[BOOKS] ✫ Field Gray (Bernard Gunther, #7) ✭ Philip Kerr – Marjoriejane.co.uk


10 thoughts on “Field Gray (Bernard Gunther, #7)

  1. says:

    I love the pitch perfect tone in this noir tale set largely in Germany over the period from the 30 s to the 50 s If you define noir in terms of a cynical, loner detective hero who seeks justice in an environment of pervasive corruption, the lead character Bernie Gunther s struggle to maintain some kind integrity as a homicide inspector amid the extremist forces of Nazi, Communist, and capitalist factions before, during, and after World War 2 puts this series in the position of classic noir in s I love the pitch perfect tone in this noir tale set largely in Germany over the period from the 30 s to the 50 s If you define noir in terms of a cynical, loner detective hero who seeks justice in an environment of pervasive corruption, the lead character Bernie Gunther s struggle to maintain some kind integrity as a homicide inspector amid the extremist forces of Nazi, Communist, and capitalist factions before, during, and after World War 2 puts this series in the position of classic noir in spades Here we are late in the series, and despite this being my first foray with it, this entry works well for me because it puts his whole career in perspective through a backward facing plot.At the beginning of this tale, Bernie is working security for Meyer Lansky in Havana in 1954, where he has fled from position in Berlin due to being framed by powerful enemies On a boat trip, he gets picked up as suspicious by the U.S Navy and imprisoned in Guantamimo Over a long period of interrogation at multiple sites, his background becomes interesting to the FBI and then the CIA, first as a potential Nazi war criminal in hiding and then as a source of leverage against current enemies in the nasty Cold War Bernie s skills as a homicide detective before and during the war were valued enough that his boss, the infamous director of State security forces, Heydrich aka architect of the Kristallnacht pogrom and later the Holocaust , ignored his lack of membership in the Nazi Party As Bernie spins a complex web of truth and lies, one particular person in his past, Erich Mielke, becomes a focus for the interplay with his arrogant captors When Mielke was a communist dissident youth in 1931, Bernie saved him from being killed by brownshirts, and Bernie s perilous path through the war intersects that of Mielke in interesting ways that affect Bernie s fate I didn t learn about how important Mielke became for Russia until the book s afterword, so I won t spoil it here just check out the Wikipedia entry afterward if you tackle this book Berlin headquarters of the Communist Party of Germany KPD , 1926 1933 Heydrich, at right, rose to power as head of the SS through founding of the SD Sicherheitsdienst with a mission of violent suppression of anti Fascist forces such as the KPD Most of those exiled in Russia were killed in Stalin s Great Purge of 1937 38 he didn t trust traitors or appreciate their Trotskyite leanings. Nazis march in Paris in June 1940, only 6 weeks after invasion Fall of Berlin in May 1945. Axis dominated Europe in 1942 Division of Germany after the war West Berlin is the small yellow spot in Soviet controlled East Germany.A key pleasure of classic noir comes from the dialog and distinctive internal voice of the hero Here, instead of Marlow s over the top metaphors about a slinky babe, we get the spice of a bon mot about the arrival of the corpulent Goebbels, the Mahatma Propagandi in Paris after France surrendered in 1940 He looked like a malignant goblin on his best behavior As another great example for Kerr s take on the feisty mind of our hero, dig the poetry in this deft capturing of the menace shown by a Nazi vice cop sent to occupied Paris He smiled without smiling the sort of expression a snake has when it opens its mouth to swallow something whole He was smaller than me, but he had the ambitious look of a man who might eventually swallow something larger than himself.For a narrative voice, Bernie is in isolation so much we often get him literally talking to himself or to ghosts in his memory At one point, he even gets to address a vision of Hitler, prompted by his stay in the cell where he wrote Mein Kampf in the prison near Munich used by the Americans for suspected war criminals Even talking to himself, Bernie s sardonic humor wins my heartI would try to engage myself in conversation But this wasn t so easy For one thing, I didn t like Bernhard Gunther very much He was cynical and world weary and hardly had a good word to say about any one, least of all himself I bet you had a difficult childhood, too, I said Is that why you became a cop To get even with your father You ve never been very good with authority figures, have you Trying to do the right thing has never really worked for you, Gunther, has it You should have just been a criminal like most of the others That way you d have been on the winning sideoften A metaphor for the tarnish on Bernie s soul comes from the uniform he had to wear when the civilian police became blended with the SS, and he was put into the service of military intelligence He tells his CIA interrogators Before the war, the last war, I was a cop in Germany An honest cop, too, although I guess that won t mean much to apes like you Plainclothes A detective But when we invaded Poland and Russia they put us in gray uniforms Not green, not black, not brown, gray Field Grey, they called it The thing about gray is you can roll around in the dirt all day and still look smart enough to return a general s salute While working in Ukraine, Bernie gets captured and begins a long period as a POW with a trip in a cattle car to a Russian camp Staring out of a gap in the planks on the side of our cattle car at the endless Russian steppes, it was the sheer size of the country that defeated you How did that bastard Hitler ever think we could conquer a country as big as this said someone You might as well try to invade the ocean After all his travails, about the only long term personal possession he is left with by 1954, is broken piece of a chess knight once given to him by Lasker The whole book is in a sense a lament over being a pawn so often and his yearning instead for the power to dodge like a knight I might have called it my lucky charm but for the salient fact that one way or another I d not always had the best of luck On the other hand, I was still in the game, and sometimes that s all the luck you need Anything absolutely anything can happen as long as you stay in the game And lately, as it to remind myself of this fact, the little black knight s head was often held tight in my fist the way a Mohammedan might have used a set of beads to utter the ninety nine names of God and bring him closer during prayer Only, it wasn t closer to God I wanted but somethingearthly Freedom Independence Self respect No longer to be the pawn of others in a game I wasn t interested on Surely that wasn t too much to ask.And it isn t too much to ask for me to keep checking in with Bernie in other books to root for him


  2. says:

    Field Gray is about the experiences of a Berlin police detective, Bernie Gunther, who becomes entangled in a web of espionage and deceit after being captured by the Red Army in 1945, serving hard time in a Russian POW camp, deflecting back to Germany, escaping to Cuba, being captured by the CIA, and finally being forced to serve for French Intelligence, which ultimately lands him back to his original starting point in Berlin in 1954 Sound interesting Absolutely And I felt this novel had such Field Gray is about the experiences of a Berlin police detective, Bernie Gunther, who becomes entangled in a web of espionage and deceit after being captured by the Red Army in 1945, serving hard time in a Russian POW camp, deflecting back to Germany, escaping to Cuba, being captured by the CIA, and finally being forced to serve for French Intelligence, which ultimately lands him back to his original starting point in Berlin in 1954 Sound interesting Absolutely And I felt this novel had such tremendous potential at the start, with Gunther hiding out in an exotic location Havana and being blackmailed into taking a mysterious woman an undercover assassin on a boat to Haiti But quite literally, the action ends there And that is page 19 The next 300 pages has Gunther in the hands of one set of interrogators or another, as he is captured before reaching Haiti So the reader learns his backstory from 1931 through to the present which is 1954 as he answers questions from whichever holding cell he happens to be in at the time Therefore, most of the novel is a frame story in that sense But the problem is, Gunther is just a leaf blowing in the wind He makes no decisions regarding his own fate, and relates to his past experiences in such a way that there is very little room for the reader to feel emotionally connected to the character or his experiences At one point, I just stopped caring what happens to him any The last 50 pages finally becomes interesting again as Gunther gets himself involved in a plot to help the French capture a wanted traitor while simultaneously tricking them into helping the Americans capture their wanted criminal a ruthless Stasi communist who regularly appears throughout Gunther s backstory and actually existed in real life For the first time in the novel, Gunther finally does something But to get there, you have to suffer through the rest, and that includes the introduction of countless names I counted over 60 names in the first 100 pages , ninety percent of which have absolutely nothing to do with the course of the novel s events It just makes one feel disconnected to Gunther and his plight.The good thing about this novel is that the author is actually an excellent writer Lots of sharp humor, lots of wit Gunther is a wise cracking gem, and his retorts often evoke an internal giggle It is also an historical novel in the sense that Gunther s story takes place amidst events which seem to be depicted pretty accurately, from the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party through to the end of the War and the Nuremberg Trials That is definitely interesting But I think this is also supposed to be a spy thriller Only, where is the thrill


  3. says:

    He still tells a few jokes but by this point in this series he occupies a landscape so hellish that their about as warming as chuckles in the torture room, this series removes all pretensions of detective novel for aextensive look and a reexamination of this period of history The monstrosity of the French concentration camps in place at the start of the war read Koestler s Scum of the Earth , the idiotic and murderous insanity of Operation Barbarossa, the murderous onslaught of the Red A He still tells a few jokes but by this point in this series he occupies a landscape so hellish that their about as warming as chuckles in the torture room, this series removes all pretensions of detective novel for aextensive look and a reexamination of this period of history The monstrosity of the French concentration camps in place at the start of the war read Koestler s Scum of the Earth , the idiotic and murderous insanity of Operation Barbarossa, the murderous onslaught of the Red Army on the German population, Soviet POW camps, and the after war maneuverings of the French, American, Russian, East and West German intelligence agencies gives you a harrowing vision of humanity in a time of crisis and a denouncement of the idea that any glory could ever be achieved from something as horrible as war Field Gray is a panoramic novel of history despite some trappings of detective and spy thriller still in place to add tension and movement to the plot Morally ambiguous, firmly placed in historical context but not drowning you in over research, funny, and horrifying this series sets the bar for historical spy or detective novel, or thegeneral historic novel rather painfully high


  4. says:

    Oh dear oh dear Why do I put myself through it Another gripping read about our old friend Bernie, who once again is in a hole and, owing to his capture by the Americans, has to relate his war time exploits It was never going to be an easy read, I knew that However when a book makes you look at your sons and wonder what kind of men they will grow into, then you know that it packs a hell of a punch.There are some weaknesses, Bernie has to be uninvolved in the worst of the fighting and war crim Oh dear oh dear Why do I put myself through it Another gripping read about our old friend Bernie, who once again is in a hole and, owing to his capture by the Americans, has to relate his war time exploits It was never going to be an easy read, I knew that However when a book makes you look at your sons and wonder what kind of men they will grow into, then you know that it packs a hell of a punch.There are some weaknesses, Bernie has to be uninvolved in the worst of the fighting and war crimes in order for us, the audience, to retain our sympathy with him The punchy writing is shocking, and necessarily so, as Kerr is describing war and all its effects Shocking, visceral and a story of survivors, at the conclusion the political scene is now set for further adventures in the Cold War I can t wait for the next one, although I know it s going to be a hard read at times


  5. says:

    Field Gray Bernie G nther 7 continues immediately where If The Dead Rise Not finished Bernie is still in Batista s Havana in 1954 living under his false identity and both working for, and reluctantly spying on, Meyer Lansky for the secret police He decides to flee to Haiti Sadly for him, his female companion has killed a police captain for Fidel Castro and, when they are stopped en route, Bernie is also arrested because he s still wanted for murder in Germany Soon he s in the custody Field Gray Bernie G nther 7 continues immediately where If The Dead Rise Not finished Bernie is still in Batista s Havana in 1954 living under his false identity and both working for, and reluctantly spying on, Meyer Lansky for the secret police He decides to flee to Haiti Sadly for him, his female companion has killed a police captain for Fidel Castro and, when they are stopped en route, Bernie is also arrested because he s still wanted for murder in Germany Soon he s in the custody of the CIA in New York, where he is questioned, none too gently, by gum chewing Cold War naval staff who think he s a war criminal Finally he ends up back in Germany where he is interrogated about his time on the Eastern Front and, especially, in Minsk That is just the start of a nightmarish few weeks for Bernie, with so many twists and turns, and so much intrigue Against a high benchmark, the dark cynicism in Field Gray Bernie G nther 7 reaches new levels and makes this book unrelentingly but grimly fascinating Bernie is now enmeshed in Le Carre s twilight world of Cold War madness in which he appears forever trapped by the agenda of others, whilst being forced to relive the past again and again, whilst in the present remaining a consummate chess player to stay one step ahead of those seeking to use him The early Bernie G nther books are entertaining Chandler esque tales where jeopardy and tension drive the narrative along however, each new book seems to becomesubtle and complex Field Gray takes the reader all over Europe to view life throughout WW2 and into the Cold War world of the 1950s, and all over Europe, from occupied Paris to the Eastern Front, and life in a Soviet POW camp This is the horror of WW2 writ about as large as it can get with poor old, battered Bernie somehow finding the motivation to keep going Often it s his anger that sustains him and here it s variously directed at the Nazis, the French, the Americans, the British, and the Bolsheviks Quite brilliant One of the very best in the series, if not the best Can Philip Kerr sustain this sky high level of quality with Prague Fatale Bernie Gunther 8 I should have the answer to that question very soon.5 5


  6. says:

    I fell for Bernie Gunther and Phillip Kerr from the moment I started March Violets, and have been following Bernie s exploits ever since.Gunther is a man true only to himself and his own rather twisted morality, yet for some reason you can t help but like him He is also a complete contradiction an SS officer who despises the Nazis, a POW of the Russians who refuses to be cowed and a man with no qualms about double dealing people he cares for to reach his own ends This is especially true in I fell for Bernie Gunther and Phillip Kerr from the moment I started March Violets, and have been following Bernie s exploits ever since.Gunther is a man true only to himself and his own rather twisted morality, yet for some reason you can t help but like him He is also a complete contradiction an SS officer who despises the Nazis, a POW of the Russians who refuses to be cowed and a man with no qualms about double dealing people he cares for to reach his own ends This is especially true in Field Gray,not so much a mystery as an espionage novel And in post war Europe Bernie is mixed up with an alphabet soup of agencies KGB, CIA,FBI,Staasi, and MI 6 Everybody wants a piece of Bernie, and along the way we learn of his war and post war years before he landed in Argentina.It s a long sad journey and Bernie has picked up crucial info that everybody seems to want Since all Bernie wants is his freedom, he plays along with the spooks Or does he I have to admit that all the double dealing had me quite confused at times as to what was really going on, and had me backtracking to recheck facts And while not the usual who done it I found it a satisfying look into post war politics, and into Bernie s soul


  7. says:

    Well, I must admit that I was seduced by what was written on the back cover of this paperback After about 130 pages of the 563 page book a Quercus edition, 2011 a fair whack, my affection for the book had worn thin, and I abandoned it So these are my comments about a book that might well get better later on However, as time is limited, I have decided to move on to new reading matter.I did not like what I read of this thriller because it is too obviously laden with factual information The Well, I must admit that I was seduced by what was written on the back cover of this paperback After about 130 pages of the 563 page book a Quercus edition, 2011 a fair whack, my affection for the book had worn thin, and I abandoned it So these are my comments about a book that might well get better later on However, as time is limited, I have decided to move on to new reading matter.I did not like what I read of this thriller because it is too obviously laden with factual information The facts appear to beimportant than the fiction The author s research for historical factual detail had not, in the first 130 pages of his book, surrendered to the theimportant task the telling of a good, engaging tale This book is supposed to be a work of fiction, rather than a PhD thesis about Nazi war criminals that is lacking in footnotes.If I had wanted to read about the history of the SS or a related subject, I would have chosen to read a scholarly work backed up with references to the author s source material


  8. says:

    I ve read a number of the Gunther books and this one was by far the worst I wanted to quit reading a number of times but kept going because I enjoyed the others so much Hopefully this one was a fluke I m not going to give up on Gunther yet.


  9. says:

    It s impossible not to like Bernie Gunther In the resourceful, bad luck prone, ingenious, sharp witted, wise cracking, escape artist, he has created the absolute perfect character for Historical Fiction I can think of no flaws, no irritations at all He s the guy you would hope could be there if you d have been where he is, was.Kerr uses him as a vehicle not just for his period jokes and wise cracks, but as a way of looking at many of the unsavoury aspects of the Germans before, during and aft It s impossible not to like Bernie Gunther In the resourceful, bad luck prone, ingenious, sharp witted, wise cracking, escape artist, he has created the absolute perfect character for Historical Fiction I can think of no flaws, no irritations at all He s the guy you would hope could be there if you d have been where he is, was.Kerr uses him as a vehicle not just for his period jokes and wise cracks, but as a way of looking at many of the unsavoury aspects of the Germans before, during and after World War 2 This one starts, as above, in 1954, but we re soon back with Bernie in war time Germany, as events in 1954 set off both memorise of and turn out to have had their roots in the earlier phases of Bernies life.Even I can see that Field Grey a reference to the colours of the German Army officer s uniform at this time , is incredibly well plotted I d say this is as I m, here in the series, though have all the subsequent books in wait the best one so far It really is almost a work of art Full of reflection, incident, and fine, fine writing.And, as bonus for me, I d say PK has read Private Schultz at some point.The best book blog on the web Speesh ReadsThe best Page on the Facebook Speesh Reads


  10. says:

    I m a big fan of Phillip Kerr and the Bernie Gunther novels Kerr has an amazing ability to insert details you d never see coming into his stories These are noir novels in the best traditions of the genre, full of twists and turns and doomed relationships Bernie Gunther is a tragic hero, a German police detective caught up in the insanity of Hitler s Germany and forces beyond his control Kerr s extensive research and his exceptional skill as a writer make the stories grimly realistic and beli I m a big fan of Phillip Kerr and the Bernie Gunther novels Kerr has an amazing ability to insert details you d never see coming into his stories These are noir novels in the best traditions of the genre, full of twists and turns and doomed relationships Bernie Gunther is a tragic hero, a German police detective caught up in the insanity of Hitler s Germany and forces beyond his control Kerr s extensive research and his exceptional skill as a writer make the stories grimly realistic and believable Read them all, beginning with Berlin Noir


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Field Gray (Bernard Gunther, #7) summary pdf Field Gray (Bernard Gunther, #7) , summary chapter 2 Field Gray (Bernard Gunther, #7) , sparknotes Field Gray (Bernard Gunther, #7) , Field Gray (Bernard Gunther, #7) 21c750d Philip Kerr Delivers A Novel With The Noir Sensibility Of Raymond Chandler, The Realpolitik Of Vintage John Le Carr , And The Dark Moral Vision Of Graham Greene Striding Across Europe Through The Killing Fields Of Three Decades From Riot Torn Berlin In To Adenauer S Germany In , Awash In Duplicitous Allies Busily Undermining One Another Field Gray Reveals A World Based On Expediency, Where The Ends Justify The Means And No One Can Be Trusted It Brings Us A Hero Who Is Sardonic, Tough Talking, And Cynical, But Who Does Have A Rough Sense Of Humor And A Rougher Sense Of Right And Wrong He S Bernie Gunther He Drinks Too Much And Smokes Excessively And Is Somewhat Overweight But A Russian Prisoner Of War Camp Will Take Care Of Those Bad Habits He S Bernie Gunther A Brave Man, Because When There Is Nothing Left To Lose, Honor Rules Bernie Gunther Is The Most Antiheroic Of Antiheroes In This Gripping, Offbeat Thriller It S The Story Of His Struggle To Preserve What S Left Of His Humanity, And His Life, In A World Where The Moral Bandwidth Is Narrow, Satanic Evil At One End, Cynical Expediency At The Other Philip Caputo, Author Of A Rumor Of War A Thriller That Will Challenge Preconceptions And Stimulate The Little Grey Cells The Times London , Selecting Field Gray As A Thriller Of The Year Part Of The Allure Of These Novels Is That Bernie Is Such An Interesting Creation, A Chandleresque Knight Errant Caught In Insane Historical Surroundings Bernie Walks Down Streets So Mean That Nobody Can Stay Alive And Remain Truly Clean John Powers, Fresh Air NPR Bernie On Bernie I Didn T Like Bernhard Gunther Very Much He Was Cynical And World Weary And Hardly Had A Good Word To Say About Anyone, Least Of All Himself He D Had A Pretty Tough War And Done Quite A Few Things Of Which He Wasn T Proud It Had Been No Picnic For Him Since Then Either It Didn T Seem To Matter Where He Spread Life S Tartan Rug, There Was Always A Turd On The Grass

  • Hardcover
  • 448 pages
  • Field Gray (Bernard Gunther, #7)
  • Philip Kerr
  • English
  • 23 May 2017
  • 0399157417

About the Author: Philip Kerr

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Field Gray (Bernard Gunther, #7) book, this is one of the most wanted Philip Kerr author readers around the world.