HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Arrr! (Celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day)
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Island Madness by Tim Binding
Loading...

Island Madness (edition 2000)

by Tim Binding

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
166571,708 (3.43)12
Member:DeltaQueen50
Title:Island Madness
Authors:Tim Binding
Info:Carroll & Graf (2000), Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:British Historical Fiction, WWII, Guernsey Island, TIOLI #10: Read a Book With a Photograph on Cover

Work details

Island Madness by Tim Binding

None

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 12 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
Not having much background into WWII history, I did have to "stop and review" a few places but was well worth it. This is a wonderful story about ordinary people living in an extraordinary time and situation. Both the Germans and the English are presented as real people struggling with the times. Will look for more by this author. ( )
  maryreinert | Aug 16, 2013 |
In Island Madness by Tim Binding, it is 1943, the tide of war is slowing changing but on Guernsey Island, the Germans are still the occupiers of this small part of Britain. On the surface life appears fairly serene, parties are held, amateur theatre performances are given, the daily business of life goes on, but underneath resentments are building with smuggling and black market operations coming into play.

When a young local girl is found murdered, suspicion falls on many. As she was one of the women that openly associated with the Germans, was this a reprisal murder, or is it a case of a young girl falling into the hands of some soldiers at the wrong time, or is this something else entirely?

Island Madness is a well written account of the German occupation of Guernsey Island. In subtle ways the author shows the impact of war upon this community. The storyline raises the question of morality and responsibility during wartime, as it makes it’s point that what is acceptable during wartime would not be condoned during times of peace. I enjoyed this story and really liked how the author didn’t make all the Germans bad and all the British good. Each character has their own choices to make according to their own moral makeup.

While the murder plot is at the heart of this story, Island Madness was much more about how one prioritizes one’s values during times of crisis. On Guernsey Island we see that although some collaborated and some resisted, many simply put their heads down and tried to endure. ( )
2 vote DeltaQueen50 | Dec 14, 2012 |
This isn't a 'what if' book about the War, but one that shows us how the inhabitants of the Channel Islands dealt with being occupied by the Germans during the Second World War. The occupation is a fascinating story in itself - a source of pride to the Germans, and a huge consumer of German resource and Eastern European manpower, the islands were cut completely loose by Churchill and the islanders who chose not to, or weren't able to, escape were very much on their own. Binding's depiction of collaboration and resistance, of a world where sometimes social class seems more important than nationality, and of the way in which individuals negotiate their own fate against a background of barely incomprehensible events, is fascinating. The thriller plot (the murder of a local girl who was too friendly with the invaders) offers a good hook off which to hang these complexities - people are not always what they seem, and - even in war - morality is not always black and white.
  otterley | Nov 13, 2011 |
I could find nothing of interest in this novel. It is laid on Guenrsey Island druing World Wa Ii when the Nazis occupied the island. It relates at great length the sexual activities of the Germans and of the local women on the island. There is a murder but to call it a mystery story is to demean that genre. I thought the book a bore and only finished it because I finish books I start nearly always ( )
  Schmerguls | Oct 4, 2009 |
My second book by Binding after A Perfect Execution (99:17). This is better, much more ambitious, but I think it suffers from some of the same flaws as the earlier one.

The story is set on the island of Gurnsey, the only piece of English territory occupied by the Germans in WWII, and it concerns the intertwining lives of the locals and the Germans, in particular the passive aggressive attitude of many of the islanders who accept the inevitable, but who seethe against those, mainly young women, who find fun and frolic with some of the Germans. The basic flaw is that the novel has too many angles that are, more or less, connected, but which detract from a greater sense of coherence. And there are too many stereotypes: the sensitive German officer (initially questioning, and totally disillusioned after the debacle of Stalingrad, descriptions of which come forward a couple of times); the cold, calculating secret police officer; the rapacious, corrupt head of the Todt organization for the island who gets his jollies measuring and photographing breasts; the stolid local policeman who is not too imaginative, but is kind and decent; the fun-loving but wayward girl who gets way in over her head with the Germans; the slightly mad construction magnate who goes off the deep end with the murder of his daughter and who is then a vehicle to explore the inhuman conditions in which the forced labourers lived; the innocent young labourer from the Ukraine, captured and imprisoned by the Germans, who witnesses the murder of the young woman and unknowingly holds the key to the identity of the murderer; a young woman who has "fallen", into a life of loose morals, but who befriends the young labourer and who has an essential goodness that is to be rescued. None of the characters really develop as much as just play out their parts.

This may all be a bit harsh: the writing is fluid, the tensions between the occupied and the occupiers and the compromises required to stay alive are developed, and the mystery of the young woman's death is well presented. Again, I think the structure could have been improved with better focus.

The metaphor is an important element in writing, and well done it can be a powerful device; not well done, it can be trite and boring. Binding has a good turn with metaphors, for example:

...he was a pasty man and indignation quivered on him like cooked fat on the
bone.

When her guard was up, the hard quality of her character surfaced and split her haughty composure like fissures on a rock.

...news of his tragedy had not travelled then, though it seemed to follow him in his wake like a draw of a great ship, churning the settled ground of occupation for the scavengers to wheel above in heady excitement.
  John | Dec 1, 2005 |
Showing 5 of 5
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0330350463, Paperback)

'The island in question is Guernsey, during the German occupation in the Second World War, and the book itself is part thriller, part love story, and wholly engrossing on the subject of occupation and its moral choices. Who can be confident today how he or she would have behaved under such circumstances?' Antonia Fraser, Books of the Year, Sunday Telegraph 'How close is the relationship between menace and protection, how powerful the seduction of treachery and how intense the relationships forged in the crucible of a small island are vividly demonstrated by Binding...a novel of rewarding subtlety and insight into the best and worst of human nature' Jane Shilling, The Times 'Tim Binding is a very clever writer...As a murder- mystery, this is immensely readable. But it is much more than that...a thought-provoking study of men and women in a time of madness' Simon Linnell, Daily Telegraph 'Binding captures the essence of life under occupation with fine description of character and a taut plot...There are heart-stopping twists and turns in the way in which people behave and react...This is high-class fiction: tense, compassionate, surprising and moving' Catherine Pepinster, Independent on Sunday

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:39 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

During World War II, a German officer and a British policeman jointly investigate the murder of a woman they both loved. It happens on Guernsey, a British island under German occupation.

(summary from another edition)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
7 avail.
3 wanted
1 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.43)
0.5
1 2
1.5 1
2
2.5 1
3 8
3.5 1
4 11
4.5
5 3

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,708,240 books! | Top bar: Always visible