"The Right Hand of Sleep" by John Wray

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In "The Right Hand of Sleep" John Wray gives us the story of a somewhat unstable Austrian who travels from the Ukraine and Bolshevism in 1938 back to the Alps just in time, unfortunately, for Austria to become part of the Third Reich. The character's name says much: Oskar Voxlauer - the man with the lowered or ineffective voice.

Voxlauer takes on perhaps the character of many other Austrians in his helplessness in the face of authority. It's possible, however, that this onetime left-winger, this sympathizer with the Jews, helps a targeted Jewish businessman escape to Switzerland. The incoming authority, the Obersturmfuhrer, is killed in a motorcycle accident. It's been several years since I read this, so I'm not sure if our hero is implicated. My notes seem to indicate so, however.

"The Right Hand of Sleep" is vividly told, in which motivations are real and so are the consequences. Oskar huddles with his woman in a lonely mountain cabin at the end of this book, and together they await the official German occupation. This story has a grim focus on some grim events.
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