The Zookeeper's War

Steven Conte


The Zookeeper's War

The Zookeeper's War

  • Title: The Zookeeper's War
  • Author: Steven Conte
  • ISBN: 9781847247278
  • Page: 382
  • Format: None



This book tells the moving tale of Vera and Axel s fight to protect Berlin Zoo and their marriage as the city is battered by war.


Recent Comments "The Zookeeper's War "

The greatest strength of this book lies in the power of its language; simple, startlingly clear, yet deep and moving. It being a war book, I expected a dull story with a million deaths and a shattered city. These happen, but there is nothing depressing about the book, though the story itself naturally brings one to the thoughts of war and its life shattering elements. Vera and her husband Axel try to take care of a zoo in the middle of Berlin at the height of the second World War. The drama that [...]

This book was really disappointing. I had to force myself to finish it and then was annoyed that I had because the ending was horrid. The characters are poorly formed;there's no contininuity in their thoughts and behaviours. I felt no empathy at all for the protagonist. I'm glad I just borrowed it from the library and didn't actually waste money buying it. This probably sounds like a harsh review - but this could have been an interesting story, because the scenario was promising, but the story t [...]

Started off interesting enough and then ended on a really weird note. Bizarre. Would not recommend it to people as nothing is resolved ultimately.A pointless story.

This story was different from others I have read that depict Berlin at the end of WWII. I enjoyed it, the writing is good, characters at times irritating but does not detract from the story. Didn't expect the event that happened at the end of the book.

HATE HATE HATE this book. I finished the last page and thought "what the heck was that??? What's the whole point??"But a few good lines about marriage:"He was the constant in her life. However forbidding the future might be, the man who lay at her side would make it endurable""Sometimes in marriage, the greatest virtue was endurance"

Interesting angle about the Second World War- about an Australian women who lives in Berlin, and who is married to a German man- the owner of the Berlin Zoo. She is forced to accept the help of the Ostarbeiter, from the Czech Republic, in running the zoo when all of the men are conscripted into the war, and eventually change her opinion of them.

One of the worst books I've ever read -- I wish I could un-read it

I have a tempestuous relationships with books about World War Two. I keep reading them, especially if they are set in Germany or written with German protagonists, and I keep getting very, very frustrated. I think my frustration comes partially with hindsight. How could so many people die in such horrific circumstances? And further – didn’t humanity learn anything from the huge loss of life? Apparently not. But still, I read accounts of very ordinary people and how Hitler’s War affected the [...]

Couldn't even finish it. Soooooo boring. If I'd wanted to read a history book on the war I would have gone to that section in the library. Author is lacking in creativity and fills the book with historical facts. Not that war history is dull but this book is LAME LAME LAME oh and did I say DULL? Movie is fantastic though. So good job to Angela Workman (screenplay) and Niki Caro (Director) for seeing beyond the pages.

Two stars because I finished it. I think I bought this intending to buy "The Zookeeper's Wife" - which has been made into a movie. Anyway it was just OK - the plot had so much potential but the telling just wasn't quite right and the ending just made me think - well what was the point of that ?

A great debut novel. Really looking forward to Steven's next book - coming soon! Watch for it.

I'm torn. In a way, the topic of this book is pretty unique. World War II from the point of view of the Germans? Also, Berlin at the end of the war is another battlefield. The protagonist is an Australian girl who married a German (director of the Berlin Zoo) and trapped in Berlin during the WW. The story line can actually be very captivating, because to take care of the animals during the war is a big challenge. But the side plot - about the prisoner of war who worked in the zoo, and some unnec [...]

A book in three parts. An introduction where the characters are introduced and are trying to save the animals at the Berlin Zoo during WWII. A middle where the main character has an affair with a Czech labour worker. An ending where the ware ends, the Russians enter Berlin and lives and bodies are trying to be saved.I did not find the book worked for me. The main character appeared shallow - she was happy to risk her friend's life when she wanted to use her flat for her affair, but when her frie [...]

I love reading about the twilight days of Nazi Berlin but this book failed to engage me. For such a feted book I was very surprised at how badly written it was at some points. Some of the sentences don't even make sense. It's not often that you find schoolboy errors in a modern book. The author might want to have a few words with his editor.The ending is disturbing and there's nothing wrong with that except that it is also very inconclusive. This story is crying out for some kind of resolution a [...]

I did find the ending of this novel confronting - probably because the character of the husband was really empathetic. The wife, on the other hand, while I was intrigued by her at times, just irritated me most of the time. Some of the details of Berlin at war's end were well researched - it is impossible to see how the city survived at all, given the deprivations that the citizens (as well as the invading armies) suffered. The minor characters seemed to have been written to espouse a variety of [...]

Vera Frey is the Australian wife of Axel, who is zookeeper at the Berlinn zoo during the war. Together they try to keep the animals alive and fed as the Russians and the allies fight their way towards Berlin. They have the help of conscripted workers, one of whom, Krypic, a Czech, begins an affair with Vera. Axel finds out about the affair, just as Berlin falls to the Russians. Vera and the other females in her apartment block live in fear of being raped, but it is Axel who is attacked by two Ru [...]

It took me far longer to finish reading this book than it should have. There was not enough intrigue to keep the reader interested. Instead of a story, it read more like a vingette of fictional characters during the war. This would have worked had the characters had more depth.The writing was very static. It seemed that the tone of the novel matured in the last few chapters, whereas the begining of the novel read more like a period romance novel.

I enjoyed the book. Definately has a twist in the end. If you are looking for a book about the care of animals during the war you will be disapointed. I was more suprised by the content but still enjoyed the read.

I found this book incredibly hard to get into and kept wanting it to get to the point. The character Vera I fell was meant to be endearing however I just wanted to slap her. Axel, her husband, was probably the most likeable of the characters. The ending left me with a feeling of what the hell!

Set in Berlin in 1943, it tells the story of the zookeeper, his Australian wife and their workers. It highlights the fact that not all Germans were supporters of the Nazi regime. I found it compelling, if gruesome at times.

This book was quite interesting from the history point of view. However it was pretty depressing in parts, as you might expect about a book set in Nazi Germany. I read this book in a single day while on a long flight from Australia to Los Angeles.

Enjoyed it but it seemed to end in a really weird place. I'd expected something to happen to the zoo.

I felt like the romance was a bit forced and unnecessary which really let the rest of the narrative down.

Lo leeré en castellano, se llama "A siete pasos de la primavera"

A different (but very depressing) viewpoint on WW2. I finished it out of duty rather than interest

Grim but good!

An interesting read that takes us to Berlin during war time. Some found the final scenes very distressing but no one gave harsh marks this month! We gave it 7/6/7/7/6/6/8/8/7/8/7

Really enjoyed this book. I was reminded of a different "side" of the war, i.e. from the German point of view.

it was ok - good story line and all but takes a long time to get into the author's style of writing.

Enjoyed the historical detail and also the setting. Encouraged me to check the internet for visual confirmation on the zoo and the surrounding area.


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    Posted by:Steven Conte
    Published :2018-08-04T13:26:00+00:00