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If the Dead Rise Not

A Bernie Gunther Novel
Narrated by: Paul Hecht
Series: Bernie Gunther, Book 6
Length: 16 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (379 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The best-selling author of 20 novels, Philip Kerr has won a devoted following - and there are none more ardent than those who devour his Bernie Gunther series. In 1934, Bernie found himself in Berlin, where he was caught up in intrigue surrounding Hitler, America, and the upcoming Olympiad. Two decades later, Bernie surfaces in Havana. But an old associate has appeared there as well - and might spell trouble of a decidedly deadly nature.

©2010 Philip Kerr (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC

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

Not the same w/o John Lee narrating, but ok story

This book is after "A Quiet Flame" in the Bernie Gunther series, which is not on audible. I tired of waiting for audible add that book, so I found a print ed. and read it before listening to this one.

It's very disappointing listening to a Bernie Gunther story with the coarse, monotone voice of Paul Hecht instead of the smooth and melodious John Lee. There's a very striking difference and while Hecht is competent with the various pronunciations, he doesn't give it that same kind of intonation or German accent that Lee provides with flare.

Eventually, the story (begun in the time preceding the Berlin Olympics) grows into a compelling one and the narrator is not as much of an issue. The first part of the book takes place in this pre-Olympics era of Berlin and is centered on interconnected events surrounding the preparations for these Olympics.

As those events near resolution though, the story jumps ahead to 1950's Cuba. Here Gunther is living under an assumed identity gained at the end of "The One from the Other", and follows events in Argentina that took place in "A Quiet Flame". Some of this is referred to in passing as the story moves along, but it isn't imperative that you have read "A Quiet Flame" to follow this story. (I do think "A Quiet Flame" is well worth a read however, and is in fact one of the more poignant additions to the series).

In Cuba, Bernie is reunited with some characters he met in 1930's Berlin, and a new case develops. The mystery in this part jumps around and isn't as compelling as the earlier one. I found it rather transparent about what really happens, and was unsurprised by any revelations at the end.

Still it's a solid addition the Gunther Series, and as it looks like future books are narrated by Paul Hecht as well, if you want to listen the rest of the series I would try getting used to the narrator now. He's not great, but after you've adjusted to him, he doesn't really distract from the story, it just won't have that same flare.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Aaron
  • Troy, MI, United States
  • 12-09-10

Best Noir/Mystery writer since Jim Thompson

Kerr is a wonder - the Bernie Gunther books are in an entirely different league; literate, stylish, historically intriguing. Skip M. Connelly and J.L. Burke - this is the best you will find. I only wish Audible would get around to adding in the "The Quiet Flame" (not to mention all of Jim Thompson's work).

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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

Not His Best

Despite some flashes of his wonderful sense of irony, Kerr's slant on the topic of his Bernie Gunther series may be getting a bit long in the tooth. On the other hand, I wonder what his rich imagination will come up with for a new series. Paul Hecht offers his normal excellence as orator.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great book but bring back John Lee

I am a big fan of Phillip Kerr. The Bernie Gunther novels are always a pleasure, so I was very excited to download this latest entry in the series. I failed to notice the change in narrator. I was extremely disappointed by his delivery.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant story line

I'm fascinated how the author has developed Bernie Günther's character throughout the decades of the 20th century and wove them into historical events. Bravo Philip Kerr!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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I kept thinking it would improve

What would have made If the Dead Rise Not better?

The story was too convoluted - I never really understood the motivation of any of the characters

What was most disappointing about Philip Kerr’s story?

There seemed no point to any of the events - they didn't provide understanding, motivation, depth of character.

What didn’t you like about Paul Hecht’s performance?

His voice was too monotone - I had trouble telling who was speaking

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Stevon
  • Tempe, AZ, United States
  • 04-23-19

Bernie/Carlos

I really like this series and this book fits right in with the rest.

In reading the summary of this book I thought it would be mostly set in Cuba, Bernie having gone there after his time in Argentina. But a good portion of the book takes place in 1934 Berlin. At the time Bernie was the house detective at the Adlon Hotel in Berlin. He gets caught up in a tough situation that doesn't really get settled until 1955 Havana.

One of the key things I enjoy in this series are the settings. 1934 Berlin is interesting as the backdrop to the story is the growing power of the Nazis and how it affected everyday life for the common person which includes Bernie. Then you go to 1955 Havana which is just a few years before the Castro takeover and you get a feel for what life was like then with a big American presence, casinos, gambling, the mob, it's all there.

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    2 out of 5 stars

Big disappointment

What would have made If the Dead Rise Not better?

It was a bad book. I have enjoyed all of the others. But this one is far, far, too long. No interesting or coherent plot. And boring.

Has If the Dead Rise Not turned you off from other books in this genre?

No.

Any additional comments?

Just not a good book.

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

I'm hooked on the series... but this was DEPRESSING!

I am hooked on Bernie Gunther and his improbable escapades. I still prefer John Lee as a narrator, finding Hecht's "vocal fry" rather grating.
But this is a compelling series and I just have to get through all 12 books!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Just great

What made the experience of listening to If the Dead Rise Not the most enjoyable?

I have listened to every book in Phillip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series. Each one is superbly written and narrated. Each one is simply exceptionally entertaining.