There comes a time in every young man’s life where it ends.
If you happen to be a German fighter pilot in 1940, that time often comes suddenly, and without warning. Some people handle this better than others.
Hans Vogel is one of the better ones.
After being shot down and killed during the Battle of Britain, German ace Hans Vogel finds himself in an unlikely afterlife: Märchenwald, a world occupied by elves, fairies, and the tales from his childhood. The only problem? Märchenwald is ruled by the Erlkönig, a powerful tyrant who uses Stories to control everyone within his empire, and the Erlkönig wants him dead(er). His only chance at survival is to join forces with a ragtag group of fairy-tale rebels–Princess Glückskind, a champion boxer and princess, Reineke, a sentient fox bent on revenge, and Witold Without-Wings, a mysterious knight with a strange suit of armor–and attempt to overthrow the evil Erlkönig.
The longer Hans stays in Märchenwald, however, the more he begins to realize that it’s not so different from the world he left behind…
Following the tradition of novels like Günter Grass’ Die Blechtrommel (The Tin Drum) and John Connelly’s The Book of Lost Things, Hans Vogel is Dead is a story about stories: a blending of fairy tales and war narratives; a tale about a young pilot coming to terms with a hideous war and a meta-narrative about how we deal with history.