Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Flight From Berlin

Author: David John
Goodreads Rating: 4.02
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Pages: 384
Reviewed by: Nicole

I go this book as part of TLC Tours. I felt that it as a very fitting read since one of my girlfriends just ventured to Germany and the Olympics are right around the corner. What better way to celebrate than by reading a book about a pretty controversial Olympic Games. 

Goodreads Synopses:

A cynical English reporter and a beautiful, headstrong, American Olympic hopeful are caught in a lethal game of international espionage during the 1936 Berlin Olympics in Flight from Berlin, a riveting debut thriller from breakout novelist David John. Combining the suspense and atmosphere of Alan Furst’s spy novels with the exciting narrative drive of Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon adventures, John delivers an unforgettable masterwork of thrilling suspense set against the backdrop of one of the most monumental summers in history—a contest of champions, including the remarkable Jessie Owen, that captivated the world as the specter of Nazi Germany continued its rise to threaten the globe.
I did like this book, I liked the amount of detail that went into researching the '36 Games and what it was like to be in Germany during this time. When a HF author includes details like that, I always appreciate it more than when they try and make shit up. Although the characters in this book are all fictitious, they were based on real people, who were Olympians.

The book wasn't hard to get into and all in all was a very simple read. I liked that Eleanor was so independent during a time when women were still trying to come out of their traditional roles. Although as much as I liked that quality in her, she still irritated me as a character. All of her actions in the book were stupid, irresponsible, and downright obnoxious. She is given a chance of a lifetime and all because she has been in the Olympics once before, she throws this second chance away. I felt like at 20 something (I can't remember her age) she should have been more mature, more adult about her actions.

As much as I felt distaste for Eleanor, I felt very little toward the hero of the story, Richard Denham. I respected his character for wanting to go after the truth and for wanting to stop the Nazi's, but I felt like he was so clueless through the book. Perhaps I'm just remember those points, because I know there were moments when he did know what was going on and he did get the wheels turning, but there was something that turned me off to them.

I can appreciate this book as a historian, there were things in there that I wouldn't have expected such as detail about the Hindenburg, and a mention of The Night of The Long Knives, mere footnotes in history when you look at the broad spectrum of WWII. I loved how intricate the plot was, almost like trying to put together a Rubix cube-each piece fit, but you had to realize that all parts were moving and making everything else happen.

If you're a fan of WWII and sports, this is a good book, although there is more of a focus on the Reich than there is on sports. It had its funny moments, particularly delivered by Eleanor, and it had its sad and touching moments; everything that a book needs. This is another book that I think my father would enjoy because it is at its core, a spy book, and who doesn't like a spy book.

If you're looking for a fairly accurate description of Germany as the Nazi's took a stronghold over the country, then this is a great book to check out without the boring details that HF has.

1 comment:

  1. "who doesn't like a spy book" - exactly!

    Thanks for being on the tour!



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