You’ll either love Fallada’s style – often switching from the past tense into the present tense in the same paragraph – or it will drive you insane. Either way, each person has a purpose and every page holds a narrative that explores how hard it must have been, to stay morally intact and alive under a brutal regime. It’s a fictional account of one ordinary couple’s attempt to resist the horrors of war around them. Fallada conveys the enduring power of love, loyalty and courage in the face of unspeakable Nazi violence and mindless cruelty, and he does it in a way that makes it almost unbearable to read. Do read it. As a classic study of a paranoid society, it’s a masterclass in flawed characters.