Live Bodies by Maurice Gee
Live Bodies by Maurice Gee
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Live Bodies by Maurice Gee

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As a young man in Vienna in the 1930s, Josef Mandl was a member of underground left-wing groups battling the Nazis. In New Zealand during the Second World War Mandl is judged a communist agitator and interned on Somes Island along with several other Germans and Italians. Josef makes two unsuccessful attempts to escape, and in the process discovers Wellington as a place where he might live. He finds work, masters English, marries Nancy, begins a new life. He has continuing contact with Willi, a charismatic fellow internee who is a strong anti-fascist and torments Josef for his new respectability.


In his Wadestown house in the 1990s, now a successful businessman, Josef Mandl looks out to Somes Island and brings his past into focus. He visits old friends, encounters Willi now a pathetic ruin of a man, and ponders why despite his successes he feels askew from his times, a little removed by his history.

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Paperback, good condition. 

Published by Penguin Books, 1998.

ISBN: 0140280294