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What did you like best about A German Requiem? What did you like least?
This was my first audiobook and I'm still struggling with the idea that a stranger imposes on my imagination. This may tint my review.I did like the description of post-war Berlin, it seems rather authentic and makes a really special setting for the story. And the pitch of a German ex chief superintendent working in the post-war confusion is really interesting! Alas, to me, that's it. The characters are rather banal, the women are all obnoxious, and the main charakter is a Los Angeles private eye from the early 60ies lost in the wrong plot. I was convinced that this book was written in the 50ies by some American too far away to be bothered: I would have excused the triteness and the sexism as being testament to those times. But no, the author is a contemporary Scotsman, and apparently he even got awards for his books. I feel that the book is the equivalent of an early James Bond movie: I understand why people could like them and consider them being pop culture, but I just think they're antiquated and bloody stupid.
Would you be willing to try another book from Philip Kerr? Why or why not?
No. I'll leave these to people that like old James Bond movies. But I'll try a John Le Carré.
What do you think the narrator could have done better?
Now there's maybe a reason why I couldn't hook up with the book: the narrator. He must have been chosen with care, and I imagine the reasons: he has this deep, manly voice (the lead is a deep, manly man), speaks a very broad American English (Berlin Noir - L.A. Noir, get it?) and he can do accents really well (all foreigners have awfully thick accents, as everybody knows, and in this case, even the locals do, because Germans speak English with a German accent, except the German lead, who speaks English with an American accent, go figure). And those are exactly the reasons I don't like it. I'm not 5 years old, I don't need a narrator to do voices! When I first heard his impression of a Russian soldier, I was simply irritated, when it came to the lead's wife, I had to laugh out loud, it was ridiculous. Again, maybe some people like this kind of taletelling, I prefer a professional narrator (not a manqué actor!) to stay neutral, in the background and not construe the author's words.I still give 4 stars for the performance, because after all the narrator did deliver what I guess he was asked for.
Was A German Requiem worth the listening time?
I don't know if I will finish it. I'll try since I paid.
Any additional comments?
If anyone can recommend good narrators...?
This could have been a good listen but for the fact that the narrator who was supposed to be German had an American accnet which reminds one of the Micky Spillane radio series. Yet the narrator showed that he was quite capable of sounding like German accented English. This spoiled it for me.
Having listened to A German Requiem (and thoroughly enjoying it) I couldn't help noting Mr Kerr's homage to Chandler et al (bits of McBain, Elroy as well) being fully displayed in the way the novel worked as I listened to it. Also there was a feel of The Third Man (as well as getting a plug in the actual story) and I loved the way his first person structure depicted the desperate immediate post-war atmosphere of the defeated Germany and Austria through the eyes of Gunter. In the end I was rooting for this poor battered hero as he triumphed over his adversaries while at the same time achieving an almost cathartic closure to his past indiscretions. I wonder if there is (or will be) a sequel to this very accomplished novel. There should be.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Another excellent thriller set in post WW2 Berlin. It is read and performed very well.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful