Field Gray

Field Gray

Book - 2011
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Philip Kerr delivers a novel with the noir sensibility of Raymond Chandler, the realpolitik of vintage John le Carr#65533;, and the dark moral vision of Graham Greene.

"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.

Striding across Europe through the killing fields of three decades-from riot-torn Berlin in 1931 to Adenauer's Germany in 1954, 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.
Publisher: New York : G. P. Putnam's Sons, c2011
ISBN: 9780399157417
Branch Call Number: FIC Kerr 3564
Characteristics: 435 p. --


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Dec 10, 2016

(The seventh book in the Bernie Gunther series)

Brilliant writing and thought provoking. How does a 20something male in Nazi Germany stay alive despite his objections to the Nazi regime. A bit too many brutal torture scenes for my taste but,l as others have said, very well wroth the struggle to read this excellent book

Aug 02, 2011

I found this a long, slow read. Kept at it & found the end rewarding but not sure even it was worth the hard slog to get there.

Jul 14, 2011

I agree with Margaret Cannon, how will this end? Kerr has created yet another compelling installment in the life of Bernie Gunther. Since Berlin Noir I have been hooked on this series and Kerr still manages to throw in a surprise or two. I feel like I've known Bernie all my life and I dread his final case, if there is one.

debwalker May 07, 2011

"How and when does a brilliant author end a great series? Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes and then had to resurrect him. Agatha Christie gave Hercule Poirot a final case and a quiet demise. Recently, Henning Mankell finished his marvellous Kurt Wallander run with one devastating sentence. That brings us to Field Grey, Philip Kerr’s seventh novel starring Berlin cop Bernie Gunther. For the past three novels, all set in the postwar world, Bernie has been on the run, in hiding, scratching by. He’s 58, a survivor of two world wars and countless conspiracies. In Field Grey, Kerr’s darkest and most complex Gunther book, we find him alone, lonely and forced, in the most graphic way, to face his personal and political pasts."
Margaret Cannon
Globe and Mail May 6 2011

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