As this is Part 5 of a series, a few more gentle reminders of who some of the characters were and their 'backstory' could have been woven in to make the current story more understandable and relevant.
I never quite grasped who the lead character was, what motivated him. I enjoyed the series, but the lead character doesn't seem as clearly drawn as those by other authors exploring some of the same territory, such as Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon or Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther.
I adore Simon Vance's narration and much prefer these fine British actors telling WW2 or spy stories in general. They own them, in my opinion. I see Simon Vance also has a blog speaking about a variety of topics, including history. His blog contains an ad for a contest to compare James Bond movies to the audio narration of the same book. For those of us old enough to have had some of our earliest stories delivered to us without the benefit of pictures, the power of the spoken word has re-emerged as delightful way to enjoy a book, beyond the obvious conveniences of an audiobook, especially when the narration is as good as this one.
Yes, it was. It can be grim at times, but for a story taking place 6 months after the end of WW2, exploring the effects of war on a range of characters, that is to be expected.
This book illustrates the social and political realities in the months following the war through the stories of individuals and does a great job accomplishing that goal. I'm somewhat of a WW2 buff and feel after this book, I now have a much greater grasp of Europe, especially Berlin, in the months after the war ended. One sees the different powers jockeying for their place in post-war Berlin and making tough choices that are easy to question all these years later. It is viewing the end of WW2 in the way we have looked at subsequent wars, such as the Vietnam War, without any great heroes....more post-modern than 'the greatest generation'.
I enjoyed the first 2 of the series, but this one seemed too juvenile, with the adult characters one-dimensional and mean. The narrator didn't bother me as much as it did others. It was all part of the slightly cartoonish approach. I'll be skipping the rest of the series.
This is a part of history that is covered thoroughly and objectively in this book. Occasionally I found the blow by blow descriptions of events a bit tedious, but overall, it was good. The author places the incident well in the historical context, plus it connects to events in the news today. The narrator mispronounces some words, hence the lower rating. I hadn't realized it was an abridgement until the end, but it does explain that some sentences seemed awkward. It's not written extremely well, but it gets the information across if you pay attention.
Some of it is a bit farfetched, such as why the main character doesn't think of the most obvious things, despite being so smart. Otherwise, it's entertaining.
It's weeks since I read it and don't really have anything much to say about it. I believe I thought it was better written than the Left Behind series.
Great writing, topical, fleshes out one's understanding of the Middle East through the story and the characters, impressive narration. For me, there is just enough violence to make it plausible, but not too much to make it unbearable for me. I can't say I find the character of Chiara appealing or even understandable, but maybe one can never see what someone loves in another.
These Hamish Macbeth books are enjoyable, escapist fun and this one falls into that category.
I feel sorry for those who don't think they enjoy science fiction so therefore won't give this book a try. Like all good science fiction, it is ultimately about the human condition, about ourselves. It's a super concept and was delivered very well. I'll keep an eye out for future books by this author.
I've read many of his by now and, although they can seem convoluted and a bit far-fetched, I have always continued to the end. Perhaps at this point, I'm enjoying his writing a bit less or maybe this one was more far-fetched than others....I really can't say. He does deliver on a good story each time, despite everything.
I can't explain it and don't remember all of why I stopped early on. I couldn't get into the style, with so many minute details and moment by moment description, some of it creepy. I suppose there could have been a good book waiting later, but I couldn't stomach it to find out.
This one doesn't disappoint and is great escapist fun, with intrigue mixed with memorable characters and lots of humour.
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