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Field Gray (A Bernie Gunther Novel) Hardcover – April 14, 2011
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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
Interesting story with the fast paced action which characterizes Kerr. The best part is Maugham's description abd the spies.Published 11 days ago by Matko Koljatic
This is the worst so far. No one knows what an author thinks for sure based on characters, but based on Bernie Gunther, the author must think the USA is 99% as bad as Nazi Germany... Read morePublished 1 month ago by joe-maryland
Gunther fans will enjoy this latest iteration, but it is not Kerr's best effort. The plotting is far-fetched, and the editing flabby.Published 1 month ago by Tim Littrell
Shows an acute understanding of the way tyranny can develop and how the best intentions become sacrificed by the instinct of survival. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Henry Wyld
Surely not the best Bernie Gunther novel. Still, a good read for the die-hard Guntherite.Published 3 months ago by Christos K
I like Kerr's character very much. I also generally like this book, however the story played out in a somewhat disjointed way while filling an a lot of information about Gunther's... Read morePublished 3 months ago by David Bannister
What a terribly story. So many atrocities comitted by the nazis, the russians.......this is I'd guess the sadest story of the series. Read morePublished 4 months ago by JLTRAVA