Charles Birkin – Dark Menace
Posted by demonik on November 15, 2009
Charles Birkin – Dark Menace (Tandem, 1968)
Happy As Larry
The Life Giver
‘Don’ t Ever Leave Me’
The Yellow Dressing Gown
Waiting for Trains
The Lord God Made Them All
includes perhaps his grimmest war story after the nororious ‘A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts’, Waiting For Trains: “Would the horror of this war, even in its aftermath, never end?”
Dresselberg. At the close of WWII, George Barrow, a reluctant railway transport officer in the occupying army, is powerless to prevent a train crossing the border into Soviet territory due, in part, to the indifference of his superiors who can’t be bothered to check one of the prisoner’s credentials for fear of causing a diplomatic incident. The cattle trucks are crammed with young Russian immigrants who’d been conscripted into the German army and are therefore “traitors”. When the train reaches Glenheisen they will be killed and buried in a mass grave, as have so many before them. Depressingly, this one is even bereft of the “relax – it’s only a story” get-out clause.
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