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Long Time Coming by Robert Goddard

Long Time Coming (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Robert Goddard

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2781240,656 (3.61)23
Title:Long Time Coming
Authors:Robert Goddard
Info:Transworld Publishers : London
Collections:Read but unowned

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Long Time Coming by Robert Goddard (2010)

  1. 00
    Restless by William Boyd (Bookmarque)
    Bookmarque: multi-narrator tale told deftly with flashbacks. A spy thriller with its own unique feel and approach.

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
A very clever interweaving of fact and fiction set in 1940 Dublin and 1976 England. Goddard takes the fact of Malcolm MacDonald's 1940 attempt to persuade Eamon De Valera to abandon Irish neutrality in WW2 and join the war on the side of the allies, then builds a convincing story around it, set partly in 1940 and partly in 1976. Stephen Swan returns home to England having given up his US job to find his uncle he thought was dead living with his mother and wanting him to help unravel a 36 year mystery. As always the real locations add to the authenticity of the plot and you ask yourself if perhaps it isn't a true story! Highly recommended. ( )
  edwardsgt | Jul 19, 2016 |
Stephen Swan is surprised when his uncle Eldritch, whom he had thought was dead, is released from an Irish prison after 36 years. Eldritch refuses to tell anyone why he was imprisoned or why he's been unexpectedly released. It's not long before other people are trying to find Eldritch and soon Stephen finds himself drawn into a mystery that began in 1940.

We discover that just before WWII Eldritch returned to England from Belgium, where he worked for a Jewish diamond merchant and art collector. Soon we are following a trail of events through an intricate plot concerning fake Picasso's and Irish politics. The story alternates between 1940 and 1976 and takes us to Antwerp, London and Dublin. Bit by bit we learn about Eldritch as a young man and what led to his eventual imprisonment. Another element to the story is the neutrality of Ireland at the beginning of WWII. Real life characters like Eamon de Valera, a hero of the 1916 Easter Uprising and current Tsoiseach (president) of the Irish Republic are key figures who interact with the fictional ones. As the plot thickens we can never be sure who is controlling events. It's an excellent book that combines real events with a fictional thriller, and enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing, but not too many as to be unbelievable.

I thought this was a great book but not up to some of Goddard's earlier works like In Pale Battalions and Into the Blue. Nevertheless it was still a really enjoyable book. ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jan 17, 2016 |
I hadn't read any Goddard in a good year or two when I read this. It felt good to be back on familiar territory. Although all Goddard's books have different, characters, time periods and settings there is a sense of sameness about them. If they are read one after another this can make them little boring but keeping a long gap between each read means it is like putting on an old pair of comfortable shoes. ( )
  cathymoore | Aug 18, 2013 |
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this story. Once again it is a book that combines a number of time frames - Dublin in 1942, England in 1976, and then later 2008. It asks the reader to understand a little of IRA history particularly during the war years.

The narrator is Eldritch Swan's nephew Stephen who had always been told his uncle was dead. The uncle will not reveal why he has spent 36 years in an Irish prison, but shortly after his mysterious release he is contacted by a lawyer whose client wants Eldritch to find proof that the a collection of Picassos were fake. The search brings Eldritch and his nephew into touch with people who were involved in the painting swindle, as well as a very influential ex-public servant who knows exactly why Eldritch has spent 36 years in prison.

Robert Goddard's books nearly always combine the present with the past and I always seem to find them enjoyable, so much so that they are almost comfort reading. Most of them are stand-alones ans so can be picked up at any time in any order.

David Rintoul does an excellent job of the narration. ( )
  smik | Sep 17, 2012 |
I admit, I have a soft spot for Robert Goddard's books. They never let me down. Ok, he may follow the same recipe over and over again: a young man is dragged - outside his will - into a case that has ties with both his personal life and historical events. This takes him all over the world and in the end all is resolved. This may sound boring and predictable but it doesn't prevent me from enjoying the result over and over again. It's like eating your favourite cake every now and then. You don't grow tired of that either, do you?
I savoured this one also and even moreso because a large part of the story was set in Belgium. It was so much fun to see how Goddard described Antwerp and Oostende. I was actually impressed with his accuracy. I won't give away too much about the story but it involved Picasso's paintings, the IRA, the second World War, Congolese diamonds and it all came together in one single story. I don't know how he does it, but Goddard keeps my attention from page one till the very last one. I've rarely put down one of his books before I finish it. That's why now I make special arrangements to be able to read at least 5 hours without interruption.
So I recommend this book to everyone who's interested in reading a stirring book without having to do too much effort. ( )
  JustJoey4 | Jun 13, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Robert Goddard is a consummate storyteller who constructs a narrative with the sleight-of-hand skills of a pickpocket. That special talent for manipulation is itself the theme of LONG TIME COMING, a titillating portrait of a charming con man who is outmaneuvered in one historical period and gets his revenge, nearly four decades later, by working that old black magic on his own nephew.

added by y2pk | editNew York Times, Marilyn Stasio (Mar 14, 2010)
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My mother surprised me when she announced that my uncle was staying with her. 
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
From The New York Times: Robert Goddard is a consummate storyteller who constructs a narrative with the sleight-of-hand skills of a pickpocket. That special talent for manipulation is itself the theme of Long Time Coming, a titillating portrait of a charming con man who is outmaneuvered in one historical period and gets his revenge, nearly four decades later, by working that old black magic on his own nephew.
Eldritch Swan, who was mixed up in an art theft executed under cover of the London blitz, spent 36 years in an Irish prison for a more serious political crime of which he refuses to speak. Released in 1976, he talks his nephew, Stephen, into finding evidence to establish the true provenance of those now famous paintings. But is that the only thing behind Eldritch’s elaborate subterfuges? And what are we to make of Stephen, who seems to have inherited both his uncle’s arrogance and his skill as a con artist? In the end, it’s a pleasure to have been strung along by such a master of the art.

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This is a tale of revenge and redemption, justice is the ultimate illusion. Stephen Swan follows the tale of his long-imprisoned uncle about stolen paintings that disappeared.

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