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Field Gray (A Bernie Gunther Novel) Hardcover – April 14, 2011
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More About the Author
"I loved Berlin before the wall came down; I'm pretty fond of the place now, but back then it was perhaps the most atmospheric city on earth. Having a dark, not to say black sense of humour myself, it's always been somewhere I feel very comfortable."
Having left advertising behind, Kerr worked for the London Evening Standard and produced two more novels featuring Bernie Gunther: The Pale Criminal (1990) and A German Requiem (1991). These were published as an omnibus edition, Berlin Noir in 1992.
Thinking he might like to write something else, he did and published a host of other novels before returning to Bernie Gunther after a gap of sixteen years, with The One from the Other (2007).
Says Kerr, "I never intended to leave such a large gap between Book 3 and Book 4; a lot of other stuff just got in the way; and I feel kind of lucky that people are still as interested in this guy as I am. If anything I'm more interested in him now than I was back in the day."
Two more novels followed, A Quiet Flame (2008) and If the Dead Rise Not (2009).
Field Gray (2010) is perhaps his most ambitious novel yet that features Bernie Gunther. Crossing a span of more than twenty years, it takes Bernie from Cuba, to New York, to Landsberg Prison in Germany where he vividly describes a story that covers his time in Paris, Toulouse, Minsk, Konigsberg, and his life as a German POW in Soviet Russia.
Kerr is already working on an eighth title in the series.
"I don't know how long I can keep doing them; I'll probably write one too many; but I don't feel that's happened yet."
As P.B.Kerr Kerr is also the author of the popular 'Children of the Lamp' series.
Top Customer Reviews
In some respects, Field Gray reads like the autobiography of Bernie Gunther. Unfortunately, the narrative shifts ground so often, and Gunther seems so detached from the story he tells, that the novel fails to create an emotional resonance between the reader and its subject. What makes Field Gray worth reading is Philip Kerr's creation, in Gunther, of a morally complex man, one who is neither entirely good nor primarily bad, who tries to survive in an evil environment without becoming wholly corrupted by it. At one point Gunther is described as "a victim of history," an apt label that gives him an interesting perspective upon the era that is the novel's focus.Read more ›
These first five novels in the Bernie Gunther saga made me wonder about Bernie in the years before the Nazi assumption of power and what Bernie was doing during the war. In the sixth novel in the series, IF THE DEAD RISE NOT, we learn the answer to the first question. The book begins with Bernie having left Argentina for pre-Castro Havana, but it then flashes back to Berlin in 1934, as the Nazis consolidate their power.
Now, in FIELD GRAY, the seventh novel in the series, we see what Bernie did during the war, during the chaos of the immediate postwar period and in 1954, when he is spirited back to Europe and made a pawn in the deadly espionage games of the various spy agencies engaged in the Cold War.
In recent years, long-secret documents about Russian activities during WW2 and the actions of the East German secret police before the fall of the Berlin Wall have been made available. It is apparent that Philip Kerr has some familiarity with the history revealed by those documents.Read more ›
Bernhard Gunther is his own man. "I don't want to be the coin in anyone's pocket," he insists. He has been through hell and believes that he has earned the right to some peace and quiet. Instead, agents of the American government kidnap and interrogate him incessantly. Bernie censors what he tells his captors, but reveals a great deal about his activities and associates during the Second World War, his ordeal in a Russian labor camp, and his hatred for fanatics and arrogant ideologues. Bernie is the ultimate pragmatist whose sharp intellect, quick tongue, and street smarts have enabled him to outwit his antagonists on numerous occasions.
Gunther is a sassy, funny, and sarcastic first-person narrator. He likes to banter with people who could have him summarily executed; he displays his trademark bravado and insouciance when faced with the prospect of his imminent demise. We are treated to countless examples of Gunther's cynicism and world-weariness. Just before he is deported to Germany, for example, Bernie glimpses the Statue of Liberty and quips, "I had the peculiar idea that the lady in the toga was giving the Hitler salute. At the very least, I figured the book under her left arm was missing a few important pages."
Unfortunately, "Field Gray" is wordy and annoyingly static.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bernie Gunther is no longer the Sam Spade of pre-war Berlin. Something happened to him in his post-war travels to Latin America - or maybe it happened to Kerr in the decade between... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Smalls
Kerr's detective lives through a harrowing segment of modern history. The horrors of the war for people on the ground and the little known aspects of the fate of German POWs.Published 1 month ago by Reader in the Caribbean
The best if the Bernie Gunther novels. Unputdownable. Will take you with the wonderful Bernie from 1956 Cuba to 1940 Germany France and Russia by way of pow camps and Vichy... Read morePublished 3 months ago by fiona sinnott
Another superb Bernie Gunther thriller by Philip Kerr. The plot has far too many twists and turns to even attempt to summarise it but suffice to say it contains all the ingredients... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Dr. R. Brandon
Bernie does it again! He gets beat up, thrown in jail, used as a Cold War pawn yet in the end outfoxes them all. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Bob Groseth
I have read the majority of this author's Bernie Gunther Novels and this might be his best. It was an a great story except for the way it ended. Read morePublished 3 months ago by howard thompson
This is a story in which Kerr underscores the horrific violence that accompanied WWII and the years that followed. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Shary