The Boys from Brazil by Ira LevinThe Boys from Brazil by Ira Levin
Narrator: Simon Prebble
Published by HarperAudio on June 24, 2014 (first published 1976)
Source: Purchased
Genres: Thriller
Length: 8 hrs 35 mins
Pages: 312
Format: Audiobook
Purchase at Amazon or Audible
Add on Goodreads

Alive and hiding in South America, Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele gathers a group of former colleagues for a horrifying project — the creation of the Fourth Reich. Barry Kohler, a young investigative journalist, gets wind of the project and informs famed Nazi hunter Ezra Lieberman.

Why has Mengele marked a number of harmless aging men for murder? What is the hidden link that binds them? What interest can they possibly hold for their killers: six former SS men dispatched from South America by the most wanted Nazi still alive, the notorious "Angel of Death"? One man alone must answer these questions and stop the killings — Lieberman, himself aging and thought by some to be losing his grip on reality.

I confess I have never seen the movie version of The Boys from Brazil. Honestly, I only picked it up because I was looking for a book set in Brazil and this one is a classic thriller. It’s set in the world of the Nazi hunters of the mid and later twentieth century. It’s conspiracy mixed with historical facts.

The story begins with a top-secret meeting in a Japanese restaurant to initiate a mysterious project by ‘the comrade organization’. Six hitmen are assigned to kill 94 older civil servants scattered throughout the world, and they must die on the designated dates set forth by the still-hunted Josef Mengele. Renowned Nazi-hunter, Yakov Liebermann learns about the plot via a mysterious phone call from a twenty-something American who went down Brazil to investigate. The young man is killed while on the phone call.

The novel is gripping and while the plot is maybe a bit far-fetched, it was fascinating. It was easy to root for Liebermann, who is elderly, a bit worn out, but still dedicated. The plot he’s trying to uncover and stop is horrifying, if unlikely.

“I say in my talks it takes two things to make it happen again, a new Hitler and social conditions like in the thirties. But that’s not true. It takes three things: the Hitler, the conditions, and the people to follow the Hitler.”

Ira Levin, The Boys from Brazil

About Ira Levin

Ira Marvin Levin (August 27, 1929 – November 12, 2007) was an American novelist, playwright, and songwriter. His works include the novels A Kiss Before Dying (1953), Rosemary’s Baby (1967), The Stepford Wives (1972), This Perfect Day (1970), and The Boys from Brazil (1976), Sliver (1991), as well as the play Deathtrap (1978). Many of his novels and plays have been adapted into films. He received the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award and Edgar Awards (1992–2003).

1 Comment

  • I’ve never known what this book was about. It does sound like a gripping read. And I really like that last quote from the book. It’s so true.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.