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 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.
Another entertaining escape into the Scottish Highlands with Hamish. It could be a tad farfetched, but that's part of the fun.
Read it weeks ago, had stockpiled audiobooks for a busy spell, am reviewing to keep track of what's read and to be a little bit of assistance. Can't remember additional comments, with apologies!
I'm writing a few weeks later, so I'm left with overall impressions at this point. I found this compelling and plausible, so if the idea intrigues you, I think you'll enjoy it.
This book delivered beyond expectations. When we finally ended up with Eldridge Cleaver in Algeria and he turned out to be as human and avaricious as those he fought against (who knew?) I was utterly delighted. As an older baby boomer, I'm ready for more books that peek into those times, without the rose coloured glasses! It's also an enjoyable study of individuals and the times, with connections to our present time as well.
This book seemed to be firmly embedded into values that I don't think serve anyone well and that I'm tired of. I stopped reading. Perhaps younger women, who believe in the current mores and haven't woken up to how much it is hurting them, would like it.
I've read her other cozy mysteries and enjoy them as light entertainment. This book isn't my usual type, a character driven novel, but it was done so well, that by the end, I was won over. I miss the characters and want to go back and hang out with them at Lost Lake. I even enjoyed the slightly mystical, supernatural elements and they all made sense by the end too. It was delightful and it's a bit hard to start another book. I'll look forward to her next one!
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