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The Good German by Joseph Kanon
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The Good German (2001)

by Joseph Kanon

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Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Kanon can just flat out write. It's that simple. But for better or worse, I put off reading this one after being severely disappointed by the movie version. Bad mistake on my part, and I've finally fixed it after getting enough nudges from friends who know how much I like Kanon's previous work. So now that I've read it? Great story, great narrative, great pacing, great setting. Yes, there is a pattern there. Dialogue is about the only area where he doesn't excel, but it's not as if the lines spoken are all clunkers, or anything. And Kanon can set a scene and evoke a setting as well as anyone writing today. Still, I was disappointed in the end by the ultimate motivations of the murderer (too prosaic for my tastes) and I was hoping for a plot twist involving the female lead. ( )
  jimgysin | Jun 19, 2017 |
My reading habits do not usually extend to novels, but this book, "the Good German" by Joseph Kanon, came to me as a gift in recognisiton of the fact that I lived in Berlin for 30 months from July 1961 through December 1963, and was witness to the Berlin Wall being built, President Kennedy's "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech, the Cuban Missle Crisis and so on. I have also been back to Berlin on other occasions since then, the most recent about seven years ago.

If one can ignore what I refer to as the OSS (obligatory sex scenes) that have become to modern literature what the ballet was to French opera in the 1800s, the book is interesting both as an unusual twist on the murder mystery genre, but also as an insight into what the Germans call die unverwandtliche Vergangenheit - the past that will never cease to be: i.e, the atrocities carried out under the National Socialist regime of Adolf Hitler.

But my own personal familiarity with Berlin added to the interest in, and the enjoyment I had from, the novel. I walked many of the streets indicated in the novel, visited East Berlin several times before and after the Wall went up, and found the author's placement of the action of the novel to be unerring in capturing the city as it was shortly after World War II. The title is an invitation to the reader to determine of his or her own accord what "The Good German" really was following the war. ( )
  BlaueBlume | May 25, 2016 |
On reading The Good German a couple of years ago, I loved it (see my earlier review at LibraryThing). Thus, I was eager to experience this book in an audio format. In my opinion, this book works well as an audio book. The narrator is excellent, and does each of the voices of the large cast of characters in distinctive styles, with accents appropriate to their nationalities (German, British, American). I found the narrated story to be every bit as engrossing as in print. The plot is intricate, with unexpected twists and perplexing mysteries, and at its heart, difficult questions about the sacrifice of moral principles for the sake of selfish and national interests. The abridgement is done skillfully, but someone less familiar with the story might find a few aspects hard to follow. Nevertheless, I came away from this audiobook impressed once again with Joseph Kanon's work, and eager to try more of his novels. ( )
1 vote danielx | Jan 7, 2016 |
Recommended by [a: Lavie Tidhar|572738|Lavie Tidhar|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1369652429p2/572738.jpg]
  supercoldd | Aug 27, 2015 |
An American reporter who lived in Berlin before WW2, returns in its immediate aftermath, to cover the Postdam conference and to find the woman he left behind.
The portrait of a bomb-ravaged Berlin, the people and the landscape, in the weeks after the Nazi surrender, is quite remarkable.
I watched the movie after reading the book. Skip it. They've changed the story in horrible fashion. It's awful. ( )
  BillPilgrim | Jul 14, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312426089, Paperback)

This compelling thriller is both a touching love story and a masterful portrayal of the struggle for geopolitical control of postwar Germany. Network correspondent Jake Geismar, who covered Berlin before the war, has returned to the devastated city, ostensibly to cover the Potsdam Conference but actually to find the woman he loves. Miraculously, Lena Brandt, Jake's wartime mistress, has survived. However, her mathematician husband is missing, and both the American and Russian intelligence services are hunting him. When the bullet-ridden body of an American soldier washes up on the shores of Potsdam in front of Jake's eyes just as Truman, Churchill, and Stalin convene the first postwar conference, Jake is plunged into a maelstrom of intrigue, corruption, and betrayal.

A brilliantly evoked portrait of a unique moment in history (the end of one war and the beginning of another), The Good German amply fulfills the promise shown by Joseph Kanon in his two earlier novels, Los Alamos and The Prodigal Spy. --Jane Adams

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:56 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

This compelling thriller is both a touching love story and a masterful portrayal of the struggle for geopolitical control of postwar Germany. Network correspondent Jake Geismar, who covered Berlin before the war, has returned to the devastated city, ostensibly to cover the Potsdam Conference but actually to find the woman he loves. When the bullet-ridden body of an American soldier washes up on the shores of Potsdam, Jake is plunged into a maelstrom of intrigue, corruption, and betrayal.… (more)

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