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Critical Praise

"Giardina . . . succeeds in fleshing out Bonhoeffer's factual biographies with fine and detailed human touches--the more 'believable' because they are based on diligent research. "

———Philadelphia Inquirer

"Saints and Villains depicts a mental and physical adventure of one man. It is a treatise on man's inhumanity to man and one person's courage in rising above such horrors to find his own faith strengthened in the process. "

———The Chattanooga Times

"The story is an important one. The Bonhoeffer drawn by Giardina is a complex character. "

———Republic(Phoenix, AZ)

"Denise Giardina displays a thorough knowledge of the historical and theological record. "

———New York Times Book Review

"Bonhoeffer becomes a nervous, sympathetic everyman who, when faced with inhumanity rises to greatness. Giardina makes the reportedly stiff, bespectacled intellectual . . . into a hero to whom any reader can relate. "

———The Boston Globe

"[A] novel whose message of moral internationalism deserves to be read throughout the world . . . the images of Dietrich Bonhoeffer evoked in the pages of Saints and Villains are so vivid that the word that comes to mind is resurrection. "

———Oregonian (Portland,OR)

"In a series of telling scenes brought to life with unerring choice of detail . . . Giardina exerts an admirable grip on her panoramic story. "

———Publishers Weekly

"Giardina creates a fictional account of Bonhoeffer that transcends the usual 'historical novel' as it becomes a dramatic meditation on the meaning of his life. Giardina breathes new life into Bonhoeffer. He is no longer the pristine icon of his worshipful admirers. Giardina makes him again a credible, though exceptional, person. "

———Herald—Leader (Lexington,KY)

"The story--compelling in and of itself--is engrossingly narrated, with an eye for significant detail, a strong sense of life's bitter ironies, and a powerful feeling of immediacy. The characters, especially Bonhoeffer himself, are lifelike and complex. Giardina also does a fine job of evoking the temper of the times she portrays. "


"Giardina's strength lies in her ability to show how historical particulars craft individuality. "

———Washington Post Book World

"Giardina . . . surpasses herself with this powerful re-creation of the life and martyrdom of German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer . . . A big novel in every sense of the word, and a triumphant portrayal of one of the century's authentic heroes. "

———Kirkus Reviews