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Summary

1919. The eyes of the world are on Paris, where statesmen, diplomats and politicians have gathered to discuss the fate of half the world’s nations in the aftermath of the cataclysm that was the Great War. A horde of journalists, spies and opportunists have also gathered in the city, and the last thing the British diplomatic community needs at such a time is the mysterious death of a senior member of their delegation. So, when Sir Henry Maxted falls from the roof of his mistress’ apartment building in unexplained circumstances, their first instinct is to suppress all suspicious aspects of the event.  

But Sir Henry’s son, ex Royal Flying Corps ace James ‘Max’ Maxted, has other ideas. He resolves to find out how and why his father died - even if this means disturbing the impression of harmonious calm which the negotiating teams have worked so hard to maintain. In a city where countries are jostling for position at the crossroads of history and the stakes could hardly be higher, it is difficult to tell who is a friend and who a foe.

And Max will soon discover just how much he needs friends, as his search for the truth sucks him into the dark heart of a seemingly impenetrable mystery.

©2013 Robert Goddard (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about The Ways of the World

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Complex, diverse, but over 30 minutes missing

I’m amazed at Robert Goddard’s diversity as an author. He writes with conviction about many different eras, the premise generally crafted around real events and involves a missing letter or similar artefact.

The Ways of the World is set predominantly in post WW1 Paris. 1919 and world leaders have gathered to agree how Europe should be carved up. Our hero is a distinguished pilot; his background is one of privilege and his father has been found dead after falling from the roof of a Paris building. Did he fall, was he pushed or did he commit suicide? As anticipated with a Goddard story, there are numerous characters, well defined, plausible and with complex motivation. I enjoyed this tale which involved duplicity with French and British Gvt officials, police and secret services. Throw in a smattering of Japanese involvement and disaffected Jews...I was gripped as the complex plot unfolded and it was difficult to second guess who may be responsible. Then there was an offer for someone to change sides...and the story ended. Very suddenly, almost mid sentence. Despite the statement saying to continue listening to hear what happened next and some 27 minutes showing as unplaced, the book stopped.

So yes, I’ve enjoyed it, but the ending leaves me uncertain as to whether this audio version is complete. I’m returning the book.

12 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Fed up to find it’s not complete

... have to pay for another credit to hear the end of the story. Should be told this up front.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent great fun.

I am reviewing the entire trilogy, because this is really one book in three parts, with the same, albeit evolving story. These are fast paced, exciting, novels set in an interesting period of history, 1919, with three dimensional characters, a decent complicated plot and several surprises along the way. The reader is particularly good and he keeps his voices, in several different accents, both men and women, consistent and believable. I thoroughly enjoyed them all.

4 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

Having read almost everything Robert Goddard has written i have actually stopped listening to this. convoluted without being compelling. Confusing without being engaging. Great Performance of a Dull Plot.

2 people found this helpful

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well up to usual standards

something of a division to his usual one off stories as there is a book 2 which we will eagerly look forward to hearing next!

2 people found this helpful

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Edge-of-the-seat adventure

Schoolboy French pronunciation, but otherwise well narrated and a rattling good adventure thriller that keeps the reader's excitement at a high pitch throughout.

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a little long winded

I have read this trilogy twice and after listening to the audio book am not entirely sure that it works too well.. The narration is only just good enough, a shame.

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Interesting story but........

This is a good tale but was spoilt for me by the narration which I found really grated on me. I've listened to other Robert Goddard books with ease so I was disappointed to find this one so difficult to cope with

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Typical Goddard plot needs lots of attention

The story is solid, entertaining and Goddard followers should not be disappointed. I cannot appreciate the criticism mentioned in some reviews about the ending of the story - claiming "fraud" and luring the reader into an unwanted next book. Certainly, there is a cliffhanger built into the first Maxted adventure, but it's not that uncommon. The story had come to a temporary conclusion at that point and it's just fair to put the continuation into a new book.

The only real issue I had, was the narrator's interpretation of the main character. For me, the brisk intonation, always speaking as if he was in hurry, a bit arrogant. Actually, I am not sure if I really got to like Max. Had I read the book, certainly in my mind the character would have had a much different color.

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Fascinating story...

...with everything - the German spymaster extraordinaire, the English aristocracy of the time fighting against historic injustice and a mix of good and interesting characters to boot. A fine first book in an excellent trilogy...