The Director | Brendan Nash

historical fiction | berlin | weimar republic | lgbtq

First published 2022

Book standing on table with bright light behind it. Cover of The Director with a painting by Otto Dix

The second part of Brendan Nash's series features many of Berlin's most famous artists: Claire Waldorff, Billy Wilder, Marlene Dietrich and, at the very end, Leni Riefenstahl. The main characters from The Landlady are all present, and Pieps has landed himself a part as an extra in Fritz Lang's masterpiece, Metropolis. Bertie has won a scholarship to the Bauhaus School of Art where Kandinsky is a professor

This book is much more about the hedonism of Weimar Berlin. Everyone is an artist, a dancer, an actor, and they enjoy their lives, going to cocktail bars and various dance parties and gay clubs. Themes of gender identity and sexuality are central to the book and the characters' lives, proving that 1920s Berlin was very, very progressive! Always lurking in the background is the rise of the Nazi Party, and there are several scenes where the characters cross paths with these violent thugs and get hurt. Nash has managed to create a tense atmosphere where you can feel that everything is about to change - and not for the better.

My Verdict: Another page-turner and it was great to catch up with Pieps, Eva, Esther and Meta. I really liked the way that Nash has managed to interweave the lives of the ordinary Berliners with the up-and-coming lives of those who would go on to become the superstars of the day. I eagerly await the publication of part three, The Artist which is due out this year.

Review Award | 2.5/5

Posted 06.06.2023

blogandbooks logo, white swirl on grey background
instagram logo, blackoutline on white background