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Munich Audiobook

Munich

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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of Fatherland, Conclave and An Officer and a Spy.

September 1938. Hitler 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 Führer'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?

©2017 Robert Harris (P)2017 Random House Audiobooks

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  •  
    Toast Cartoons Bristol, United Kingdom 02/10/2017
    Toast Cartoons Bristol, United Kingdom 02/10/2017 Member Since 2016
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    "excellent, shame a key passage was missing!"

    Very enjoyable novel. Not Robert Harris's best but still a fascinating and gripping read. One complaint: this so-called unabridged recording is missing the crucial meeting between our German protagonist and Neville Chamberlain. I was thrown when characters were referencing a pivotal scene that I hadn't heard read; and when the German protagonist is leaving a location i never heard him arrive at. After thumbing through a hard copy of the novel, this scene occurs between Audible chapters 20 and 21: after the British explain to the Czechs the outcome of the agreement, and before Hartmann "leaves the hotel and suspects he is being followed". Sort it out, Audible! This is a crucial scene, the climax of the novel and what our protagonists are trying to do - without this scene the protagonists seem hugely ineffectual and their story arc is missing something vital!

    34 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simon Bathing in Stormlight - I may be gone some time! 22/09/2017
    Simon Bathing in Stormlight - I may be gone some time! 22/09/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "A Piece For Our Time?"

    To an extent you know what you're going to get with Robert Harris's historical fiction. There's always going to be a strong feeling of time and place based on thoroughly detailed research. You're going to find characters given real depth whether they be genuine historical personalities or the the fictional ones that Harris uses to carry the story. All of that is true here in a novel that I found highly satisfying to listen to even if it didn't hit the heights of excitement.

    There is a dual aspect to the story in that two old college friends find themselves on opposite sides of the conference with both playing their own high stakes games. The book provides a brief but extremely important episode in their lives and the history of Europe. To me it felt as much like a docudrama as a fictional novel as the plot stuck so closely to historical fact.

    The narration by David Rintoul is steady with no attempt to give the non-British characters any kind of national accents. It feels entirely appropriate to the text with perhaps the only element of real theatre coming late on with some of Hitler's outbursts.

    Harris is clearly scratching some kind of itch here. He is returning to the subject of a documentary he made almost 30 years ago and he portrays Chamberlain with considerably more sympathy than many historians. The quality of the writing is, as you would expect from this author, is extremely high. I don't think it's the most thrilling of thrillers but it is a good story with a very authentic feeling atmosphere to it.

    42 of 45 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Graham 27/10/2017
    Graham 27/10/2017 Member Since 2014
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    "Earlier reviewers are right - key section of text is missing from this audio book"

    I was very much enjoying this book until the last hour when it became clear that an important section of the text is missing from the recording, leaving me totally confused. Earlier reviewers have noted the same thing. Audible should put this right or remove the title from sale.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kirstine 01/11/2017
    Kirstine 01/11/2017
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    "Gripping account of a pivotal moment in history"

    I greatly enjoyed this book that combines fiction with the recorded facts about a crucial few days in 1938: days that could have changed the course of history. Though Chamberlain is the sympathetically portrayed central figure, the story is told through the eyes of two fictional characters, Hugh Legat, a Foreign Office employee seconded to the Prime Minister’s staff, and Paul von Hartmann, a Germany diplomat, whom Legat knew when both were students at Oxford university.

    The author obviously relied on a large body of evidence but converted this into a gripping story. Neville Chamberlain was unlucky in having to negotiate with Hitler, a despot hell-bent on dominating Europe. I recently listened to Mein Kampf, which I learn was not translated competently into English until recently so the message was not considered by the British government before the outbreak of war. Had they done so they would have realised that Hitler would not be content merely acquiring Sudetenland, but had ambitions for a much greater ‘Lebensraum’.

    In an extraordinary turnaround, Chamberlain was transformed from the hero of the hour when he returned with his piece of paper, which he naively thought was a guarantee of “peace in our time”, only shortly after to be humiliated by Hitler’s invasion of Czechoslovakia and his reputation sullied for every more. The author has been criticised as an apologist for Chamberlain, but one has to appreciate that Chamberlain’s generation had experienced the horrors of the First World War and would go to any lengths to stop another war.

    David Rintoul is an excellent narrator for this kind of book. Happily he doesn’t give the Germans and French funny accents.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela C 12/10/2017
    Angela C 12/10/2017 Member Since 2013
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    "Another Page Turner from Robert Harris"

    Robert Harris illuminates the ins and outs of how Prime Minister Chamberlain came home to announce 'Peace In Our Time' after his infamous meeting with Hitler in Munich. Told through the lives of a British civil servant and German civil servant who had been at Oxford together - the former close to Chamberlain's circle and the latter loosely connected to Hitler.

    Harris once again turns a famous and much-celebrated subject into a thrilling behind-the-scenes expose. His character studies of the famous and not-so-famous cannot fail but enthrall. Not as starry as Conclave, but just as satisfying. Perfectly narrated by David Rintoul.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neels 10/10/2017
    Neels 10/10/2017 Member Since 2014
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    "5 stars for story and narration"

    Another masterpiece from Robert Harris exquisitely researched with completely plausible characters including, of course, the real persons. Brilliantly read by David Rintoul.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mrs cr young 06/10/2017
    mrs cr young 06/10/2017 Member Since 2016
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    "An introduction to 1938"

    Since I have only a superficial knowledge of the events of 1938 I found this to be an engaging listen. For experts I imagine it may all be a bit laboured but perhaps they wouldn't be drawn to the book. The worms eye view, junior Civil Servants, of the deliberations of such familiar names as Chamberlain and Hitler made it all the more interesting.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AnnieG 06/10/2017
    AnnieG 06/10/2017 Member Since 2015
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    "Heavy On Research Light On Narrative"

    Been a huge fan of Harris since I first read Fatherland so was looking forward to this new book with great anticipation.
    Unfortunately for anyone already fairly familiar with the entire Munich agreement the author guides us through the well known events like a meticulously researched new history text rather than a novel but fails even to illuminate any additional information.
    The plot and sparsely drawn characters makes it feel as if it has been tacked on to the history text the author really wanted to write.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wras 03/10/2017
    Wras 03/10/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "Lamentably some times peace is not posible. "


    When we give power to monsters to shake up the status quo we risk the imperfect balance and deliver our world into chaos and war, but we never learn because we still believe in easy solutions for complex problems, cancer cured with a coffee enema, a prayer for peace instead of working for peace, having more children for economic growth while destroying the planet and blaming the other, hurricanes devastate large parts of the world within a year but we need to use more fossil fuels while expanding our population, add a little more prayer and it all should work out, put a clown in charge he knows how to shake it up.
    Sixty million people died in a conflict without equal one man tried to build a little peace against all odds, he was wrong, claim all the clairvoyants of the future they always know what was best after the fact.
    A fascinating book that reflects on our predicaments by looking at a crucial moment in time without the second-guessing of those that are judging with all the lessons from the past on their table.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Carnegie UK 01/10/2017
    Mary Carnegie UK 01/10/2017 Member Since 2012
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    "Another great Harris/Rintoul Audiobook"

    Robert Harris writes believable historical fiction (or political fiction, alternative history). His prose style is smooth and articulate. Comparison with the historical fiction of Ken Follett (Column of Fire) issued a few days before underlines Harris’s infinite superiority and Rintoul’s skill as a narrator!
    Most of the personages in the book are real people- the ones we see in old Pathé newsreels, saw on TV news as children, and the main (fictional) protagonists, once friends at university, estranged for six years as Hitler rises to power, after a difficult holiday in Munich. Fate, with some help, brings them back to Munich, as Chamberlain desperately tries to avert war.
    With the release of secret government documents as time allows, has resulted in historians reassessing Chamberlain’s actions in 1938 more positively, and Harris has followed this line, and added some speculative tension to the real horror of 1938 - the building of primitive fortifications in central London, issuing of gas masks to adults and children (babies too), the exodus from London of anyone fortunate enough to have somewhere to go!
    Rintoul as usual reads the story with clear diction, well paced, and tackles dialogue in German, French and Italian (always translated to English, so don’t panic if you’re not a polyglot) with convincing pronunciation and fluency.
    Literate, but never pompous or condescending, as we expect of Harris. Look forward to his next book!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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