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Waiting for Sunrise by William Boyd
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Waiting for Sunrise (original 2012; edition 2013)

by William Boyd

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515None19,703 (3.56)34
Member:alexbolding
Title:Waiting for Sunrise
Authors:William Boyd
Info:Bloomsbury Paperbacks (2013), Paperback, 448 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:ww1

Work details

Waiting for Sunrise by William Boyd (2012)

2012 (12) 2013 (9) 21st century (7) ARC (4) Austria (10) British (7) ebook (7) England (7) English literature (7) espionage (32) fiction (79) historical (5) historical fiction (14) Kindle (17) literature (4) London (15) mystery (4) novel (15) psychoanalysis (9) read (4) read in 2012 (12) Roman (5) spy (16) Switzerland (6) thriller (10) to-read (17) UK (8) unread (4) Vienna (30) WWI (40)

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English (31)  French (1)  All languages (32)
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
This was a feverish read, very cleverly done. The ending is wonderfully enigmatic, raising the possibility that everything else in the novel is a lie or a reimagining of the facts to make them sit more comfortably with the protagonist. At face value, it's a WW1 espionage thriller, and a ripping yarn at that. Simultaneously, it's an exploration of the psyche and whether it's ever possible to really locate the truth, because we all have our own version of what the truth is. Wonderful stuff as usual from William Boyd. ( )
  missizicks | Apr 11, 2014 |
Six-word review: Impressive book left no lasting impression.

Extended review:

Oh, dear. This is a little bit embarrassing.

Well, maybe not so much for me, now that I think of it. Maybe for the book.

I finished Waiting for Sunrise on February 24th. As sometimes happens with a book that affects me strongly, or to which I have a complex reaction, I held off on writing my review. In this case, I wasn't too sure what to make of the ending and actually posted a request for comments that might help me to a better understanding of it.

There was no response.

And now, after just three weeks, I find that I can remember almost nothing of this book. I know that there was a lot of sex and sexual imagery at first, and that later it turned out that there was a point to all of it; and I know there was some sort of a complex scheme involving a persistent lover and concealed identities and secret messages. But somehow the rest has evaporated.

So--I gave it four stars, which is a very good rating for me, and now I find that it made almost no impression on me. I can remember more about books I listed in my journal two full years ago than I can recall of a novel I finished less than a month ago.

Hence this nonreview, which leaves me feeling a little foolish and also wondering what I think I'm doing when I rate a book anyway.

Well, I guess I enjoyed it. ( )
  Meredy | Mar 17, 2014 |
Disappointing. I was expecting a finale where all the separate events would link and make sense, but that didn't happen. ( )
  Estrela | Aug 1, 2013 |
My favorite part is when he has to crawl out of a British trench into No Man's Land so that he can be reported missing and crawl into a French so he can continue his mission. ( )
  picardyrose | Jun 25, 2013 |
More than just a crime novel. Part One did go on too long for me. It gets better as the book goes on. Lysander Rief, actor, caught up in spying in World War One. ( )
  reader68 | Jun 11, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
A thing is true by first light and alive by noon. (Ernest Hemingway)
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It is a clear and dazzling summer's day in Vienna.
Quotations
Maybe this is what life is like -- we try to see clearly but what we see is never clear and is never going to be.  The more we strive the murkier it becomes.  All we are left with are approximations, nuances, multitudes of plausible explanations. Take your pick. (p. 345)
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Book description
Vienna, 1913. Lysander Rief, a young English actor in town seeking psychotherapy, is caught up in a feverish affair with a beautiful, enigmatic woman—until she goes to the police to press charges of rape. Only a frenzied getaway plotted by two mysterious British diplomats saves him from trial. But after Lysander returns to a London on the cusp of war, the traumatic ordeal haunts him at every turn. The men who coordinated his escape recruit him to carry out a brutal murder. His lover shows up at a party, ready to resume their liaison. Suddenly plunged into the dangerous theater of wartime intelligence—a murky world of sex, scandal, and spies—Lysander must unravel a secret that threatens Britain's safety.
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Wrongly accused of rape, Lysander Rief, a young English actor, finds his life taking a dangerous turn when the men who help him escape a conviction recruit him for a lethal mission that leads him to a traitor who is linked to his family.

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