If the Dead Rise Not

If the Dead Rise Not

Book - 2010
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An instant classic in the Bernie Gunther series, with storytelling that is fresher and more vivid than ever.

Berlin, 1934: The Nazis have secured the 1936 Olympiad for the city but are facing foreign resistance. Hitler and Avery Brundage, the head of the U.S. Olympic Committee, have connived to soft-pedal Nazi anti- Semitism and convince America to participate. Bernie Gunther, now the house detective at an upscale Berlin hotel, is swept into this world of international corruption and dangerous double-dealing, caught between the warring factions of the Nazi apparatus.

Havana, 1954: Batista, aided by the CIA, has just seized power; Castro is in prison; and the American Mafia is quickly gaining a stranglehold on the city's exploding gaming and prostitution industries. Bernie, who has been unceremoniously kicked out of Buenos Aires, has resurfaced in Cuba with a new life, seemingly one of routine and relative peace. But Bernie discovers that he truly cannot outrun the burden of his past: He soon collides with a vicious killer from his Berlin days, who is mysteriously murdered not long afterward-and an old lover, who may be the murderer.

If the Dead Rise Not is everything fans have come to expect from Philip Kerr: twisted intrigue, tight plotting, quick-witted one-liners, a hang-by-your-thumbs ending, and, most significant, a richer, wiser Bernie Gunther.

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Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, c2010
ISBN: 9780399156151
Characteristics: 437 p. ; 24 cm


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Dec 10, 2016

(The sixth book in the Bernie Gunther series)

Aug 17, 2016

LOve it !! Love the series .Keep reading it over and over #420

Jul 16, 2015

This book is awful. Having read Philip Kerr’s first three novels in the anthology edition, Berlin Noir, I knew what to expect, so I was not really surprised that I didn’t enjoy this book. It had the same things that I liked and hated in the first novels, and I chose to read it because there are some things I like in it.
Kerr’s historical description is detailed, concrete and sufficiently accurate factually that I’m willing to credit him with likely getting the life details right. So if you want to know how one negotiates life under a fascist bureaucracy, and that’s the sort of thing I am interested in, then there is a reason to read Kerr’s fiction. Of course, Kerr’s protagonist, Bernie Gunther, does much more than negotiate everyday life – he’s kicked out of the police for his support of the liberal goals of the Weimar Republic, but feels compelled as a hotel detective to look into the criminals in the hotel who are profiteering with the Nazi government. Under a tough exterior, he has an honest heart, but one he has to hide to survive the corrupt times. His frequently cynical, sarcastic comments can be read as an expression of the conflict he feels.
Between the seedy bars and Alexanderplatz police station, the Olympic construction site and the Adlon Hotel, he covers a lot of Berlin, and later covers similar ground in Cuba. He shows the petty and major corruption, the ambitions and the avoidances that Berliners adopt to get by or to profit under the violent, anti-Semitic and racist nationalism of the Nazis. He paints a picture that is vile and gritty with no sense of hope except to just get through until things change. I imagine that that’s how a lot of people did try to survive.
Unfortunately, Kerr overdoes the historical detail, so some passages read as if he found some interesting descriptions in his research, and wants to cram it all in. Curious as I am about the period, I don’t need exaggerated architectural description to get the point.
What I don’t like about this book, and the earlier ones I read, are the clumsy, overdone “hardboiled” style in which it is narrated. Kerr adopts the most obvious characteristics of Raymond Chandler’s style without restraint, and embellishes them with grotesque exaggeration and unrelenting sexism. Written in the first-person voice of narrator Bernie Gunther, it’s inescapable and it’s too much. Where Chandler used a sarcastic wit to illuminate his character’s point of view, Kerr turns the style into caricature. By half way through the book, I began to skip the satirical asides because they added nothing to the characters or the storyline.
Kerr’s characters are little better. They are stereotypes with little depth or development. When they do something unexpected, rather than think that there is a new side to a complex personality, I just think, where did that come from? The relationship that develops between Gunther and the American hotel guest merely seems absurd and unbelievable. The introduction of a string of American characters seems more of an attempt to build up readership in the USA rather than anything necessary to the storyline.
I started the book as a light alternative to the fairly heavy novel I had been reading, but it’s not light or a pleasure to read. So I’m done with Philip Kerr. I’ll learn about Germany under the Nazis elsewhere.


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