Comments: 30
BrokenTune 1 year ago
Oh, I was wondering what happened with the Le Carre. :(

As for the Scottie Dog...I'll vote for The Wrath and the Dawn. I have this at home from the library at the moment, too.
The same cover for "The Wrath and the Dawn"? (Not that it matters, but ... :D)

The Le Carré book is seriously odd. He first takes eons to trot out his personal disappointment with having been posted to Bonn instead of a"sexier" capital (via the voices of the British diplomats and spies populating his novel, of course, but it's clear that this is himself speaking, hearkening back to his own time here), but when the time the plot finally gets going -- I was on the brink of a DNF at that point -- it's actually fairly decent. The premise is off, though -- the book is based on the notion of a widespread movement in West Germany seeking to reunite Germany and join the Warsaw Pact and Comecon in lieu of NATO ... in the early 1970s. Now, if he'd set his novel in the late 1940s and in Berlin, that might actually have worked. But for 1970s West Germany it's sheer nonsense -- despite the whole student rebellion movement, the mood was so solidly pro-NATO and anti-Warsaw Pact here at the time that Brandt even just barely survived a vote of no confidence (by a margin of a single vote) as a "reward" for only seeking a *deescalation* with the Warsaw Pact. And people *knew* that as long as both the Warsaw Pact *and* NATO existed, there was no realistic chance of reunification -- nor would most West Germans at the time have wanted it at the price of leaving NATO.

HOWEVER, the movement Le Carré describes is also profoundly nationalist (and anti-"left" press), and slogans like ""Send the Foreign Workers Home!", "Unite Germany First, Europe Second!" and "Democrats! Hang the Press Baron!" -- as well as a speech the movement's leader gives at the end of the book -- strike a seriously spooky note, reading the book right now.
It's always interesting to get your perspective on these matters. I mean I'd have guessed what you're saying about the '70s was true but I'm slightly too young to remember news from before the '80s and news from another country has its limitations, anyway.
Thank you! Though, this one cut very close to home not merely geographically but also in terms of my own political formation. I was still a child then, too, but the Brandt government is the first one I remember really well, and particularly so the dispute about the Warsaw and Moscow Treaties. There's no chance this side of hell that the path sought by "the Movement" in this book would have gained *any* traction, let alone widespread. More likely, they'd have found themselves on the receiving end of domestic intelligence service attention in double quick time, for seeking to undermine West Germany's constitutional order. (Not because of their reunification demands -- that was official West German policy from 1949 all the way to 1990, for however unlikely it may have seemed for the longest time -- but by seeking reunification by "turning eastward", which would have meant adopting, or at least being neutral towards communism. And communism was considered a doctrine hostile to democracy, so anybody endorsing it outright, or coming very close to doing that, could be certain of attracting the attention of the security services -- as was true not only in West Germany but in other western European countries as well.)
BrokenTune 1 year ago
Oh, wow. That sounds like Le Carre had a Passenger to Frankfurt moment there. It's truly amazing how wrong that plot and motivation behind it sounds.

Re The Wrath and the Dawn...No, I have a different cover but it is very striking and lovely, too.,13647153
This one? (That's the cover of my paperback.)

And yeah, there were moments when I felt *very* much reminded of "A Passenger to Frankfurt" as well. And I wondered how Le Carré's publisher could ever have accepted this. I mean, the writing is still leagues better than PtF (not that that takes a lot, but still), and perhaps Le Carré managed to bamboozle folks into trusting his "inside knowledge" as to the feasibility of it all. And as the book vividly demonstrates, not even all of the British diplomats living in Germany at the time (even those who spoke German) demonstrated much initiative in getting to know their host country, relying instead of a mix of pre- and post-WWII stereotypes. (In fact, if the book did serve as an uncomfortable reminder of anything, it's just how far relations between the two contries have *genuinely* improved ... or had, until very recently.) So yeah, it's conceivable that this is how it went down. But it's such a far cry from "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold", "Tinker Tailor", and "Smiley's People" that you'd almost swear it must be by a different author, if it weren't for the presence of his tell-tale expressions and writerly gimmicks.
Oh yes, that's a pretty one as well. She looks very powerful (and very zen) there!
The Wrath and the Dawn sounds like a good one. I'm voting for that. :)
1 year ago
The contrarian says, Read the Richard Armitage. Good narrator!
An excellent narrator indeed ... :)
I'm voting Bell, mainly because I fancy reading it myself...also her translations of Hafez' poetry.
2 Ahdieh, 1 Ellis, 1 Bell in early voting. Keep them coming!

Btw, I'm planning to read all four of them eventually, so this is really just about how quickly I'm going to get to them.
Lillelara 1 year ago
I would like to know what you think about The Wrath and the Dawn, so I´m going with that one.
3 Ahdieh, 2 Ellis, 1 Bell (as of right now)! :)
BrokenTune 1 year ago
I was torn between Ahdieh and Bell, but I'm sure you'll end up with the Bell sooner or later anyway.
That's very much the plan, yes!
TeaStitchRead 1 year ago
My vote is for Ellis because Armitage.
Ani's Book Abyss 1 year ago
I've often wondered if The Wrath age the Dawn was any good. Was on my own tbr until I stopped reading as many ya books. Gonna vote that one.
Darth Pedant 1 year ago
The Wrath and the Dawn. Again. I'm still super intrigued by that cover. :)
Emerjas 1 year ago
I'm also going with The Wrath and the Dawn.
Jennifer's Books 1 year ago
I think you probably already know how I'm going to vote, but just in case: Joy Ellis!
Yes, yours was one vote that would have clean knocked me over if it had not been for Ellis! :)
6 for Ahdieh, 4 for Ellis, 1 for Bell. "The Wrath and the Dawn" it is, then!

Though, as I said, I am really looking forward to getting to all four of these soon.
Well, I'm back in a minority of one - normal service has resumed!
Make that 1 1/2 (with the 1/2 being just a fraction less than 50%), if I'm reading BT's comments correctly ... and as I said, my vote goes to all four books, so it's actually 2 1/2!
BrokenTune 1 year ago
I would have joined you for the Bell, Arbie, but I'm really intrigued by what TA makes of The Wrath and the Dawn. ;)
Don't worry - I'm used to having minority opinions!
That makes several of us! :)