I greatly underestimated this book. It’s been sitting on my shelf unread for well over ten years. Now I really wish I had read it much earlier.Klaus Mann had a talent for writing satire, and even just reading the first chapter of Mephisto leaves no question about why Mann had to emigrate and why the book was published in the Netherlands and elsewhere in 1936 but remained unpublished in Germany until much later – 1956 (in East Germany). In 1966 Mephisto became the object of a law suit that would prevent its publication in West Germany until 1981 – to protect the reputation of Gustaf Gruendgens (incidentally Mann’s one-time brother-in-law), who Mephisto’s protagonist ggHendrik Hoefgen is based on.All the way through the book, it seemed incredible that Mann could have written this 1935 and produced such a clear account of the inner workings of Nazi Germany that seemed to present itself to the media and knowledge of the general public only years later on the eve of the second world war.