- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; First Edition edition (February 1, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1408818582
- ISBN-13: 978-1408818589
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 161 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,861,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Waiting for Sunrise Paperback – International Edition, February 1, 2012
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Like all of Boyd’s novels “Sunrise” has a multiplicity of sub-plots from a psychosexual problem that takes our hero to Vienna for treatment with no-one less than Freud, to a sexual cure curtesy of one Hettie Bull, to working as a translator in a wartime internment camp, to taking on the identity of a Swiss railway engineer in the hunt for the traitor. There is much more. All very William Boyd.
Reading the novel we travel in London, Vienna and France, with a complex cast of characters in each of these locations. Along the way we explore psychiatry, espionage, and love. Rief’s experiences remind us that the human mind is endlessly baffling, complex and irrational. Boyd is an expert at developing a network of pacy and well-written plots.
If you are regular reader of William Boyd novels you won’t be disappointed with this one. If you haven’t read Boyd do yourself a favour. You don’t know what you are missing.
Was the story in the book a true one, or one created by the protagonist as some kind of alternate reality resulting from Rief's practice of "parallelism" and his use of the hallucination-inducing sleeping medicine? Who was really behind Andromeda? Was the code key for deciphering Andromeda's messages a pure coincidence, or somehow related to Rief? What exactly did Rief do to precipitate the final meeting, and who did he expect to show up? What was Hettie Bull's real role? Honestly I was very confused...
I would give this 3.5 stars. The writing is very descriptive and engaging. But I think the actual plot is only decent. The side characters that make up the story weren't fully explained. There are a lot of hints of possible conspiracies, but as a reader you are never sure which ones to take seriously. This made for an unexplained story in my book. Maybe that's what reviewers chalk up to the psychological aspect of the story, but to me it just made it feel half-thought out at times.
The story is about a young actor who in early 1914 is undergoing the then new therapy through psychoanalysis in Freudian Vienna and further to his analysis goes through a hot carnal love story as a result of which he is unjustly accused and ensnared in the hands of the Austrian police.He saves himself with an imaginative escape assisted by his future colleagues in the SIS.
Back to England he tries to rebuild his life but the War and his past catch up with him. He is now an officer,following some adventure in the trenches,employed by the Secret Service,where he has additional adventures in the line of duty and his task to find a traitor in the British Headquarters, who is supplying with very damaging info the other side.
The story reminds vaguely of "Ashenden" by Somerset Maugham but is more profound ,following the young man as he grows through his choices,his handling of his family relations present and past,and how he is shaped both by chance ,the actions of others,the dramatic period around him and his own actions and libido.
It is an excellent atmospheric novel with accurate reproduction of the environment of the Period,correct even to the Menus of the times.Vienna and London places and Societies are vividly reproduced and the War provides the thrills of the story which is very well plotted and expertly delivered.
Very good literary prose and vivid dialogues,finely crafted characters and easy flow make this book a very pleasant companion of leisure time.
Allow some time after you finish it to think it over. It is worth it