Bernie Gunther had his first brush with evil as a policeman in 1930s Berlin and came to know it intimately as a private eye under the Nazis, when each case drew him deeper into the enormities of the regime. Now the war is over and Gunther's in Vienna, trying to clear an old friend of the murder of an American officer. Amid decaying imperial splendor, he traces concentric circles of depravity that lead him to a former head of the Gestapo.
Gripping, frightening, and pungently atmospheric, A German Requiem demonstrates Philip Kerr's power to take his listeners hostage.
©1991 Philip Kerr; (P)2008 Books on Tape
"Kerr has the talent to....take you places you have never been." (The Washington Post Book World)
"Echoes of Raymond Chandler but better on his vivid and well-researched detail than the master." ( London Evening Standard)
There is no current writer who comes close to Kerr in evoking an historical period - and to telling a great story with vivid characters and delightful plot twists - read this book, or better listen to it. It's one of the best.
Continuing off from where March Violets trails away from a few years before, Philip Kerr continues to exploit Bernie Gunther's sardonic wit, his continued cynicism of most things bureaucratic, and his dislike all things criminal. A great listen - really liking John Lee's version of Gunther - a no holds barred reading here.
The book is very interesting. It depicts the people trying to survive after WWII and the occupation of both the USA and USSR. The writing depicting this period is much better than any movie I've seen showing this period. Additionally, the perspective is unique, because it is not the story of GIs in post war Germany.
The plot is very good and never got boring (espionage). It was realistic in that bad things happened to 'good' characters...
What makes this a great book is the setting, the characters, and author's depth of knowledge of the period and expressing the subtleties in his writing. I read this book before March of Violets (March of Violets is set in 1936). Each book stands on it's own and I would say I liked this book better.
As with every other Philip Kerr book I've read, I enjoyed it from beginning to end. He has become one of my favourite writers and the experience is enhanced by John Lee's superb narration. I believe John Lee is simply the best audiobook narrator in the world. He makes a great book even better.
This was my third audiobook from Philip Kerr, and he does not disappoint! This was as good, or even better, than the first two (see my other reviews). Great post-WW II story, absolutely superb narration by John Lee. Engaging intrigue, really fine characters, and rare sense of humor woven in. Highly recommended!
Interesting story, well plotted. Gives a lot of information about what life was like in post world war II Germany and Austria.
"A German Requiem" had no care for my expectations. I wanted noir. It delivered noir, brutal and overwhelming through a force of macabre interest. I felt a sense of dark trepidation as every new event took shape on the horizon. I was beginning to feel i could not predict this book. Just when I opened an inquisitive eye to expose the motives of the author I was again jerked in a different direction. It was everything your looking for now and don't realize. Not only was I insatiably drawn to the story but the book paints such a visceral scene of post-war Europe (particularly Berlin and Venice) I learned more about the people affected by WW2 than I thought I knew before. It offered a new perspective on life after all the "interesting" war action took place, on which many are so fixated...where countless millions of people stood by and wondered what to do with their shattered civilization. This book places you there, in the desperation, the gloom, the fear and the force of will that shaped that space and time in history. Its easy enough to get all worked up about the dread of the war itself but after this book I understand the people that created the war and the people that ended it.
Among those that would have shined through the aftermath is Herr Gunther, our protag. His antihero atributes are his most endearing. His life is not enviable yet your forced to respect him. You won't always agree with his actions but you'll feel like you'd stand behind them. Philip Kerr also creates character equally hate worthy -effigies of social commentary that demand dislike and are so sharply depicted they seem familiar.
The story was outstanding and the author placed the listener into the Post-WW2 era of occupied Germany and Austria. The characters were also excellent and the author took full advantage of the mix of nationalities and occupational personalities. The tenor of the narrative was a little too harsh at times and this was enhanced by the cadences of the narrator. However, this is a part of the "gumshoe" persona, so most folks who enjoy this kind of detective story would not be put off by it. For me, the book was set well and the characters were vivid and entertaining, so it was well worth the purchase and the time.
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