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Waiting for Sunrise | [William Boyd]

Waiting for Sunrise

Vienna. 1913. Lysander Rief, a young English actor, walks through the city to his first appointment with the eminent psychiatrist, Dr. Bensimon. He is sitting anxiously in the waiting room when an extraordinary woman enters.... Moving from Vienna to London's West End, the battlefields of France, and hotel rooms in Geneva, Waiting for Sunrise is a feverish and mesmerising journey into the human psyche, and a beautifully observed portrait of wartime Europe.
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Publisher's Summary

Vienna. 1913. Lysander Rief, a young English actor, walks through the city to his first appointment with the eminent psychiatrist, Dr. Bensimon. He is sitting anxiously in the waiting room when an extraordinary woman enters....

Moving from Vienna to London's West End, the battlefields of France, and hotel rooms in Geneva, Waiting for Sunrise is a feverish and mesmerising journey into the human psyche, and a beautifully observed portrait of wartime Europe.

©2012 William Boyd (P)2012 W F Howes Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (19 )
5 star
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3.7 (14 )
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Story
3.9 (14 )
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  •  
    J. Crosby LONDON, UK 03-18-14
    J. Crosby LONDON, UK 03-18-14 Member Since 2004

    GSBIKER

    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb story let down by weak narrator"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Waiting for Sunrise to be better than the print version?

    The print edition is better but not by much. With a more accomplished narrator it would be comparable.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The central character, who is flawed, humane and very easy to empathise with.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    High pitched voice, lacked the gravitas to read the autobiographical sections as the theatrical Lysander. Otherwise a bland, effete British voice.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Read the book


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    antonio genthod, Switzerland 02-06-13
    antonio genthod, Switzerland 02-06-13 Member Since 2011

    A reviewer's got to do what a reviewer's got to do

    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    41
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    2
    6
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    Story
    "Enjoyable !"

    The story develops in many European cities just before world war 1. Initially the characters are well shaped , the atmosphere captivating and the plot intriguing . Boyd writes with a confident and fluent style which makes the reading very enjoyable...However as the story progresses the plot becomes shaky (and frankly less credible) and Boyd seems uncertain as to how wrap it up . The end of the journey is somewhat disappointing , particularly because the first half of the book is so engaging..

    All in all enjoyable (i.e. good,but not great)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-2 of 2 results
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  • Julian E. Boyce
    Nottingham, United Kingdom
    4/5/12
    Overall
    "Writer or Reader?"

    I got this book as part of my subscription. I have two books per month and, with a small stockpile behind me, decided it was time for another William Boyd. I enjoyed Restless immensely, so felt happy about this.
    I enjoyed this so much, I am about to buy the book itself. The way the whole story is built, measured, parcelled, and then delivered, is beyond me. If ever I needed convincing that I could never be a writer, this book was the thing that did it.
    I have to say though. that I am not totally sure who should have the most credit. The writer, or the reader. I have not heard Roger May before, but he is/was simply magnificient. He just brought the book to real life. So, William Boyd, Roger May, I salute you both. This was just Wonderful.
    More. Please!

    23 of 25 people found this review helpful
  • Keith D. Brown
    UK
    6/17/12
    Overall
    "Literate thriller"

    Much of the publicity for this novel centred around the fact that events take place in Freud's Vienna but in fact this only accounts for the first section after which the plot heads into Graham Greene, John le Carre territory. It consequently wasn't what I had expected, but I did enjoy it and thought the writer could stand comparison with these two masters of the spy genre. He creates a central character who is also a professional actor, and this talent enables him to get out of a couple of sticky situations. I don't think this has been done before: the spy who can also act.The author might consider a series of novels about this character as it's a good trick. A sort of 007 who takes on a different persona as his mission requires.

    I digress, this is a really good writer, cleverly changing pace and the order of events in a pleasingly non-linear way. The psychoanalytic section gives the main character real depth as we saw him in a completely unguarded state visiting events from his childhood. The plot becomes quite complex but I think I understood it, and the denouement is thrilling and again stands comparison with Le Carre.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Julie
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    1/27/13
    Overall
    "Merits re-listening"

    Loved previous Boyd novels but wasn't totally taken with this one at first - listened at bedtime & kept nodding off so the plot became somewhat obscure. Plus the emphasis on psyche in publisher's blurb is misleading. BUT then I got curious, then I got engaged & then I listened to it again from start and it hooked me. Reader doesn't represent women characters well, as previous review said, and II didn't feel they were well written either so that's an issue but I will be listening again to this sometime in the future and that signifies a good book in my estimation.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Alan
    BASINGSTOKE, United Kingdom
    9/6/12
    Overall
    "5star!!!"

    Could not put this down, and, having finished it, fired up the computer to write an enthusiastic review (not usually inclined this way). Alas, disappointed to find others have beaten me to it, and more than aptly described my views on the book, its author, and the narrator.
    Agree with the sentiment that the lead character Lysander Reif is worth another outing, but one of William Boyd's strengths (for me anyway) is his variety of characters and plot-lines.
    I for one cannot wait for Mssrs Boyd and Mays future collaboration.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • John
    Westhill, United Kingdom
    5/8/12
    Overall
    "Boyd at his emthralling and thought-provoking best"

    A fully engaging and wide-ranging journey of the central charachter through personal relations, espionage, psychotherapy, war and acting. It leaves you reflecting on the nature of reality in the light of issues of truth, deception and self-deception. Above all, it is a cracking good story and well read .

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • laurel
    GODALMING, United Kingdom
    9/11/12
    Overall
    "Did we listen to the same book?"

    After listening to Simon Mawer's 'The Girl Who Fell from the Sky', I was really looking forward to something in the same vein to listen to on my long commute each day. I read the good reviews on audible, and the more mixed reviews on amazon, and was looking forward to it. I suffered through the first half, feeling quite cheated as the pace was so slow, and the reader unfortunately made all the women sound like simpering idiots. Then the second half picked up the pace, and I kept waiting for the big finish, only to be very disappointed that it ended not with a bang but a whimper. I will not be listening to another William Boyd book, I'm afraid, though this book might be better in print form. Maybe I missed something - like 13 hours of my life.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Amelia
    United Kingdom
    7/14/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An actor and a spy one complimenting the other"

    Really enjoyed this story from William Boyd. I have read others from him and he never disappoints. I enjoyed the character of Lysander Reif (what a name) and the characters he came into contact with. Dr Bensimom as a student of Dr Freud assisted Lysander with his erectile disfunction and in fact the great Doctor made an appearance in the novel! I was interested in the character of Blanche but to be honest I found Hattie Bull very bullish and annoying. I guess Mr Boyd chose the correct name for her!
    I enjoyed the spy elements to the story and found the ending a bit odd to be honest and wonder if we will get more of Lysander in the future.
    I felt the narration was very good and suited the story and will of course be reading more from William Boyd in the future.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Christopher
    Northwich, United Kingdom
    7/11/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Takes gloriously unexpected twists and turns"

    The book starts with what appears to be a love story but then changes into a spy story which leaves the reader guessing until well beyond the end of the book. Well narrated with convincing foreign and regional accents, and beautifully written, I can heartily recommend this book as an absorbing escape from life.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Patrick
    MORPETH, United Kingdom
    5/2/12
    Overall
    "Curate's Egg"

    Marvellous sense of time and place, captured the era for me, but, yes, the BUT. I will make this review for Audible listeners not a literary review; it becomes tedious, I found myself pausing it, no rush to resume, i dragged it out, 'cos it was OK, when it finally ended, plot holes and tedium were my final feeling, coupled with relief. 3 stars may have been generous.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • JT
    7/13/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A really excellent novel"
    If you could sum up Waiting for Sunrise in three words, what would they be?

    Absorbing, often gripping.


    What other book might you compare Waiting for Sunrise to, and why?

    Atonement by Ian McEwen.Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks.If you enjoyed either of these "war novels", you will probably enjoy Waiting for Sunrise just as much, if not more.


    Have you listened to any of Roger May’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Roger May is a brilliant narrator. A crystal-clear and mellifluous voice and an actor's ability to bring the different characters to life.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Although too long to listen to in one sitting, I did finish it within a week.


    Any additional comments?

    I am looking forward to listening to more novels by William Boyd and more novels read by Roger May.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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