AUTHOR: 19 – Author’s Books HERE
IS THIS SERIES COMPLETE? Standalone.
SERIES: N/A STANDALONE
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MY STAR RATING
Erich Kass has a safe gray life in Berlin until he is arrested by the Gestapo for kissing another boy.
The Hell he finds in Auschwitz as the property of Dr. Ahren Kaltherzig will destroy everything he thinks he knows about life and safety.
Word Count: approx. 71,000
Warnings: rape, drugs use, medical torture, graphic violence, underage main character involved in sexual acts, Auschwitz setting
In the last year or so I’ve realised that it’s getting harder and harder to find a book that leaves me speechless and with goosebumps.
The kind of book where every now and then I need to take a couple of breaths and look at videos of kittens playing before I can continue reading (I actually have a specific folder on my laptop for this very reason…and sadly I haven’t needed it for a while 🙁 ).
I’d go so far as to say that in the last year I can think of only two books (or series) that have had that effect on me.
I think my wee black heart is getting smaller and more cracked as time goes on…och, there I go off on another train of thought. Damn it! I have the attention span of a 2-year-old!
Anyway, this was one that had even me needing to take a break every now and then and that’s saying something.
So please, please heed the warnings.
This story is set in Auschwitz during WW2 and is about the concentration camps, soldiers and prisoners and the experiments performed on them.
It includes some of the most horrific scenes of torture I have ever read and that’s made worse due to the fact that these types of things actually did happen.
So you really ‘go there’ with the characters.
It’s not like a PNR or fantasy where you can read the pitch-black and a corner of your mind knows that this could never really happen.
This could and, in fact, did happen to some poor wee souls and it makes me so…sick to imagine.
It is hugely taboo and extremely graphic and the relationship between the two main characters (a doctor and a prisoner) had me feeling things that I had no business feeling and I’m actually still puzzled as to how 19 managed to do this in such a way that I don’t even fully understand my reactions!
The writing style took a bit to adjust to as it’s quite different to the books I usually read.
But once I got into his flow…I was hooked and just could not stop thinking about it well after I had finished the book. So stick with it!
19 says the following about himself and I think it’s perfect, lol.
I write transgressive gay fiction. Horror to some, erotica to others. Addictive and probably not at all good for your sanity or your immortal soul. Nothing about me is ever safe for work.
Anyway, the following review is not for everyone and now I’m going to shout that out so that the people in the back can hear it. !!**THIS REVIEW AND BOOK IS MOST DEFINITELY TABOO AND DARK AS FUCK AND IS NOT FOR EVERYONE**!! (there, I’ve done my good deed for the day 🙂 )
In fact, it’s likely not for most people.
However, if you question your own morals and have no triggers…then step on in, my friend, this party is about to get lit!
So…I had never heard of this author before picking up this book. And it took me a while to realize that the author’s name was 19…and that the number was not part of the title, hahaha!
No one ever said I was a clever girl. ‘Special’ is the word most often used to describe me. On occasion ‘unusual’ and if I’m having a particularly good day I get ‘cute’.
Let’s get started, shall we?
This book was just absolutely amazing and brought out every intense emotion you can imagine!
Scared for Erich, furious at Kaltherzig, disgust, hope, love, sadness, horror, heartache, nausea, rage, desperation, shockingly turned on…
I don’t remember feeling like this for a character in a long time.
Erich is a young man just trying to find his way in the world. He’s trying to be good and honour his parents, keep his head down and just…I dunno…figure out life the best he can with all the fear of the police breathing down his neck.
His mother is a cold and unmaternal woman and his dad covers up most of his emotions.
Erich is in his early teens (so yeah, he’s underage) and slowly comes to realise he might like boys.
When he gets his first job he meets another boy around his age and they share a wee snog (kiss).
Well… the next day the Gestapo come banging on his door and life as he knew it is over from that moment on.
He’s arrested for being gay and then sent to the camps for punishment and reformation.
And he’s still so innocent!
The poor wee soul was absolutely terrified and I gotta tell you he had every right to be.
Holy. Fucking. Hell.
He is spotted by Dr. Kaltherzig and this…is not a good thing.
The medical experiments, the torture, the rape, the conditioning, the…gah! I’m struggling for the words to describe what transpires on the pages of this book.
And still! I didn’t hate him! Why??? What sorcery is this, 19?
I’m so confused…I don’t know what I’m feeling. But whatever it is…it’s intense.
Guys…I dinny ken where tae start wae this man.
Monster might be a better word…I think.
See, this is what I mean! As soon as I think I know what I’m feeling, it changes!
So the doctor spies Erich as he first steps foot in Hell and immediately he takes an interest.
He learns that this boy is here for being gay and decides to use him as a subject for his many sadistic medical experiments that are geared towards ‘curing’ men with these inclinations.
He becomes the sole person in Erich’s life and the control he has over this boy is absolute.
He has had a few ‘subjects’ before Erich and I get the impression that those experiments were not…successful.
The thing is though, he’s not quite as straightforward and hateable as you initially think.
He has his own issues and distrust from deep within.
He’s searching for something that he has never come close to finding but this time it might be different.
You are going to hate this man.
You are going to despise him with a fiery passion that you didn’t know you were capable of.
And then…you’re going to question yourself.
And that is where the genius of this book proves itself.
DARK AS FUCK SCENES
As you know, I like to prepare my followers before they start a book so that they know what they’re getting into.
But the thing is there is no single paragraph that will prepare you, so here’s one of just a wee taste.
He opened the door. There was already a subject strapped to that bastard table. Erich looked at the man’s face for a little too long, telling himself that of course, the man was familiar, he was one of those shaven stick-figures they all became after a while. He had symmetrical wounds on either side of his chest from collarbone to stomach, but the worst of it was his genitalia. Penis and scrotum both seemed to have been peeled. He could see sores creeping up his stomach, down his thighs.
Kaltherzig pushed his spread knees up higher and picked up a clamp and closed it at the base of his scrotum, as close to his body as possible. Bosch broke immediately into an inhuman howl. The scream caught Erich off-guard. The clamp was blunt, it had to hurt, but surely not as badly as all that? Was it only the man’s lunacy? Then he understood all this howling was for the sake of what would happen next. Perhaps someone had told him, or he’d reasoned it from the clamp in some still-functioning corner of his mind. He sat with his hands still half-covering his ears, the file forgotten across his knees. He watched Kaltherzig pick up something sharp and bright, watched Kaltherzig’s shoulders move, heard Bosch’s howl make that leap in pitch that he’d come to know meant cutting. It seemed to last a very long time. Kaltherzig moved something into a waiting specimen jar. He picked up something plugged into the wall, that made the scream finally crumble into Polish too mangled for Erich to decipher. The room smelled immediately of that smokestack odour. Kaltherzig took off the clamp, wheeled himself back, and Erich saw the blood. It took a minute between the redness and the vertigo to understand what he was seeing. The man had been castrated.
Final thoughts on SCHADENFREUDE by 19
Jesus effing Christ. All the way through this book I was saying “I have no idea how this is going to end…I don’t even know how I want it to end!”.
This is one of the most powerful books I have ever read.
Thank you for reading!
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