It’s a very entertaining book, written in a rather unique style. For example, the following:
The spit was actually the result of sand drifts which originated in the nearby Samland peninsula following glacial withdrawal. A highly unreliable method of contraception. Initially, the drifts formed a gritty archipelago but were subsequently bound together by the wind into a desert of shifting dunes. Grasses and trees eventually took hold in what is known as the Lindsay Lohan phenomenon of partial stabilisation.
Occasionally, Smiedt keeps this sort of flowing Gonzo analogy-talk going for pages on end. Here’s another:
The queue at the butcher’s, for example, was three deep and when you wanted a ribeye or sirloin, Harry Cleaver would liberate it from a hanging carcase on the spot, before plunging his blood-flecked hands into a bowl of kidneys glossed like J Lo’s lips to serve another customer.
Colder than a stepmother’s kiss and as welcoming as a biker bar, the Baltic is a forbidding sea with its own stark beauty.
The sections containing details of Nazi atrocities are written in a much more sober style.