- Series: Gereon Rath Mystery Series (Book 1)
- Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: Picador (January 23, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250187044
- ISBN-13: 978-1250187048
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 56 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
Babylon Berlin: Book 1 of the Gereon Rath Mystery Series Paperback – January 23, 2018
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"The first in a series that’s been wildly popular in Germany is an excellent police procedural that cleverly captures the dark and dangerous period of the Weimer Republic before it slides into the ultimate evil of Nazism."―Kirkus Reviews
"James Ellroy fans will welcome Kutscher’s first novel and series launch, a fast-paced blend of murder and corruption sent in 1929 Berlin. Kutscher keeps the surprises coming and doesn't flinch at making his lead morally compromised."―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Volker Kutscher, who wrote the novels on which the series is based, has a similar disregard for the sanctity of his characters' lives as Thrones' George R. R. Martin." --The Spectator (UK)
"Conjures up the dangerous decadence of the Weimar years, with blood on the Berlin streets and the Nazis lurking menacingly in the wings."―The Sunday Times (London)
"Gereon's inquiries drag him through the mire of Berlin's underworld and the chaos of the politics of the period. Riveting and atmospheric."―Library Journal
"Gripping evocative thriller set in Berlin's seedy underworld during the roaring Twenties. A massive hit in its native Germany, Volker Kutscher's series, centered on Detective Inspector Gereon Rath, is currently being filmed for television."―Mail on Sunday (London)
About the Author
About the Author
VOLKER KUTSCHER was born in 1962. He studied German, philosophy, and history, and worked as a newspaper editor prior to writing his first detective novel. Babylon Berlin, the start of an award-winning series of novels to feature Gereon Rath and his exploits in late Weimar Republic Berlin, was an instant hit in Germany. The series was awarded the Berlin Krimi-Fuchs Crime Writers Prize in 2011 and has sold more than one million copies worldwide. He lives in Cologne.
About the Translator
NIALL SELLAR was born in Edinburgh in 1984. He studied German and translation studies in Dublin, Konstanz and Edinburgh, and has worked variously as a translator, teacher, and reader. In addition to translation work, he currently teaches modern foreign languages in Harrow. He lives in London.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
And honestly I really would love to start over again one day and see if I can't push on through and get a real feel for the world Kutscher created, and the people who inhabit it. I keep thinking that I'm missing something important, but damned if I know what it is.
So here's the bottom line: It's well written from a technical standpoint, but it never held my interest for very long, so I'd say that both the plot and the characters were uninvolving. The latter more so, which is always a problem for me. I'm of the opinion that character has to drive plot to make it worth reading. Overall, I'd rate it: Meh.
The TV show hurtles out of the blocks and never slows down. The book plods a bit. It’s a good police procedural but less special. I gather the TV show folded elements of the second book into the first. There was just a lot more going on in that.
Here, Gereon Rath is not on a special detachment from Cologne to Berlin as he is on TV. Needing a fresh start after a police-shooting scandal, he has moved here and, with his high-ranking police official father’s influence, gotten hired as a detective with the Berlin police. For now, he’s in Vice. He hopes to get on homicide.
There’s no mention of an affair with his brother’s widow, and the brother’s back story is different as well. Rath isn’t shell-shocked and morphine-addicted, as on TV; he joined the military near the war’s end but never saw combat. On TV, he’s more a hero, with his failings, such as his PTSD-related addiction and his affair with his sister-in-law, rationalized. Here in the book, he’s more an anti-hero, driven more by ambition and trying to prove himself, messing up his burgeoning relationship with Charlotte Ritter once she decides he used her to get inside investigative information.
The gold being smuggled, the Communist infighting, the left-wing demonstrations that turn violent, our cross-dressing countess - they’re all here, as is the brewing right-wing coup, Rath’s partner Bruno, and Rath’s landlady the lonely widow. A lot of the elements wind up differently, though.
And things between him and Charlotte get started much faster. Here, her nickname is “Charly” - very American flapper - while on TV it was “Lotte”, much more German, and there’s also little mention in the book of her impoverished family.
Still, I look forward to the second book. Understanding pre-Nazi Germany helps you understand what came later. And there's a special dimension to reading works in translation. What it loses in clarity it makes up for in authenticity.
Kutscher's Weimar Berlin is much more gritty than Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther mysteries (Berlin Noir: Penguin eBook (Bernie Gunther Mystery 1)), although the political nuance and struggles with Kutscher play a much more subtle role - and the "Golden Twenties" of Berlin are highlighted much more clearly. The story (for those unfamiliar with it) concerns a cop, Gereon Rath, newly reassigned to Berlin's police after a scandal in his native Cologne. Rath, seeking advancement and recognition, begins an independent investigation into a murder that quickly escalates into a web of intrigue: stolen Russian gold from a family fleeing the Soviets, the growing National Socialist movement, Berlin's criminal underground, and of course the on-gong political battles between the socialists and fascists. The story is complex and fast-paced. A recommended read.