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March Violets | [Philip Kerr]

March Violets

Hailed by Salman Rushdie as a "brilliantly innovative thriller-writer", Philip Kerr is the creator of taut, gripping, noir-tinged mysteries set in Nazi-era Berlin that are nothing short of spellbinding. The first book of the Berlin Noir trilogy, March Violets introduces listeners to Bernie Gunther, an ex-policeman who thought he'd seen everything on the streets of 1930s Berlin - until he turned freelance and each case he tackled sucked him further into the grisly excesses of Nazi subculture.
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Publisher's Summary

Hailed by Salman Rushdie as a "brilliantly innovative thriller-writer", Philip Kerr is the creator of taut, gripping, noir-tinged mysteries set in Nazi-era Berlin that are nothing short of spellbinding. The first book of the Berlin Noir trilogy, March Violets introduces listeners to Bernie Gunther, an ex-policeman who thought he'd seen everything on the streets of 1930s Berlin - until he turned freelance, and each case he tackled sucked him further into the grisly excesses of the Nazi subculture. Hard-hitting, fast-paced, and richly detailed, March Violets is noir listening at its best and blackest.

©2008 Philip Kerr; (P)2008 Books on Tape

What the Critics Say

"The brutality and corruption of Nazi Germany serve as the backdrop for this impressive debut mystery novel. Scottish-born Kerr re-creates the period accurately and with verve; the novel reeks of the sordid decade that saw Hitler's rise to power." (Publishers Weekly)
"Echoes of Raymond Chandler, but better on his vivid and well-researched detail than the master." (Evening Standard, London)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (578 )
5 star
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4.0 (351 )
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Story
4.2 (351 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Meeno 01-29-15
    Meeno 01-29-15 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One dose of Bernie Gunther and you're hooked."

    And if you dig history, this one's steeped in deftly tossed in asides. I was just in Berlin and it was great to follow Bernie with a map through neighborhoods I had familiarity with now. Berlin is such a tinderbox of historical allusion and Kerr does a terrific job of mining those diamonds, "bells", for this series. And anything that John Lee reads goes from good to engrossing with those first gravely syllables.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fredrick L. 03-03-14
    Fredrick L. 03-03-14
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    "Exceptionally entertaining reading"
    What did you like best about this story?

    Plot had many surprising twists. Having traveled personally to many of the areas mentioned, you can tell the writer does his homework.


    Have you listened to any of John Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Mr. Lee is a very good reader, except he sometimes mispronounces German words for locations, people's names, etc. As long as you are setting your books in German locales, you should use German - and not Americanized - pronunciations.


    Any additional comments?

    Philip Kerr is a darned good mystery writer. John Lee is a very good reader (just needs to work on his pronunciations of German words)!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    No Suspicion 06-19-13 Member Since 2015

    I could wile away the hours...

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    "Raymond Chandler's private eye in Nazi Germany"

    The "schtick" here is placing the hard-boiled detective in the midst of SS officers, concentration camps, etc. while trying to solve a double murder. And, it gets better and better as it goes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. F. Plimpton Princeton, NJ 03-18-13
    J. F. Plimpton Princeton, NJ 03-18-13

    avid reader

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    2
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    "A fun, engaging, suspenseful and historically into"
    Where does March Violets rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the top 25%


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Gunther. He is irreverent, someone you can relate to emotionally, given his circumstances and the times he lived in.He is not afraid of himself.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Too many to select one specifically.


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

    Against all odds, a mystery is solved.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. A. Jackson la florida 03-11-13
    R. A. Jackson la florida 03-11-13 Member Since 2013

    What

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    "Excellent Gunther Novel"
    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    The book started out kind of even/even as far as what I expected. I puzzled out the guilt pretty quickly as far as the story went, however, there were twists I did not see coming at all. As the story developed, it simply just kept getting better. Same with the settings.

    As in my last review of a Gunther novel, the reader seemed terse and brisk. In this tale it was less of a problem for me though. It fit very well with the story line. Again, Kerr has made a historical setting come alive in his narrative. Many of the characters were not as developed or as interesting as those in "A German Requiem" and the period does not interest me as much. But the story is as great, if not better than the latter. So far, Kerr's Gunther novels have been worth the money and the time spent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Huntsville, Albania 02-27-13
    John Huntsville, Albania 02-27-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just another detective story"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No, because it was too mundane. Had all the same characteristics of any common detective story. No unique features.


    What could Philip Kerr have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Given a little more life to the constraints of living in Nazi Germany, similarly to the way life in Soviet Russia was treated in Child 44.


    What three words best describe John Lee’s performance?

    Just OK


    Do you think March Violets needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No, but there undoubtedly be one.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bunky 123 Oregon, usa 12-19-12
    bunky 123 Oregon, usa 12-19-12 Member Since 2015
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    "I love this author, subject and performer"
    What did you love best about March Violets?

    It intertwines history and fiction, it's full of suspense and I love Bernie Gunther's character. He is gritty and sarcastic. I didn't like the ending too much and there is a lose end that does not get resolved. But these are minor bumps in an otherwise smooth narrative.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Bernie Gunther is a cool cat.


    Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favorite?

    Bernie, but I am amazed at John Lees spectrum of talent. He is great as every character, even females.


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

    Yes!!!!!


    Any additional comments?

    Just finished the next book in series, Pale Criminal. Even better than the the March of Violets.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Churchill arlington, va, usa 11-04-12
    Churchill arlington, va, usa 11-04-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Narrator not right for this book"

    I am a fan of all of the Phillip Kerr books but the narration of this book was wrong. Bernie Gunthere is a tough Berlin cop, now private investigator, navigating his way through an increasing dangerous and insane Nazi environment. The narrator gives Bernie an english accent which makes him sound like a Duke or Earl and not the gritty character we have come to know. The story is great but I could not get to the reality of the story because of the wrong notes of the narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexandria New York 09-12-12
    Alexandria New York 09-12-12 Member Since 2012

    Alexandria

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A solidly good audiobook, no more, no less"
    Would you try another book from Philip Kerr and/or John Lee?

    Maybe, but not until I've made an attempt at exhausting most of the truly exceptional recordings out there.


    Was March Violets worth the listening time?

    I would say yes, it was. I nearly gave up on it a couple of times because the characters are a bit flat and predictable, but the narration was excellent and so I persevered. It was good, but it did not leave me wanting more.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CHRISTINE Chapel Hill, NC, United States 05-24-12
    CHRISTINE Chapel Hill, NC, United States 05-24-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Unable to download the final cd for March Violets"
    What made the experience of listening to March Violets the most enjoyable?

    We downloaded March Violets in order to listen to the book in the car. However, we were only able to download 7 cds (sony CD-R Audio 80 minutes). We on't know whether we are missing one or two discs to finish the story.

    Very frustrating


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He was good


    Any additional comments?

    We would like to learn the conclusion of the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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