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You go to William Boyd for a sophisticated British/European mystery-thriller and Boyd delivers again, here, as in Restless. Boyd is interested in motivation and intention, but the plot never bogs down in introspection. This is a classy mystery thriller with insight into British and European life and thought circa World War I.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
I have only recently discovered author William Boyd, and am now very much enjoying listening to all of his novels. If you are looking for a novelist who combines masterful plotting with excellent writing skills, you have found him. “Waiting for Sunrise” provides a good example of his work. I do agree with the other reviewers who complained about the ending of “Waiting for Sunrise” “leaving things hanging”: The story does feel a bit unresolved at the end. However, I think that, in defense of Mr. Boyd — and with apologies to spoiler-haters — the seemingly nebulous ending of this story might, in fact, be imputing a concealment maneuver to our protagonist, Lysander Rief: I think that he is concealing his own mother’s culpability for the treason around which this plot develops. See what you think ….
I have another reason for not having given “Waiting for Sunrise” five stars across the board. This reason will probably mean more to women listeners than to men. Early in the story, protagonist Lysander Rief is consulting with a psychoanalyst regarding his problem “of a delicate nature”: anorgasmia (his inability to have orgasms). “Extraordinary!” exclaims the psychoanalyst. “Anorgasmia — You’re the first I’ve seen!” Apparently this psychoanalyst has not had any female clients (although we encounter one in the analyst’s waiting room … hmmm …). Later on in the novel, after Lysander Rief has been “cured,” we get to hear all about his complete satisfaction … but nothing of his partner’s satisfaction. Feminists, beware — this oversight might annoy you. Author Boyd, take notice, for future novels!
Narrator Robert Ian Mackenzie treats us to spot-on characterizations via his superb command of voices and accents. I recommend “Waiting for Sunrise” to all listeners who appreciate historical fiction and realistic thrillers … with the feminist proviso stated above. Squeamish listeners (like me) need not worry: Even though “Waiting for Sunrise” takes place during the First World War, Boyd keeps graphic depictions of that war’s horrors to an absolute minimum, while still providing us with a credible sense of the times.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful