Munich
FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF FATHERLAND, CONCLAVE AND AN OFFICER AND A SPY.September 1938Hitler is determined to start a war.Chamberlain is desperate to preserve the peace.The issue is to be decided in a city that will forever afterwards be notorious for what takes place there.Munich. As Chamberlain’s plane judders over the Channel and the Fürher’s train steams relentlessly south from Berlin, two young men travel with secrets of their own.Hugh Legat is one of Chamberlain’s private secretaries; Paul Hartmann a German diplomat and member of the anti-Hitler resistance. Great friends at Oxford before Hitler came to power, they haven’t seen one another since they were last in Munich six years earlier. Now. as the future of Europe hangs in the balance, their paths are destined to cross again .When the stakes are this high, who are you willing to betray? Your friends, your family, your country or your conscience?

Munich Details

TitleMunich
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 21st, 2017
PublisherCornerstone Digital
ISBN-139781473519695
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Novels, Literary Fiction

Munich Review

  • James
    January 1, 1970
    ‘Munich’ is the latest thriller from the accomplished Robert Harris and is familiar territory for him – set in 1938 pre-war London and Munich. Harris’ latest novel tells the story of Anglo-German relations and negotiations culminating in the Munich agreement signed in the September of that year, with the aim of averting approaching hostilities.Whilst initially somewhat of a slow-burner, Harris soon draws the reader in and cranks up the tension. This fictionalised version of events is set against ‘Munich’ is the latest thriller from the accomplished Robert Harris and is familiar territory for him – set in 1938 pre-war London and Munich. Harris’ latest novel tells the story of Anglo-German relations and negotiations culminating in the Munich agreement signed in the September of that year, with the aim of averting approaching hostilities.Whilst initially somewhat of a slow-burner, Harris soon draws the reader in and cranks up the tension. This fictionalised version of events is set against the backdrop of real events and takes place over a period of only four days in September 1938. Viewed from the (fictionalised) perspective of Paul Hartmann (German diplomat) and Hugh Legat (British secretary to the PM) – both former Oxford scholars whose paths are potentially now set to cross under very different circumstances… Harris paints a very evocative and contrasting picture of both Pre-WWII London and Munich and the novel has his usual feeling of authenticity throughout. From start to finish Harris conveys a great period feeling as you would expect. The characters of Hartmann and Legat and their various (very human) endeavours throughout are well thought out and convincingly drawn.Neville Chamberlain’s political reputation has oscillated significantly over the decades following the signing of the Munich agreement and continues to do so. Robert Harris has had a long held fascination with Chamberlain and the Munich agreement and ‘Munich’ appears to be at least a partial attempt to cement Harris’ view of Chamberlain and this particular period of history. Whether Chamberlain was a truly astute politician and negotiator for peace, or a weak, misguided leader and naïve in his attempts to find peace with Germany clearly remains open to debate. How much this novel contributes to the historical debate is not particularly clear – it is however certainly a fascinating, engaging and thought provoking novel.Prior to reading ‘Munich’ I knew very little about the surrounding historical events – other than the headline/historical news so often shown of Chamberlain and his return and ‘Peace for our time’ speech. Whilst Harris’ novels such as this one are clearly and unashamedly fictionalised versions set against the backdrop of historical truths – part of Harris skill, is not solely his ability to write a great thriller, but his adeptness at making historical events and history feel not only fascinating, but very real and very accessible – the reader can easily identify with events and characters therein. Harris is also particularly skillful at breathing life into the otherwise larger than life historical figures, whether they be Chamberlain, Hitler or the many others he has written about – making them feel very human, very up close and personal – regardless of how attractive or abhorrent we may find them.Whilst ‘Munich’ may not be Harris at his finest, it is certainly not up there with ‘Fatherland’, ‘Enigma’ or the Cicero trilogy – nevertheless it is still an excellent, astutely written and well-paced novel and another valuable addition to Harris already impressive body of literary work – ‘Munich’ is his twelfth novel to date. For avid readers of Harris’ novels and anyone with an interest in this particularly pivotal period of European history – a must read.
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  • Toni Osborne
    January 1, 1970
    This novel is set over four days during the September 1938 Munich Conference where an agreement was signed between Hitler, Mussolini, Chamberlain and Daladier to settle the fate of Czechoslovakia. “Munich” is a tantalising game of “what if” and a glimpse on how things might have turned out. The story is told through the eyes of two men who were friends at Oxford but are now in opposite camps. The main players are Hugh Legat, private secretary to Chamberlain and Paul Hartmann, a diplomat in the This novel is set over four days during the September 1938 Munich Conference where an agreement was signed between Hitler, Mussolini, Chamberlain and Daladier to settle the fate of Czechoslovakia. “Munich” is a tantalising game of “what if” and a glimpse on how things might have turned out. The story is told through the eyes of two men who were friends at Oxford but are now in opposite camps. The main players are Hugh Legat, private secretary to Chamberlain and Paul Hartmann, a diplomat in the German foreign office. With a unique style, Mr. Harris skilfully weaves a gripping fiction with historical events and looks at those four days from both sides. Taking us behind close door is quite an achievement especially when taking something well documented and showing us something else. In this dramatization, both Legat and Hartman’s machinations affect the course of history. The story is quite slow to start with. The first third of the book is hugging the actual facts with grave-faced men coming in and out of their offices and minutia details involving the procedural of the two parties as they navigate the diplomatic path towards the summit at which the Sudetenland would be handed back to Germany. In the later part, when the dual plotline converges and we inch closer to the center of powers we discover Hitler’s true agenda….and more melodramatic scenes occur giving “Munich” a tad of suspense. Even with some excitement the story never reach the level of a high-octane page-turner I love to read. The tale nevertheless brilliantly evokes a sense of place and its vivid descriptions leading to the main event highlight why Mr. Harris is a master novelist who focuses on events surrounding the Second World War.I received this ARC for review from Penguin Random House Canada via Netgalleys
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  • Gram
    January 1, 1970
    In a nutshell, this is a revisionist history of the 1938 Munich Agreement masquerading as a World War II thriller. The action covers four days at the end of September 1938, when British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew to Germany to meet Adolf Hitler and the Prime Ministers of France and Italy - Édouard Daladier and Benito Mussolini. Their aim was to settle the question of Nazi Germany's annexation of portions of Czechoslovakia along its' borders which were mainly inhabited by German spea In a nutshell, this is a revisionist history of the 1938 Munich Agreement masquerading as a World War II thriller. The action covers four days at the end of September 1938, when British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew to Germany to meet Adolf Hitler and the Prime Ministers of France and Italy - Édouard Daladier and Benito Mussolini. Their aim was to settle the question of Nazi Germany's annexation of portions of Czechoslovakia along its' borders which were mainly inhabited by German speakers This would leave a new territory, named the "Sudetenland", which would subsequently become part of the German Reich.In a sub plot, a group of senior military officers and civil servants are plotting to overthrow Hitler and seize power, with the aim of restoring the German monarchy. One of their number is Paul von Hartmann who - through his time spent as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University - is acquainted with a young British member of the Diplomatic Service, Hugh Legat.The plot thickens when these two become involved in a bid to contact the British Prime Minister to show him official German government documents which prove that Hitler has already made plans to bring the whole of Czechoslovakia into the German Reich, with a view to expanding Germany's territory into Eastern Europe.By use of original speeches and documents from the Munich Conference along with newspaper articles and editorials from that time, the author Robert Harris presents an alternative view of events in which Chamberlain explains that his actions in obtaining the promise of "Peace for our time" (often misquoted as "peace in our time") from Hitler were based on the fact that if the Nazi leader reneged on this promise, he would be exposed and “the world will see him for what he is” - completely ignoring the fact that Hitler cared for nothing but power and the continuance of the Third Reich. Harris keeps the pace of this somewhat short book (only 350 pages) rattling along - and despite the plethora of names of all the diplomats and civil servants involved in the political manouvering at Munich - he has produced a reasonably enjoyable thriller intermingled with a well-researched history of a momentous event of the 20th Century.
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  • Bettie☯
    January 1, 1970
    Robert Harris is on sure ground in this brilliantly constructed spy novel set amid the politicking of Chamberlain’s last-ditch negotiations with Hitler
  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    Truly brilliant. A contender for book of the year.Review to follow shortly on www.forwinternights.wordpress.com
  • Susan Johnston
    January 1, 1970
    Princess Fuzzypants here:Sometimes I read a book that takes its time in drawing me in, Often the main characters are not strong enough to make me care what happens to them. And then there is a book like Munich. From the first page I was hooked, totally drawn into the story and the characters. While I was uncertain how the story would reveal itself knowing what the true history was, it nonetheless was riveting.It fleshed out some of the characters with little personal tidbits that helped them lea Princess Fuzzypants here:Sometimes I read a book that takes its time in drawing me in, Often the main characters are not strong enough to make me care what happens to them. And then there is a book like Munich. From the first page I was hooked, totally drawn into the story and the characters. While I was uncertain how the story would reveal itself knowing what the true history was, it nonetheless was riveting.It fleshed out some of the characters with little personal tidbits that helped them leap from the page as flesh and blood.It did not change the outcome. We all know what it was. However, it did perhaps, explain what turned out to be naïveté of monumental proportions. Perhaps Chamberlain realized it was not Peace in Our Time but Peace At This Particular Moment.The results would be the inevitable war. Might it have been avoided had those opposing HItler been more resolved. We will never know.I give this book a wholehearted five purrs and two paws up.
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  • Steve Cunningham
    January 1, 1970
    Robert Harris has the enviable knack of making you forget that you know the outcome of the events he is fictionalising and immersing you completely in the moment. The tension in Munich as Great Britain and Germany teeter on the brink of war during the Sudetenland Crisis of 1938 is palpable and compelling. Where this novel falls short of his very best work is that his principal protagonists - Hugh Legat, a British civil servant and Paul von Hartmann, a German Foreign Ministry official and anti-Hi Robert Harris has the enviable knack of making you forget that you know the outcome of the events he is fictionalising and immersing you completely in the moment. The tension in Munich as Great Britain and Germany teeter on the brink of war during the Sudetenland Crisis of 1938 is palpable and compelling. Where this novel falls short of his very best work is that his principal protagonists - Hugh Legat, a British civil servant and Paul von Hartmann, a German Foreign Ministry official and anti-Hitler plotter - fail to spark off the page quite as they should. The real events Harris is describing encompass enough tension and intrigue that the deceits and conspiracy he ascribes to his two main characters feel slight, ill-resolved and somewhat superfluous by comparison.
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  • Maine Colonial
    January 1, 1970
    I’m a big fan of Robert Harris’s work, and I’ve enthusiastically enjoyed Fatherland, Enigma, An Officer and a Spy and Conclave. I got Munich from the UK so that I could read it as soon as possible. Unfortunately, though this is certainly well written, I can’t recommend it.I am a longtime reader of fiction and nonfiction about the Nazi era, so I’m familiar with the events of the 1938 Munich agreement. Harris says he has long had a mild obsession with the subject, which explains why he has written I’m a big fan of Robert Harris’s work, and I’ve enthusiastically enjoyed Fatherland, Enigma, An Officer and a Spy and Conclave. I got Munich from the UK so that I could read it as soon as possible. Unfortunately, though this is certainly well written, I can’t recommend it.I am a longtime reader of fiction and nonfiction about the Nazi era, so I’m familiar with the events of the 1938 Munich agreement. Harris says he has long had a mild obsession with the subject, which explains why he has written what seems to me to be a very slight and somewhat puzzling novel.The novel is set over four days leading to the signing of the agreement to carve a large slice out of Czechoslovakia and serve it to Germany, and a joint statement of Prime Minister Chamberlain and Hitler that Britain and Germany never wish to go to war with each other. These are the documents that Chamberlain famously claimed would offer “peace in our time,” a claim smashed the next year with Germany’s invasion of Poland.The novel hews closely to historical fact, but introduces two diplomatic corps underlings, Paul von Hartmann and Hugh Legat, who take us behind the scenes. With these two fictional characters, Harris is also able to include a plot about the attempt of some elements in Germany to alert the British to Hitler’s real intentions; i.e., to claim more and more territory in Europe, even at the cost of war. Obviously, if any such attempt to alert the British and tank the agreement at the 11th hour occurred, it failed. I suppose this depiction of the attempt was supposed to be thrilling, but I’d say it’s barely interesting.Harris also seems to have a desire to rehabilitate Chamberlain’s reputation. History has painted Chamberlain as a dupe and a shameful appeaser. Harris seems to want us to believe that Chamberlain had no option, that Britain simply could not go to war in 1938, so Chamberlain made the best deal he could to avoid the invasion of Czechoslovakia and also got Hitler to sign the statement of pacific intentions. Frankly, I don’t buy Harris’s argument; I don’t even think he made much of a case for it, which is odd considering that rehabilitating Chamberlain seems to have been a major motivation for Harris’s writing this book.
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  • Brian
    January 1, 1970
    I have read all of Harris's books and really enjoyed them. Particularly liked those set in ancient Rome. He has a wonderful way of placing you in the period. He is able to subtly incorporate this into his books without detracting from his very well constructed plots.This book covers a four day period around the Munich Agreement prior to the declaration of the war with Germany. The author's coverage of this cataclysmic event and his portrayal of the central protagonists (Chamberlain, Hitler, Dala I have read all of Harris's books and really enjoyed them. Particularly liked those set in ancient Rome. He has a wonderful way of placing you in the period. He is able to subtly incorporate this into his books without detracting from his very well constructed plots.This book covers a four day period around the Munich Agreement prior to the declaration of the war with Germany. The author's coverage of this cataclysmic event and his portrayal of the central protagonists (Chamberlain, Hitler, Daladier, Mussolini etc) is masterful. His plotline involving Legat, his hero on the British side and his German friend Hartmann is not quite so strong. I found it just a little contrived at times. Overall still excellent.Quality writing - always exciting and clever.If you have not read him you are in for a treat.
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  • Mike
    January 1, 1970
    This is Harris at his best. If you've read Fatherland or Archangel or Conclave, you'll know what to expect. And you'll be reading this book rather than this review.A seemingly straightforward story but with subtexts you're not consciously aware of, the Munich talks of 1938 took place over a remarkably short period of time - the book covers 4 days. This is the story of 'ordinary' men on both sides, British and the German, attempts to avert war. Or ensure one.I've read a fair amount about the even This is Harris at his best. If you've read Fatherland or Archangel or Conclave, you'll know what to expect. And you'll be reading this book rather than this review.A seemingly straightforward story but with subtexts you're not consciously aware of, the Munich talks of 1938 took place over a remarkably short period of time - the book covers 4 days. This is the story of 'ordinary' men on both sides, British and the German, attempts to avert war. Or ensure one.I've read a fair amount about the events leading up to the Second World War and the action and, especially, the personalities in Munich ring very true.I've got an Officer and a Spy or Pompeii lined up next and I'm also going to buy the Cicero trilogy - Harris is that good.
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  • Ian Brydon
    January 1, 1970
    In his latest book Robert Harris has turned his attention to the Munich Conference in 1938, at which Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier, respectively the British and French Prime Ministers met Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini to discuss, and try to avert, Germany’s impending invasion of Czechoslovakia. This is a difficult subject for a writer of historical fiction to address. After all, the summit meeting has come to represent the epitome, or perhaps the nadir, of Western Europe’s policy In his latest book Robert Harris has turned his attention to the Munich Conference in 1938, at which Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier, respectively the British and French Prime Ministers met Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini to discuss, and try to avert, Germany’s impending invasion of Czechoslovakia. This is a difficult subject for a writer of historical fiction to address. After all, the summit meeting has come to represent the epitome, or perhaps the nadir, of Western Europe’s policy of appeasement that many think simply encouraged Hitler’s expansionist ventures. And that is another aspect of the problem: we all know the outcome.Harris is, however, sufficiently practised at historical fiction to take these obstacles in his stride. Rather than focusing on the leading players (Hitler, Chamberlain, Churchill etc.), he tells his through alternating narratives based on two senior officials within the rival entourages. Hugh Legat is a Third Secretary from 10 Downing Street, where he has gradually come to secured the confidence of the Prime Minister. Meanwhile Paul Hartmann is a cynical participant in the higher reaches of Hitler’s administration. He was previously in the first tranche of the restored Rhodes Scholar programme and studied in Oxford University, where he had become friendly with Legat. Known for the depth of his research, Harris manages the development of the plot very effectively. There is an intriguing comparison of the two civil service systems, and the hopes and aspirations of the different sets of officials. The evil of the Nazi administration requires no amplification, but the corresponding team in Chamberlain’s Number Ten is far from flawless, too. Petty and personal rivalries abound, which all adds to the tension.This is Harris at his best, on a par with his exploration of the Dreyfus affair, An Officer and a Spy.
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  • Jill Meyer
    January 1, 1970
    I've been a Robert Harris fan since "Fatherland" and "Enigma", though I was very disappointed in his latest book, "Conclave". I gave it two stars, I think, writing that it was almost cartoon-like in it's paper-thin characters and non-sensical plot. I was hoping the just published book, "Munich" would be better. Unfortunately, it isn't.There are two ways of writing history; non-fiction straight history and historical fiction. With historical fiction, the author takes a real event or person, and w I've been a Robert Harris fan since "Fatherland" and "Enigma", though I was very disappointed in his latest book, "Conclave". I gave it two stars, I think, writing that it was almost cartoon-like in it's paper-thin characters and non-sensical plot. I was hoping the just published book, "Munich" would be better. Unfortunately, it isn't.There are two ways of writing history; non-fiction straight history and historical fiction. With historical fiction, the author takes a real event or person, and weaves a fictional story along with the facts. Most historical fiction is "okay"; not every writer is Leo Tolstoy. Robert Harris takes the events and persons around the 1938 Munich "peace conference", where British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain "gives" Czechoslovakia to Adolf Hitler and so achieve "Peace in Our Time". (The same "peace" that would be shattered a year later when Germany invaded Poland and set of WW2.) Okay, the problem with Harris's book is not that events and real characters are dull (Harris drops "real" people into the plot with his fictional characters), but rather that the fictional characters he uses are cardboard thin and improbably good and lucky. There really weren't too many Nazi officials who were secretly plotting against Hitler in 1938 as there are in Harris's book. The British characters hanging around 10 Downing Street aren't any sharper. And there are just too many coincidences. Way too many....I think that if you're a long-term Robert Harris fan, you might be disappointed in "Munich". Read it, if you must, but maybe substitute the rereading of "Enigma" if you want a great WW2 mystery.
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  • Steven
    January 1, 1970
    Covering the four days just before, during and after the Munich conference in September 1938, this was a very good listen (*), combining fascinating history with a subplot involving the two main fictional characters, and some thought-provoking ideas about the possible motivations of the real people involved.Even knowing how the story must end, the author's very believable depiction of the tension, the overall atmosphere of the time and the historical characters (I particularly liked his depictio Covering the four days just before, during and after the Munich conference in September 1938, this was a very good listen (*), combining fascinating history with a subplot involving the two main fictional characters, and some thought-provoking ideas about the possible motivations of the real people involved.Even knowing how the story must end, the author's very believable depiction of the tension, the overall atmosphere of the time and the historical characters (I particularly liked his depiction of the machinations within Downing Street and his nuanced portait of Neville Chamberlain) really drew me in and although I knew quite a bit about those fateful times, I learnt quite a lot more in the course of the book. The book was clearly very thoroughly researched (confirmed at the end with a long list of references and site visits) and the way the novel is structured, it is easy enough to distinguish between the real history and the author's surmise. I enjoyed the subplot involving the fictional characters too, though that was more of a stretch at times and there was one loose end (about what happened to something rather than someone) that I would have liked to be cleared up, but those are just minor gripes about an excellent book and I was very close to giving it 5*.(*) I listened to the audio version read by David Rintoul, whose voice seemed to fit very well with period in which the book was set.
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  • Trish
    January 1, 1970
    Great stuff, as usual, from Robert Harris, and David Rintoul as narrator, does it proud. This is a familiar historical event, we’ve seen the Pathé newsreel footage, recycled in so many documentaries, and watched many of the main characters (those who survived the war) on BBC news in black and white. Oldies like me will have heard our parents talk about waiting, as children or teenagers, for the radio broadcasts that announced peace or war. With the release of classified government documents with Great stuff, as usual, from Robert Harris, and David Rintoul as narrator, does it proud. This is a familiar historical event, we’ve seen the Pathé newsreel footage, recycled in so many documentaries, and watched many of the main characters (those who survived the war) on BBC news in black and white. Oldies like me will have heard our parents talk about waiting, as children or teenagers, for the radio broadcasts that announced peace or war. With the release of classified government documents with the proper passage of time, historians have begun to reassess Chamberlain’s appeasement policy of 1938, and Harris takes advantage of this, while adding a speculative undercurrent. You do have to feel sorry for the poor Czechs whose country is being divided up in their absence, by Germany, Italy, UK and France. We need the EU! And the EU would be better if UK stayed. We absolutely do not need ultranationalist right-wing extremists. We cannot rely on any fatuous idea of a relationship with US to ensure our security and economic prosperity. The EU has preserved the peace among its members; given us common cause and promoted human rights. After three bloody wars in less than a century, France and Germany cooperate, and UK is set to become another Puerto Rico.
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  • Annabel Frazer
    January 1, 1970
    As a major Robert Harris fan, I really wanted to like this. It's set in his favourite era, WW2/Cold War, and has a tense premise around the Munich conference. I would not blame the spoilerific inevitability of the looming Second World War for the fact that I did not enjoy the book in the end - plenty of fiction teeters unnervingly on the brink of World War 1 or 2 and is all the stronger for it. But I simply found Munich too bogged down in its own historical accuracy. Perhaps Harris, a former jou As a major Robert Harris fan, I really wanted to like this. It's set in his favourite era, WW2/Cold War, and has a tense premise around the Munich conference. I would not blame the spoilerific inevitability of the looming Second World War for the fact that I did not enjoy the book in the end - plenty of fiction teeters unnervingly on the brink of World War 1 or 2 and is all the stronger for it. But I simply found Munich too bogged down in its own historical accuracy. Perhaps Harris, a former journalist, felt too much respect for a major historical event to invent things to happen in its shadow. But the result is a stolid, dense historical lesson of a book. Perhaps he would have done better to invent an imaginary conference at an imaginary other time in history, so that invention could fly as it should do.I've written a longer blog about the book which contains some minor spoilers:https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog...
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  • Flo
    January 1, 1970
    Robert Harris is one of my favorite writers. Enigma, Fatherland, The Ghost, An Officer and a Spy, Conclave--all excellent--so I looked forward to Munich, a retelling of the appeasement by Nevile Chamberlain of Hitler allowing Germany to walk into Czechoslovakia in 1938. Sad to say, I was disappointed. The writing is good, but there is very little story and a lot of history, which we already know. The two fictional protagonists, Hugh Legat and Paul Hartman, college friends now each working for th Robert Harris is one of my favorite writers. Enigma, Fatherland, The Ghost, An Officer and a Spy, Conclave--all excellent--so I looked forward to Munich, a retelling of the appeasement by Nevile Chamberlain of Hitler allowing Germany to walk into Czechoslovakia in 1938. Sad to say, I was disappointed. The writing is good, but there is very little story and a lot of history, which we already know. The two fictional protagonists, Hugh Legat and Paul Hartman, college friends now each working for their country's diplomatic corps, are boring. They come, they go, they meet with upper echelon diplomats, they meet, they come and go again...unexciting, no suspense, I skipped a lot. Except for the characterization of Chamberlain who really believed that what he was doing would avoid a world war, and the unbelievable amount of research involved, not a good book.
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  • Kevin McMahon
    January 1, 1970
    As with every Robert Harris book I was hooked from the beginning and could not put this down. As other have stated this book deals with 4 days at the time of the Munich Agreement in 1938 between Hitler, Mussolini, Chamberlain and Daladier. The story is told through the eyes of two former college friends, now on opposite sides, and what could have happened.The author does a great job of setting the time and place and the tension of the political toing and froing.I think I have said previously tha As with every Robert Harris book I was hooked from the beginning and could not put this down. As other have stated this book deals with 4 days at the time of the Munich Agreement in 1938 between Hitler, Mussolini, Chamberlain and Daladier. The story is told through the eyes of two former college friends, now on opposite sides, and what could have happened.The author does a great job of setting the time and place and the tension of the political toing and froing.I think I have said previously that a Robert Harris book is a must read and this one is no different.
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  • Robin Smith
    January 1, 1970
    Set in the days leading up to the Munich Agreement, the novel follows two junior civil servants - one English, one German - as negotiations take place in an attempt to avoid WWII. As an exploration of the Munich Agreement and its lead up, it is fascinating. As a quasi-espionage thriller, it is lacking, with the two main characters more vehicles to get us into the right rooms than intriguing in their own rights. 3 - 3.5 stars.
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  • Jeff Parry
    January 1, 1970
    I am a fan of Robert Harris but this was a weak book. Maybe it was because of the subject matter as, in my view, it added nothing to what we know of Munich. The story seemed to have an attempt at a "thriller" tagged on but it doesn't work. There is no suspense and there was no way to change the outcome.
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  • Bill Lawrence
    January 1, 1970
    An enjoyable read, but not one of Harris's best. Filled in a lot of background I didn't know about Chamberlain or the Munich conference. Came out feeling a lot more sympathetic for Chamberlain than history has awarded him. However, there does seem a lack of edge to the read, and while it is a good page turner, it will not linger long in my mind - unlike, say, Selling Hitler, or The Ghost.
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  • Dave Ewart
    January 1, 1970
    Robert Harris always writes very readable novels. This is not one of his best, in my opinion, disappointing that it didn't quite live up to the potential of being based on such a dramatic point in history. The plot just seemed a little thin, the book a bit too short. Shame, really, it could have been so much better.
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  • Nicholas Parsons
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting to choose such a narro. section of WORLD War II to focus on, and not at all the most action packed period from the typical point of view of action meaning shooting and killing. FOR this reason, and because I knew how it would end, there wasn't a lot of suspense. Still, I loved hearing about these 4 days in so much detail and loved the focus on politics and pens instead of guns and violence.
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  • Barnaby
    January 1, 1970
    🍂📚 Autumn Reads 2017 📚🍂 The arrival of a new Robert Harris novel is always a BIG THING and this new thriller doesn't let readers down. So good.
  • Peter Greenhalgh
    January 1, 1970
    Brilliant
  • Adam
    January 1, 1970
    A classy historical thriller, very readable - in other words, a standard, enjoyable Robert Harris. Gives a good insight into the workings of international diplomacy in the 30s.
  • Eleanor
    January 1, 1970
    Well, that was very satisfying.
  • Anthony
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent thriller based on a significant event in history, blending real-life persons and imaginary characters. Informative and emotive, with interesting back-stories, it was a real page-turner.
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