Voices Under Berlin by T.H.E. Hill is set at the beginning of the cold war. The first part of the book talk about the CIA tunnel that transected the American side and the Russian side of Germany. The book paints dynamic characters that we get to know better as the tunnel creeps its way into Russian territory to spy on their communications.

Even in 1946 relations were already deteriorating between the two allies and it became apparent as the iron curtain descended over Europe that intelligence about the Soviet Union needed to be gathered quickly and the CIA tunnel idea was born. By 1954 these tunnels, and its builders the “tunnel rats” were a staple of American occupational life. In this book we get to see the tunnel from all sides and we get a sneak peak into American occupation life in West Germany during the beginning of the Cold War. It also boasts funny comic illustrations throughout which according to the author are inspired from Alice in Alice in Wonderland, “What use are books without pictures and conversations?”

My Take:

Sadly, after the tunnel part is over the book really should have ended. The book descends into this comical memoir that while fun to read is a major departure from the basic premise of the book. Despite is comic nature the beginning of the book starts out on a much more sober tone. The delivery throughout the book is really good and is indicative of the author’s experiences as a tunnel rat. This book is particularly valuable for its look into the life of Americans in West Germany. Mr. Hill states this in the introduction and I agree that is a major departure from the standard spy drama. However, the comic illustrations are poorly done and fall flat. I would recommend the book however for its value historically and its ability to cross genre.

Voices Under Berlin is available on Amazon.com. It has been reviewed by Dr. Wesley Britton a spy standard and author of several books and all over the Internet. The Book was also a 2008 Hollywood Book Festival Award Winner. Please read more about the book at http://www.voicesunderberlin.com

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