I know Erik Larson's work. I've read Isaac's Storm and Devil in the White City and I loved both of those nonfiction books. And so I had expectations for this book. They were met. And exceeded. Garden of the Beasts, like the other Larson books I've read, is a powerful story that was unfamiliar to me prior to reading the books. A naive American family in the middle of Nazi Germany as the country moves closer and closer to insanity...it's a story that begs to be told. Larson was the perfect person to tell this story. His writing style is a wonderful mix of intelligence and readability. I flew through the pages of this book, but the book was no Oreo cookie, gobbled up in one delicious bite, but forgotten a few hours later. Instead, the book left me thinking about the characters for many days after I finished the book.