The Losing Role: A Novel

Rated 4.50/5 based on 6 reviews
When the SS orders a struggling German actor to impersonate an American officer, he devises his own secret mission to escape the war and flee to America. Trapped between the lines during the bloody Battle of the Bulge, he must summon all his acting talents and newfound courage to evade perilous traps laid by both sides. This gripping espionage thriller is inspired by a real-life WWII operation. More
Available ebook formats: epub mobi pdf lrf pdb txt html
First 30% Sample: epub mobi (Kindle) lrf more Online Reader
About Steve Anderson

Steve Anderson is the author of the Kaspar Brothers novels (The Losing Role, Liberated, Lost Kin) and other books. Under False Flags is the prequel to his latest novel, The Preserve. Anderson was a Fulbright Fellow in Germany and is a literary translator of bestselling German fiction as well as a freelance editor. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Learn more about Steve Anderson
About the Series: Kaspar Brothers
The Losing Role is the first book in the Kaspar Brothers series. In The Losing Role, failed actor Max Kaspar is forced into a suicidal German mission during WWII. Max is the estranged older brother of German-American Harry Kaspar, whose deadly postwar rite of passage follows in Liberated: A Novel of Germany, 1945. The Kaspar brothers reunite in 1946 Munich as the Cold War heats up in the third book, Lost Kin: A Novel. Each novel can be read as a standalone story.

Also by This Author

Reviews of The Losing Role: A Novel by Steve Anderson

Scott Skipper reviewed on Jan. 5, 2022

A certain SS Lieutenant Colonel Skorzeny concocted a plan to kill American generals. It required German soldiers who could pass for Americans. Max had been a small time actor in New York before the war, so this was his ticket off the eastern front. In a captured Jeep, Max and three other infiltrators head for Belgium where the advancing Allies are pushing the German lines back into Germany. Only it turns out their disguises aren’t so foolproof as they thought.

Steve Anderson has done his research. This World War II story is convincingly told from the perspective of a German private who is determined to use his unique circumstances to defect to the west. The characters are well developed. The setting is credible and historical facts accurate. The style of Mr. Anderson’s writing flows nicely. The Losing Role is the first of a series. I plan to read more so should you.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
Alcuin Communications, LLC reviewed on Feb. 3, 2011

I tried The Losing Role without knowing anything about it or its author. I was looking for a historical novel, and the premise sounded interesting. After reading the sample, I was hooked. I found that I really cared what happened to Max, the main character.

Max is German, spent some time in the U.S., returned to Germany just before WWII. He's an actor, not terribly political. He just wants to act. When the war starts, his roles dry up. He's drafted and sent to the Russian front. His only way out of miserable (and futile) duty in the infantry is a dangerous mission that involves disguising himself as an American soldier and sneaking behind enemy lines to do intelligence work. He decides to use the opportunity to try try to find his way back to the U.S. Max is a likable "every man." He uses the one skill he's confident of, his acting ability, to try to regain control of a life that's gone way out of control.

Is "The Losing Role" great literature? No. Is it solid storytelling and a really good read? It definitely is.

Susan Lynn Peterson
author of "Clare: A Novel"
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
Shilka Publishing reviewed on Nov. 1, 2010

An interesting story, well written, with some surprises. The author has very obviously done his research, not just about the operation that Kasper (the main character) is involved in, but about everything the book touches on.

Highly recommended.
(reviewed 68 days after purchase)
John Bartlett reviewed on Oct. 18, 2010

I started reading the 50% teaser, got sucked in by the idea of a 2nd War action as seen from the German side, fascinated by the main character, Kaspar, and HAD to buy the book so I could finish it! Good marketing ploy! The writing, story line flow and characterisation are very good. I then had to buy another book by the same author but as I have no ereader yet have not finished it because I find my desktop monitor eye straining.
(reviewed 27 days after purchase)
Rob McMonigal reviewed on July 10, 2010

Very good character study, with just enough use of setting to make me understand the world without getting bogged down in the details.

There's a nice mix of dark humor and sadness, and the ways things play out is very realistic, I think. Definitely glad I read it!
(reviewed 42 days after purchase)
Timothy Nix reviewed on June 2, 2010

I forgot to do the stars.

(reviewed 5 days after purchase)
Timothy Nix reviewed on June 2, 2010
(no rating)
I read this book during a 16 hour car ride. It is not my usual genre, but the author's description and free offer made me give it a try. I am glad to have gotten it.

I couldn't put it down. This story has twists and turns with every other page. Just when you think you have it figured out, the game changes and the old rules no longer apply.

Finally, in the author's notes, it was surprising to find out about the research and realize it is historical fiction based on fact.

I thorougly enjoyed this book and give it my highest recommendation.

DixieGal (Bambi Nix)
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)

Print Edition

Report this book