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Louis Paperback – February 19, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

Review

First, I should say that I am a sucker for a good spy book. However, this one was unlike anything else I've read. Louis is like James Bond without all the show. Yes, he's savvy. But this book presents Louis as a real person--someone you can't help but like, feel sorry for and relate to. This was a true page turner--gripping from the very first page. I especially enjoyed the modern history aspect and the great details of Louis' travels amongst historic events (two world wars and more). One of the best reads I've had in a while.
Review by B. Matthews.

About the Author

Derek Haines is an author of fiction, historical fiction, essays and poetry and writes his books from a view of what fascinates him and not from a formula based on one theme or genre. Starting with poetry before moving into essays and novels, his writing is varied but is always written in a style that communicates with and engages his readers. Most of all, the stories told by Derek Haines are about people, their feelings, regrets, hopes and struggles with life. Ordinary people, often a loser, but with extraordinary qualities that makes their story worth telling. While some stories reflect his own thoughts and beliefs, others are told from the view of characters who are sometimes dark and complex or childishly open. With splashes of allegory, black humour or simple satire, his stories can develop from the simplistic to the complicated and back again leaving the reader to decide if it is time to laugh or cry. Or both. Born in Australia, but now living in Switzerland with his wife and his dog, his stories cross a wide geographical range but often draw from elements of his life and experiences in the two countries he calls home. From the rugged, dry and hot desert country of Australia and its crowded cities to the cafés of Europe and the peaks of the Swiss Alps. The hustle and bustle of Sydney to the quiet life of the Swiss countryside. When not writing, he is usually doing what he equally enjoys. Teaching English.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1450535526
  • ISBN-13: 978-1450535526
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,234,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Derek Haines is an author of quite a number of books, however, he spends most of his time blogging, making technology go horribly wrong, and being a rather senior ESL English teacher.

Born in Australia, but now living in Switzerland with his wife and his black Cocker Spaniel, he passes many hours, trying to make technology work again, after inadvertently breaking it. It's a painful process, yet it's such an effective self-study method in acquiring new technological skills.

As I'm a writer - I can change adroitly from the third person into the first person, and say that I love what I do and where I live, and also, that I am a Douglas Adams fanatic, bordering on a tragic. So much so, that by some spooky coincidence, my street address is 42. That's so much more impressive than simply owning a towel and having ready access to peanuts and beer.

However, peanuts and beer are extremely important, as they provide essential sustenance during my bouts of obsessive writing, which although rare, usually take place in a horizontal position.
I should mention here that I am very fond of acronyms, anagrams, allegories and alliteration, also.

In addition, I quite like commas. The Oxford type, or otherwise. However, quite perversely, I am not enamoured by quotation marks. I use them, singularly if possible, but even then, only under sufferance. As for semicolons; who really knows how to use them?

Aside from my never-ending punctuation conundrums, I enjoy life, good food, wine, beer, and I take each day as it comes - thankfully.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By jenku on November 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
"Louis" is the fascinating story about a man who had little choices in his life, yet lived a life many a young boy dreams of living. Raised from early childhood to become a spy, he is sent to places like Egypt, Switzerland, Palestine and South Africa. Still, his life is a lonely one, without the company of a woman or family. Whether it is all true or not doesn't really matter, it's a fascinating tale to read and Derek Haines' easy style of storytelling makes it a enjoyable read throughout.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mary Crocco on March 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
Louis, by Derek Haines

Derek Haines describes his friend, Louis, as an enigma. He reflects how Louis was someone who taught him how to imagine. Haines engages his readers to travel alongside Louis to all parts of the world. At the end of the trip, we all wish we were friends of Louis.

Teremum was born in Cairo. As a young boy, his almost non-existent family contributed to a perfect resume for being a spy in the British Secret Service. As a spy, Louis led a secret life where he used both his Egyptian and English heritage to his advantage. He used different names to match his secret identities. He was a compassionate man who completed his missions with integrity. As a spy, he had to kill and also be a target. We feel his triumphs and his pain as we travel with Louis.

Louis is a historical fiction, and the author shares his secret life during both World Wars. Readers feel the emotions, the ups and downs, that Louis experiences. One of my favorite phrases in the book is . . . his mind started to wander the corridors of his life again. Derek Haines's words sum up how Louis felt after suffering a severe stroke. Throughout the book, Derek once again makes us feel his characters true to life.

The ending was abrupt. I selfishly wanted the last chapter expounded. Without spoiling the ending, I am thinking, maybe a sequel Derek?

[...]
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By George Goehl on March 21, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel definitely held my interest. Lots of twists and turns. Filled with interesting characters. Reading this book was time well spent.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jack Eason on March 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
Take a child of mixed race born in the early twentieth century and give him over to a woman, not his birth mother, to bring up. Then when he is twelve, send him away from his home country to a boarding school in England, then on to Oxford University. What do you get from this far from unsatisfactory beginning - Derek Haines' hero Louis, an intelligence officer in the employ of the British government?

Half Egyptian, half English, fluent in many languages and adept at his job, we follow Louis through his many guises and name changes, a requirement for his own protection in the nineteen twenties and thirties, and more particularly so, through the second world war.

In short, Derek has written a beauty here. If you love history as I do, especially if you love twentieth century history, then with the shadowy world of espionage thrown into the mix for good measure, you will enjoy following Louis' journey through his life as I did.

Should I wax lyrical about the story at this point, I would be giving away a truly brilliant read. Suffice to say, if you don't feel you have read a great tale told well when you reach the last page, then quite frankly you seriously need help.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bishop Joey on February 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
Instead of a Bond-like adventure in which the hero gets in a shedload of trouble, gets the girl, kills the baddies and fights another day, Louis takes on a MI6 operative's entire life, starting with youth as a Cairo orphan through pre-WWII Europe and post-War Palestine. Gripping and swift reading all around. I'd have liked to know more about the secondary characters, and perhaps have seen a page or two from one of those black notebooks, but all-around good stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By You can call me Lynn on March 19, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I think of this as a biography based on the stories of an older man told to a younger one.

Louis is but one of the many names this gentleman acquired over the years. He was born in Cairo and was groomed to be of service to the British Government. His life was never his own. His secrets many.

I enjoy biographies but this one was unique. It begins toward the end of life and then you see glimpses of the life that came before. Mr. Haines interjects the right amount of historical contexts and geography to make the reader feel as though he or she is there on the journey alongside the main character. I also enjoyed the little twist of fate at the end.

Warning: This book is for Mature Audiences due to violence, some adult language and a hint of sexual situations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on May 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Alright, it started out a little boring, and it had a few boring parts throughout the whole book. The characters were alright but I thought a book about the life of a spy would be more interesting. There was not slot of adventure.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bex on August 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"Louis" is un-put-down-able. It is a more realistic version of James Bond. The protagonist is someone that it is impossible not to care about. Louis could have penned Green Day's "I Walk Alone". The ending was surprising.
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