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Extended Audio Sample The Empire of the Senses: A Novel, by Alexis Landau Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alexis Landau Narrator: Christopher Lane Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A sweeping, gorgeously written debut novel of duty to family and country, passion, and blood ties unraveling in the charged political climate of Berlin between the wars

Lev Perlmutter, an assimilated, cultured German Jew, enlists to fight in World War I, leaving behind his gentile wife, Josephine, and their children, Franz and Vicki. Moving between Lev’s and Josephine’s viewpoints, Part I of the novel focuses on Lev’s experiences on the Eastern Front—both in war and in love—which render his life at home a pale aftermath by comparison. Part II picks up in Berlin in 1927: the Perlmutter children, now young adults, grapple with their own questions—Franz, drawn into the brown shirt movement, struggling with his unexpressed homosexuality; and Vicki, seduced by jazz, bobbed hair, and falling in love with a young man who wants to take her to Palestine.

Unlike most historical novels of this kind, The Empire of the Senses is not about the Holocaust but rather about the brew that led to it and why it was unimaginable to ordinary people like Lev and his wife. Plotted with meticulous precision and populated by characters who feel and dream to the fullest, it holds us rapt as the tides of cultural loss and ethnic hatred come to coexist with those of love, passion, and the power of the human spirit.

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Quotes & Awards

  • "The Empire of the Senses is lush, smart, sexy, affecting, interesting, beautifully researched, and well made. Spending time in the world of this novel is an absolute pleasure.”

    Aimee Bender, author of The Color Master 

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