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An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris

An Officer and a Spy (2013)

by Robert Harris

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,0266611,872 (4.24)138

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» See also 138 mentions

English (57)  Dutch (6)  German (1)  Italian (1)  French (1)  All languages (66)
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
I realize it was embellished for literary purposes, but that it was based on a true story make is almost unbelievable. Very well done. ( )
  VinceLaFratta | Sep 25, 2018 |
I realize it was embellished for literary purposes, but that it was based on a true story make is almost unbelievable. Very well done. ( )
  VinceLa | Sep 23, 2018 |
I wonder if there is anything more frightening than the misuse of great power against someone who is helpless to defend himself. If you have even been close to such a circumstance, it is harrowing. To have it done to you on such a great scale as experienced by Alfred Dreyfus is almost unthinkable. Add in a generous sprinkling of antisemitism, and you have more than the persecution of an individual, you have the precursor of things to come. For that reason, The Dreyfus Affair, as this episode of French history has come to be known, still figures, not only as a shameful part of French history, but as a major historic event.

This tale, however, is not the tale of Alfred Dreyfus alone. It is more importantly the tale of Colonel Georges Picquart, a man whose honor and sense of justice would not allow him to look the other way and whose involvement was thrust upon him by circumstances beyond his control. Although most of us who have any familiarity with The Dreyfus Affair at all are aware of Emile Zola’s involvement, the name of Col. Picquart was completely new and unknown to me. I am so pleased to have heard this man’s story, because I consider it the hardest of all things to stand for what is right when everyone around you turns the other way and encourages you to do the same. Harder still when you have so much to lose and nothing to gain. Difficult to do when you are in defense of someone you love and admire; nearly impossible when the other individual is not your intimate and in many ways unappealing to you even as a friend or associate.

If you believe in Karma, this book is fraught with it. Knowing that it is based on factual events makes it all the more compelling. As a bonus, Robert Harris has a marvelous writing style and sets the story in motion with mystery and spy craft and intrigue that is captivating. I enjoyed every moment and will not hesitate to read Mr. Harris again.
( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
Excellent novel on the Dreyfus-Affair centering on the story of Georges Picquart, an early French spy master, and the consequences of politically motivated bureaucratic group-think. ( )
  ajungherr | Mar 15, 2018 |

En Officer och en Spion är en bok till början inte utmärkte sig så mycket när jag började läsa den. Tvärtom så fann jag den en aning dryg att läsa, inte direkt långtråkig, men inte heller jättespännande. Det kändes som om det tog en väldig lång tid för något att hända. Men i grund och botten så är det egentligen nödvändigt när man ser till sista delen av boken när allting till slut brakar samman och Picquarts utredning äntligen ger utdelning.

Boken är trots allt välskriven och Robert Harris har gjort ett strålande jobb med att skriva en berättelse som är hemskt att läsa. Hemsk för att den är baserad på en verklig händelse och hemsk för att den visar det djupa hatet mot judar som rådde i Frankrike i slutet av 1800-talet och början av 1900-talet.

En Officer och en Spion skulle jag vilja säga är en viktigt bok att läsa ur ett historiskt perspektiv. Jag misstänker att Dreyfusaffären inte alltid är något som alla känner till och berättelsen om hur en oskyldig man kunde dömas för landsförräderi på grund av förfalskande av bevis och tvivelaktigt förfarande (hela rättegången är en fars) är viktigt att läsa om.

Tack till Bookmarks förlag för recensionsexemplaret!


An Officer and a Spy was a book that for me didn't really engross me from the beginning. I rather felt the story a bit dry, not boring, but just not overly fascinating to read. I felt it took quite a long time for anything to happen. However, that's actually necessary when it came to telling this story. However, towards the end of the book, everything turns on its head and that's thanks to the slowness of the story.

The book is well written (despite my moaning about the dryness). Robert Harris has written a great book that's a bit horrible to read. Horrible, because it's based on a real event and horrible because it shows the deep hatred against Jews in France during the end of the 19-century and the beginning of the 20-century.

I would say that An Officer and a Spy is an important book to read from a historical perspective. I suspect that the Dreyfus affair is something not everyone is aware of and this book about how an innocent man could be charged with treason because of falsified evidence and a dubious trial procedure is important to read.

Thanks to Bookmarks förlag for the review copy! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Dec 14, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
What Mr. Harris cannot do, because of this book’s small-bore details and his obvious need to be comprehensive, is offer an overall sense of what other forces contributed to this outcome of the case. The Dreyfus affair prompted an outpouring of angry voices, but Mr. Harris has filtered all that passion through the eyes of one exceptionally dispassionate and distant man, according Picquart the crucial stature of whistle-blower
added by ozzer | editNew York Times, Janet Maslin (Feb 3, 2014)

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Robert Harrisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kramer, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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'Major Picquart to see the Minister of War....'
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Book description
Paris, 1895: an army officer, Georges Picquart, watches a convicted spy, Alfred Dreyfus, being publicly humiliated in front of a baying crowd.

Dreyfus is exiled for life to Devil's Island; Picquart is promoted to run the intelligence unit that tracked him down.

But when Picquart discovers that secrets are still being handed over to the Germans, he is drawn into a dangerous labyrinth of deceit and corruption that threatens not just his honour but his life...
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"Robert Harris returns to the thrilling historical fiction he has so brilliantly made his own. This is the story of the infamous Dreyfus affair told as a chillingly dark, hard-edged novel of conspiracy and espionage. Paris in 1895. Alfred Dreyfus, a young Jewish officer, has just been convicted of treason, sentenced to life imprisonment at Devil's Island, and stripped of his rank in front of a baying crowd of twenty-thousand. Among the witnesses to his humiliation is Georges Picquart, the ambitious, intellectual, recently promoted head of the counterespionage agency that "proved" Dreyfus had passed secrets to the Germans. At first, Picquart firmly believes in Dreyfus's guilt. But it is not long after Dreyfus is delivered to his desolate prison that Picquart stumbles on information that leads him to suspect that there is still a spy at large in the French military. As evidence of the most malignant deceit mounts and spirals inexorably toward the uppermost levels of government, Picquart is compelled to question not only the case against Dreyfus but also his most deeply held beliefs about his country, and about himself. Bringing to life the scandal that mesmerized the world at the turn of the twentieth century, Robert Harris tells a tale of uncanny timeliness--a witch hunt, secret tribunals, out-of-control intelligence agencies, the fate of a whistle-blower--richly dramatized with the singular storytelling mastery that has marked all of his internationally best-selling novels"--… (more)

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