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Publisher's Summary

It is 1940, and Guy and Harriet Pringle and their friends in the English colony in Bucharest find their position growing ever more precarious. The phony war is over and invasion by the Germans is an ever-present threat...

This is the second part of The Balkan Trilogy, which began with The Great Fortune and concludes with Friends and Heroes.

©1962 The Estate of Olivia Manning (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Spoilt City

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Best reading and narration in a long time.

Recently recommended by Alan Furst at the SFJCC, this is #2 in the trilogy. Every second is packed with detail and conveys the terror of the situation. Looking forward to #3.

2 people found this helpful

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A wonderful book, II in a trilogy

I really enjoyed this. It gives a wonderful sense of a British community awaiting a German invasion of a neutral country, not really wanting to believe it. The characters are so well drawn and the voices of each of them so typical of the expat personality of the day.

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Perfect narration

Perfect narration and a powerful book. World War Two as seen in its awful ordinariness, and a study of the "experts" who always think they know best.

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  • Mrs. Esther De Groot
  • 03-22-21

Very good account of life World War Two written by some body who lived the experience

Excellent Very good account of war on the continent as experienced by somebody who lived through it

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-03-20

Memorable

Beautifully written, with a clear and razor sharp grasp on the complex politics of the time which emerges fluently in the conversation of the cleverly drawn characters - never boring or repetitive, makes me hungry to read the third volume.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs C.
  • 01-26-21

Brilliant story and narration

I first read this book in my 20s and enjoyed it then. Now, 50 years later it is just as enjoyable and fascinating. The narration couldn’t be better and does it justice.

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  • Cassandra
  • 12-06-19

Uneven story but truly interesting listen

Beautifully narrated by Harriet Walter, this is the second book in Manning’s Balkan Trilogy. I didn’t feel it was as strong as the Fortunes of War - the first novel in the sequence - there’s quite a lot of telling rather than showing and it’s weakened in places by unexpected shifts in narrative perspective that seem to be there simply to keep narrative moving rather than give deeper insights into character. However, the gorgeous scene setting is still there, and it provides a thought provoking insight into the human cost of political turbulence and upheaval that has contemporary resonances. I will be listening to the third novel.

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  • Silvine
  • 03-09-18

Top quality story of Brits in wartime Europe

I loved it. Felt totally immersed in that period. Characters are utterly believable and fascinating.

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  • hugh hungerford
  • 06-01-22

excellent story

same review as mine of friends and heroes which is 3rd in the Balkan trilogy

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