Today’s letter is Q, and as you can guess, I spent quite a lot of time trying to think of a book beginning with Q (I don’t think I’ve read any!) Anyway, I decided to quiz my family to see if they could think of any, and my Dad suggested QB VII.
QB VII is about a legal case between two people that reached the Queen’s Bench (hence the name. For those of you who don’t know, this is a legal citation reference, where QB stands for Queen’s Bench) The first part of the book tells the stories of the plaintiff (the person who’s brought the case to court) and the defendant (the person who the case is against) to explain their pasts. The plaintiff’s name is Adam Kelno, and he was a doctor who was pressed into helping the Nazis at the concentration camps. He was able to help lots of people escape the gas chambers. When he decides to go back to normal practice, he is accused of helping the Nazis perform horrible experiments. When his past comes out, he is not able to defend himself. The defendant is a writer who has published a book about survivors from the concentration camp who cite Dr Kelno as being the cause of their suffering. He writes a line in the book citing “fifteen thousand” as subject to surgery without anaesthesia, for which he and the publishing house are sued for libel by Adam Kelno. The book documents the case from beginning to end, and is definitely on my reading wish-list.
The book highlights the legal system’s flaws, and the idea that nobody can really win. The defendant says before the trial starts: ‘Nobody’s going to win this trial; we’re all losers.’ He understands that although people want to believe they could resist the pressure from a concentration camp, not everyone can, and that this seems to be the main problem with his crime, that he had a choice.
I really want to read this book because it appeals to my legal studies side, this is a case I can completely get into. And as an English student, I am interested in how well it is portrayed, and how accurately too.
Can you think of any other books like this? How well do they deal with the issues highlighted by the case they are describing? Comment below letting me know.