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Publisher's Summary

From the internationally best-selling author of Fatherland and the Cicero Trilogy - a new spy thriller about treason and conscience, loyalty and betrayal, set against the backdrop of the fateful Munich Conference of September 1938.  

Hugh Legat is a rising star of the British diplomatic service, serving at 10 Downing Street as a private secretary to the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain. Paul von Hartmann is on the staff of the German Foreign Office - and secretly a member of the anti-Hitler resistance. The two men were friends at Oxford in the 1920s but have not been in contact since. Now, when Hugh flies with Chamberlain from London to Munich, and Hartmann travels on Hitler's train overnight from Berlin, their paths are set on a disastrous collision course. And once again, Robert Harris gives us actual events of historical importance - here are Hitler, Chamberlain, Mussolini, Daladier - at the heart of an electrifying, pause-resisting novel.

©2018 Robert Harris (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Vocally dexterous narrator David Rintoul guides listeners through this spy thriller by the bestselling author of Fatherland with a sure hand.... There are a plethora of fascinating characters for Rintoul to portray, and he depicts each one with individuality and personality." (AudioFile)  

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fascinating history...decent novel

Nice prelude to the recent portrait of Churchill in The Darkest Hour—how the policy of appeasement made sense to some historical actors at the time. Harris is so talented at weaving a well researched historical narrative with fictional elements. The fiction—in terms of character development and personal plot lines—is however weaker than his efforts in the Cicero trilogy, Ghost Writer and Fatherland. If undecided, I would try those first. But this one still worth the credit.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 01-29-18

Gripping

I have always enjoyed books by Robert Harris. I particularly enjoyed reading his Imperium Trilogy about Cicero. Harris is a master of historical novels.

Munich is the German City where British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain met with Adolf Hitler in September 1938 in a desperate attempt to preserve peace in Europe. This meeting is the focal point of this book. The meeting was to discuss Hitler’s demands that the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia be handed over to Germany. Harris used two fictional characters: one English, Hugh Leget; one German, Paul Von Hartmann. The two had been friends while attending Oxford and now serve as aides to the real-life senior diplomats.

The book is well written and researched. Harris is a master at weaving fictional characters into a historical situation so the reader is able to develop a personal understanding of the event. The characters are interesting and the plot is clever. Harris takes his time developing the story, but then it takes off at a rapid pace. I was sad when the story ended. I wanted it to continue. I guess I got carried away with the storyline. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and highly recommend it.

The book is just over nine and a half hours. David Rintout does a good job narrating the book. Rintout is a Scottish stage and television actor and audiobook narrator.


16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Julie
  • Apple Valley, MN, United States
  • 01-26-18

Gripping, fascinating, couldn't put it down.

Would you listen to Munich again? Why?

I have listened to it twice. I will listen again. So much happens in the story, that I hear thingsI missed the first time through. One of my favorite reads of the last 5 years.The narration was excellent, kept me engaged with the story.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

The events that occurred, the perspective of the characters and the insight.

Which character – as performed by David Rintoul – was your favorite?

Hugh Legat was my favorite and next was Joan, even though she had a small role in the story, she came though as interesting and spunky. All of the characters were two dimensional, so they were interesting. I believe that this is a true story.

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

History, as if you were there.

Any additional comments?

Try the book, you will love it too.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Superb, brilliant! Another Robert Harris Winner.

This has never been a period of history that I have a deep interest in. It was a horrendous time and it makes me so uptight. It is never a good thing to want to ‘go postal’ when you are supposed to be enjoying a good book wouldn’t you agree? I read 'Munich' because I am a fan of Robert Harris. He never fails to please the amateur historian that is renting space in this avid reader.

Munich grabbed me from the first paragraph. It has it all with historical accuracy added to make it even more enjoyable. There is intrigue. It touches on a love story from years past. There is the obligatory adultery and then we have the major political players who are so well written that you feel that that you are there, sitting quietly in the corner of The Berghof.

There were times when I thought that I could smell cigarettes, you know, when they have been hastily extinguished underfoot. Robert Harris breaths life into his characters and to me they feel alive. I kept imagining Chamberlain pacing up and down talking to himself trying to figure out the Munich Agreement and having to look happy and stoic when The British Empire are all rejoicing because they 'think' that there will be 'Peace for our time' when in fact he knew, deep down, that it was in fact a facade. Hitler was merely playing mind games and he fully intended to invade Czechoslovakia.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and my pleasure was further enhanced by a superb performance by David Rintoul. He is definitely on my top 5 narrators list. So easy to listen to. A true pleasure.

FIVE STARS ALL THE WAY

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Excellent learning experience

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I learned so much about the events of 1938 and really enjoy the skills of Robert Harris. For me, the gold standard in audiobooks is the Harris/Rintoul combination "An Officer and a Spy." Nonetheless, Munich: a Novel is great read.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Yet Again, Harris Shows Why he is Just SO Good

I'll confess that I didn't read the last, but one, on the Vatican - as the reviews really put me off, and on the whole, I think Harris is less good the farther he strays from actual historical fact. IE: I find Fatherland entertaining, but just not in the same league as the Cicero Trilogy, which I thought was stunning, and the book on the Dreyfuss Affair. This is closer to that; in that it is essentially an expose and dramatization of an actual event - in this case the Munich Accord of 1938. The characterization of the main players, especially Neville Chamberlain, is incredibly convincing - really well done. And somehow, he manages to pull this off as almost a thriller, although of course - we all know how it turned out. The central hook that drives the narrative - two old friends not as much meeting up as colliding during the Munich talks works really well without being forced. I learned a lot from this, but never felt I was 'In A History Lesson.' The story worked really well. Narration was excellent. I am an admitted Harris fan - so maybe I'm biased - but this was thoroughly enjoyable. A quality act all the way.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Neville Chamberlain wasn't such a dolt afterall

Where does Munich rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top 10

What did you like best about this story?

Having only read a few lines about this extremely interesting and complex chapter in history, this was an eye-opening read. From my previous cursory exposure, I was under the assumption that Chamberlain was an extremely naive and shortsighted figure in history. This book does a great job of showing the thought processes and reasoning behind the Prime Minister's actions.

Which scene was your favorite?

My favorite scene was toward the end when Chamberlain and the other main characters meet at Hitler's apartment, the day after the Munich conference.

If you could rename Munich, what would you call it?

Contract with the Devil

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Really compelling performance

Would you consider the audio edition of Munich to be better than the print version?

I would have to say absolutely, yes. And I have the book. I cannot give enough praise to David Rintoul's narration. It really grabs you and holds you.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

I think the plot sometimes gets subverted to the richness of detail and character. I find that fascinating.

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

My first Rintoul. Won't be my last.

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

Not really.

Any additional comments?

I recommend this audiobook to all, without reservation. A great experience.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Historically interesting, but does not go anywhere

Would you listen to Munich again? Why?

No. Although historically interesting and written well, it just ends. There is little resolution. It almost seems like he wrote this book so that he could write a squeal to bring things to a resolution.

Would you be willing to try another book from Robert Harris? Why or why not?

Probably, although if it had an ending like this one that would be the last.

What does David Rintoul bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Good narrator, but nothing special

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting.

Interesting though a bit strained re-enactment of the famed pre WW 11 munchen agreement. Two fictional characters are the dramatic tool used. It’s fine if you’re a student of the history of the time but if you’re a thriller reader this probably won’t suit you.