids bad taste, just about skirts banality, and is plainly and creditably interested in giving moral

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