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Liberation Movements by Olen Steinhauer

Liberation Movements (2006)

by Olen Steinhauer

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1334139,305 (3.58)11
In 1975, a People's Militia homicide investigator is on a plane for Istanbul when it is hijacked and then explodes in midair. The two investigators assigned to the case believe that their superiors are keeping them in the dark but don't know why, until they learn that everything is connected to a seven-year-old murder.… (more)



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meh. interesting for his fans as it's an early work, but only so-so. hard to maintain interesting with all the jumping back and forth in time. ( )
  viking2917 | Sep 27, 2019 |
Also the fourth volume of the Eastern Bloc series has been thrilling from the beginning. This part switched back and forth between the student riots in Prague (1968) and a few years later in Kiev and Istanbul. At first, I did not understand why this had to be so. Nevertheless, both parts were very important and over time, I also saw the connection behind it. Steinhauer has a main theme in every book in this series. This time it's about parapsychological experiments that were carried out on people who were in asylums by Russian scientists and their allies. Of course, the secret service has its fingers everywhere. The subject of homosexuality also gets its place, as this was of course strictly prohibited. If you were discovered you came in great danger for your life.
This story is great written and grabbed me until the end. ( )
  Ameise1 | Jan 28, 2019 |
I really not sure I know what to feel about this one. Apart from a certain amount of disappointment.

Come on Olen, I know you can do better than this.

To be honest, I'm not even completely sure I know what it was all about. Which is why I'm a little disappointed, as I was tremendously impressed by and thoroughly enjoyed the two previous books of his I've read.

Istanbul Variations really is nowhere near as good as it should have been, based on that previous experience. Nowhere near as mind-bogglingly good and memorable as they were, or this should have been. It's only because I'm holding the book in my hands right now, that I can remember what happened. In fact, I think I feel really rather ambivalent about it. Take it or leave it. As detached from the story as the story seemed detached from me, the reader. There was very little feeling of involvement got out of me, the reader. It was all seemed more than a little 'at arm's length'. Like watching the story unfold while being the other side of a misty window from it. Rather than being in the room with it. If you understand what I mean.

I'm guessing (and of course no doubt guessing wrongly), but it seemed like he wrote a full story, then took out a lot of the explanations and plot detail, in an attempt to make it seem a lot more exciting, pacey, lean and interesting. Like it would be a challenge to us, to do some work to figure it all out. But I think he left too much out. Perhaps not to the detriment of the tale. But to the detriment to gaining my involvement, making me care. I kept going back over a section to see if I'd missed the line that would make the difference. Never found it.

What's it about?! Istanbul, 1975, Cold War (eastern) Europe, airport, hi-jack, plane crash, investigation, Prague Spring, treachery, dredging up the past, mind-control…and that's where it left me behind.

However, as I so much enjoyed the others I have read, and because I have a couple more up on the shelf there - I will give more Olen Steinhauer a go. ( )
  Speesh | Mar 29, 2014 |
This is the fourth in a series of novels written about an un-named Eastern Bloc country. Each of the novels happens 10 years apart. This one happens in 1975. All the protagonists have lived in this repressive country and are searching for liberation. The married man is looking for liberation from the oppression of marriage; the homosexual is looking for liberation from the oppressive government that not only does not approve of his life style but will likely take drastic actions against him when he is discovered to be a homosexual; the psychic is looking for liberation from the government that tried to mold her into a weapon to be used by the state; and, the policewoman is looking for freedom from the need for revenge that she wants for the death of her lover 7 years earlier. But freedom, like everything else in life, is not simple. It's messy and there is a price you did not know you would have to pay that goes with it.

I have not read the first 3 books in this series. I did not feel that it was necessary as I was reading the book, but since finishing it I have read other reviews and recognized that the people who had already ready the first 3 books rated this one higher than I did. It may help if you read it in the context in which it was written. Since it is a look at the country and what happens in that country it may in fact improve the reader's enjoyment and understanding of this book if you read the others first. ( )
1 vote markatread | Apr 5, 2009 |
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