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March Violets Audiobook

March Violets

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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 (873 )
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4.3 (621 )
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Performance
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  •  
    D. Percy 01-12-16
    D. Percy 01-12-16 Member Since 2015

    History Buff!!!

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    "Excellent historical crime novel narrated by one of the best!"

    Nonstop action and suspense. In excellent plot and well written. I can't wait to listen to the authors other novels and see how Bernard Gunther's character evolves!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald 11-29-15
    Donald 11-29-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Incredible Series; Wonderfully Written"
    Where does March Violets rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is intended to be a review of the entire Bernie Gunther series and not just the first book, March Violets. As an audible listener, I love to find a great detective series and assume others would be the same. The Bernie Gunther series is one I strongly recommend. The only detective series I have listened to which is better is the Robert Galbraith (aka, J.K. Rolwings) detective Kormoran Strike series.In comparison to the first rank of detective series I have read, the Detective Bernie Gunther series rates as good as anything by John Sandford (Lucas Davenport & Virgil Flowers) and nearly as good as some of the early Michael Connolley mysteries (Detective Harry Bosch). I have also listened to the Craig Johnson-Sherriff Walt Longmire series and the Michael McGarrity-Sherriff Kevin Kearny Series, having enjoyed them greatly and listened to a number of books from each series more than once.. Both of those series are quite good, though I personally think the Gunther series is better.In my opinion, a second rank of series would be the Peter Robinson-Inspector Banks mysteries and the Charles Todd-Inspector Rutledge series. The Gunther books are much better, less contrived than the Banks and Rutledge books which hinge on similar plot devices and are too predictable.If anyone knows of another great detective series, I would be most obliged to hear of it. I hope this opens up some new series for other listeners.


    What did you like best about this story?

    After recently finishing The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Bonhoeffer, and The Garden of Evil, it seemed to me that Kerr gave a pretty accurate account of what it would have been like in Nazi Germany during the 1930s and 1940s for a person (Detective Bernie Gunther) who was not sympathetic to the new national German leadership.


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    Mr. Lee is a wonderful reader, able to make distinctions in voices amongst the different characters. Although I am not fluent in German, he did not seem to mess up German pronunciation.


    Any additional comments?

    The Bernie Gunther series is a top series, difficult to find. The stories don't become repetitive in plot devices. The character grows as the nation gradually goes down in flames over the course of the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Len McKee 11-01-15
    Len McKee 11-01-15
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    "Unique Blend of Noir Detective Fiction and History"

    John Lee superbly narrates a dark tense historically inspired detective fiction set in Nazi Germany.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary L. Richardson 10-23-15 Member Since 2013

    Umaize

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    "An Interesting Twist"

    I have never read/listened to a story about a private investigator in pre WWII Germany. Sort of Sam Spade meets Hitler. The story is well put together and I thought the narration done well. Not all characters are resolved in the book so I will have to see if it comes up in the next installment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BarelyAudible Paris, TX 09-18-15
    BarelyAudible Paris, TX 09-18-15 Member Since 2014

    Texas

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    "Classic Detective Story with a Nazi backdrop."
    What did you love best about March Violets?

    Philip Kerr's use of language is unique, creative and beautiful. I have never read a detective novel where the author could turn a phrase as sharply.


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

    At times, yes.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The characters were supposed to be German, but the reader was British. While I can see the value in using a non-American accent, it was distracting to hear British accents speaking as Nazi's and using Germanic names and phrases.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Every so often Kerr would use a phrase that would have me laughing out loud - even though it really isn't a comedy.


    Any additional comments?

    I would never think someone could write a detective novel where 1930's Germany was a backdrop - where the Nazi's were NOT the main characters. Kerr does so masterfully. And in doing so, we get a better feel for the life of the citizens of Germany during the Nazi rise to power.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Old Squid Los Angeles, CA 06-13-15
    Old Squid Los Angeles, CA 06-13-15 Member Since 2009
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    "Great window into pre-war Berlin"

    Philip Kerr brings the noir genre -- think Sam Spade, Red Harvest, and the Continental Op -- to Berlin in the mid-thirties. Under the boot of Nazism a cynical private eye hunts for missing persons -- usually missing owing to the activities of the Gestapo or the SS. The writing is a bit too derivative of Chandler, with the tough-guy similes, but the portrayal of how ordinary people dealt with the terrible time they lived in is very interesting. It's kind of the bad guys' (i.e., German) side of the world Alan Furst writes so brilliantly about: the coming of WWII, but in this case with people who are not actually involved in the war's coming.The story is a fairly generic tough detective caper, but the way it's told is quite good. John Lee does a nice job of the world-weary detective, and all-in-all I liked it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Miller Portsmouth 04-21-15
    Scott Miller Portsmouth 04-21-15
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    "Herr Gunter is my new Favorite PI!!!"

    Move over Sherlock here comes Bernie! A real gritty true to the genre of PI Noir. Tough and smart a real man in a world going mad and dealing with the decay of a society and the terrible slide into Nazi Germany as the back drop.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Drew 04-14-15
    Drew 04-14-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Bit hard to follow and care until the second half"
    Any additional comments?

    Mind wandered more than usual. I like Deighton and Ambler..Silva and LeCarre. This was simple character dev but hard to follow. Too many characters and was not sure who was who. Maybe the book was too short at 9hrs. Found it hard to care about and like John Lee reading Follett better. Maybe it just takes some getting used to as by the end, I thought I might try the second book. Love the era/genre.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daddy Shawn La Verne, CA, United States 02-16-15
    Daddy Shawn La Verne, CA, United States 02-16-15 Member Since 2016

    Writer & daddy.

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    "A great historical series based on WWII"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I think this series would appeal to readers of all shapes and sizes.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The historical elements flow so well. Great mystery. Great characterizations.


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

    Yes, more in this particular series. I really love his voice, especially for this Kerr series.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meeno 01-29-15
    Meeno 01-29-15 Member Since 2007
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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

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