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The Taster

av V. S. Alexander

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
15116138,695 (3.98)2
Amid the turbulence of World War II, a young German woman finds a precarious haven closer to the source of danger than she ever imagined--one that will propel her through the extremes of privilege and terror under Hitler's dictatorship. In early 1943, Magda Ritter's parents send her to relatives in Bavaria, hoping to keep her safe from the Allied bombs strafing Berlin. Young German women are expected to do their duty--working for the Reich or marrying to produce strong, healthy children. After an interview with the civil service, Magda is assigned to the Berghof, Hitler's mountain retreat. Only after weeks of training does she learn her assignment: she will be one of several young women tasting the Führer's food, offering herself in sacrifice to keep him from being poisoned. Perched high in the Bavarian Alps, the Berghof seems worlds away from the realities of battle. Though terrified at first, Magda gradually becomes used to her dangerous occupation--though she knows better than to voice her misgivings about the war. But her love for a conspirator within the SS and her growing awareness of the Reich's atrocities draw Magda into a plot that will test her wits and loyalty in a quest for safety, freedom, and, ultimately, vengeance.… (mer)
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Visa 1-5 av 16 (nästa | visa alla)
What an engaging story. I was held fast from beginning to end. The author has you become one with the main character as you go through her life. A great read. ( )
1 rösta ChrisCaz | Feb 23, 2021 |
The Taster is a different WW2 historical fiction. The perspective is of a German protagonist that is very close to Hilter but doesn't believe in the Nazi party. The plot is fascinating reading about the tasters and what they had to go through each day and the horror they felt at maybe dying at any given tasting. The fictional part of this story was well thought out. Each character had a personality that jumped off the page. I loved our heroine, Magda, and the portrayal of Eva Braun was fascinating as well.
Yes, I am a third generation of Holocaust survivors, and I believe that inside the German people against the Third Reich, even high rank of Hitler's entourage. "The Tester" is a book that shows those people.
It is a book that people that enjoy the WW2 historical fiction genre should read. I am angered with myself that it took so much time to pick it up after my friend that gave it to me told me to read it ASAP.
I will be looking into the works of V. S. Alexander as I absolutely liked his writing. And as he has published more books, I look forward to reading more of his books.
  AvigailRGRIL | Jan 11, 2021 |
She is a Taster for Adolf Hitler. Sees things from within Hitler's retreat. Non-Jewish, German perspective of the war. Written well, interesting ( )
  evatkaplan | Apr 30, 2020 |
This was a book club pic, otherwise I wouldn’t have finished it. This is a fictional account of one of Hitler’s personal food tasters. Despite working for the Führer, she hates him and wants to kill him. The story is incredibly repetitive while also not making a lot of sense. There are moments when she is close to Hitler, and does nothing, and others where it would make no sense to attempt murder and she thinks about carrying a butcher’s knife. Moments that should be terrifying are written with a clinical distance which make the action unbelievable. The plot sounds like it would be interesting, but it’s not well written. I know the book was inspired y the true experience of one of his food tasters, but the characters don't feel real and the writing is stilted: “I pushed past the revelers, many of whom could barely stand up after drinking numerous libations.” No one talks like that, even in the 1940s!

SPOILERS
A few major plot points that made no sense:
- They sent her off to a concentration camp and then when she finds her way back they act like nothing ever happened. Even though they think her husband attempted to murder Hitler, they ask her to be in their wedding? It makes no sense.
- Everyone always remembers exactly who she is, but no one ever seems to try to find her when she is gone?
- Ava and Hitler decide that these lowly servant should be the only person in the bunker with them when they commit suicide. Then she chooses that moment (when Hitler has already poisoned himself, to shoot him? Just why?
- She has the chance to return to Berlin and look for her father and she decides not to, because she doesn't know where he is and it would be too hard. In real life, anyone who had one remaining family member and was in the same city as them, would not stop searching for them!
SPOILERS OVER

BOTTOM LINE: The book was an eye-rolling exercise in frustration. The premise is fascinating, but it's badly executed and the ending is ridiculous. ( )
  bookworm12 | Jan 15, 2020 |
In 1943, Magda Ritter's parents sent her to live with her aunt and uncle in Bavaria, with the attempt to keep her safe during the Allied bombing of Berlin. But now, in a job she is rather forced to take, her life is even more at risk than ever before. She is assigned to the Berghof, which is Hitler's mountain retreat, as one of several young women tasting his food. This puts Magda in a position to sacrifice her life for the Führer if it should come to that.

During this difficult time in history and in her occupation, she developed a love for someone at the time, an SS Captain. More importantly, she is faced with many challenges and gains incredible strength of character. I often read with my heart in my throat as Magda was being trained to taste food, knowing that at any time a single bite could be her last.

Reading about the Holocaust is nowhere in my area of interest, but this book came so highly recommended by several friends, and sat in my TBR for months. I am really glad that I finally took the time to listen to this book via Audible. It was very well-written and excellently narrated. The Taster is a sharp combination of history and fiction. It was not graphic when it came to the horrors of that time. Instead the author's portrayal of Magda is more of an emotional story of her experiences.

Meanwhile, there was such an intensity in the story when reading of the bombing attacks. I admit to ordinarily treating my Audible listens in a rather casual manner, listening to them between review books. Therefore, I can take much time to complete a read. However, The Taster grabbed me from the very beginning, in effect forcing me to listen to it all the way through in a matter of hours. This is V.S. Alexander's second book, and it was quite a good job. I will most certainly be reading more of his works in the future. ( )
  RobinLovesReading | Oct 25, 2019 |
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Amid the turbulence of World War II, a young German woman finds a precarious haven closer to the source of danger than she ever imagined--one that will propel her through the extremes of privilege and terror under Hitler's dictatorship. In early 1943, Magda Ritter's parents send her to relatives in Bavaria, hoping to keep her safe from the Allied bombs strafing Berlin. Young German women are expected to do their duty--working for the Reich or marrying to produce strong, healthy children. After an interview with the civil service, Magda is assigned to the Berghof, Hitler's mountain retreat. Only after weeks of training does she learn her assignment: she will be one of several young women tasting the Führer's food, offering herself in sacrifice to keep him from being poisoned. Perched high in the Bavarian Alps, the Berghof seems worlds away from the realities of battle. Though terrified at first, Magda gradually becomes used to her dangerous occupation--though she knows better than to voice her misgivings about the war. But her love for a conspirator within the SS and her growing awareness of the Reich's atrocities draw Magda into a plot that will test her wits and loyalty in a quest for safety, freedom, and, ultimately, vengeance.

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