Berlin Noir

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Berlin Noir

by Philip Kerr

Penguin UK (PB) | July 1, 1993 | Trade Paperback

Berlin Noir is rated 4.6667 out of 5 by 3.
Ex-policeman Bernie Gunther thought he'd seen everything on the streets of 1930s Berlin. But then he went freelance, and each case he tackled sucked him further into the grisly excesses of Nazi subculture. And even after the war, amidst the decayed, imperial splendour of Vienna, Bernie uncovered a legacy that made the wartime atrocities look lily-white in comparison...

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 848 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 1.3 in

Published: July 1, 1993

Publisher: Penguin UK (PB)

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0140231706

ISBN - 13: 9780140231700

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Interesting and Captivating “Berlin Noir” a trilogy, by Philip Kerr This is a collection of the first three novels in the Bernhard Gunther series that were written between 1989 and 1991 and were published together in 1993 under the title “Berlin Noir”. Detailed in it are the earlier adventures of Bernhard Gunther, a private detective who specialized in missing person cases. The scenes reflect the climate of pre and post-World War 11 Berlin. As for the stories, they highlight some of the horrors that began with the birth of National Socialism and end with the allied occupation and reconstruction. Book 1 “March Violets”, Berlin 1936 When Gunther is retained by wealthy German industrialist Hermann Six to investigate the arson murder of his daughter and son in law and the theft of some priceless jewellery he finds himself in the middle of a major conspiracy involving highly placed Nazis. His investigation plunges him into Berlin’s dark side with its noisy cabarets, its easy women and tough men, and eventually to Dachau concentration camp. There he finds himself both on the receiving and giving end of violence, violence the world has yet to learn of. He has become a pawn in a game where corruption and decadent behaviour are practiced at its highest level. Book 2 “The Pale Criminal”, Berlin 1938 This is a time when the situation in Germany is escalating from bad to worse and P.I. Gunther is investigating a case of blackmail on behalf of his client Frau Lange. Part of his investigation has him undercover in a clinic where psychotherapy is practiced but things turn ugly when his partner is murdered and the alleged blackmailer commits suicide. To complicate things even further, Gunther is given an order he can’t refuse, he is ordered back to Kripo by the SS general Heydrich to work on a serial murder case in which two SS officers are being fingered by public opinion. This is a highly explosive period in Berlin just prior to Kristallnacht. Book 3 “A German Requiem”, Berlin 1947 This is a time when Germany is divided and Berlin is in a state of devastation, its people are doing their best to find food and shelter and rebuild their lives. Gunther recently released from a Russian prison is asked to investigate the murder of Edward Linden, an American Counterintelligence captain. An old acquaintance of his, Emil Becker has been arrested for the murder and may soon be convicted and put to death. Gunther strongly suspects Becker is being framed and with the clock ticking he must follow his strongest leads. The Russian Colonel Palkovich Poroshin, now in Vienna may have some important pieces to the puzzle but can Gunther really trust him. Deep into the investigation he draws the attention of a group of men who have their own secret agenda. An agenda that subsequently uncovers a nightmare landscape containing more death than he could ever have imagined…. The three novels are very interesting and captivating. What I found most fascinating is the historical setting; it brings us deep into the dark and chaotic period of Nazi-era Germany. Through the protagonist, we feel the hype and frenzy created by Hitler and the subsequent behaviour of the Nazi followers, we also experience the emotional letdown the German people felt post-war. Bernhard Gunther is portrayed as a person with an attitude who walked a fine line to stay alive. He was once an SS officer under the command of Heydrich, Himmler and Goering but transferred to the Russian front in order to distance himself from the path the SS was taking. In his writing Mr. Kerr uses a tone that is brutal and dry, fitting for the subject. “Berlin Noir” is a page turner, a vortex of plots and subplots that are easy to follow although hard to swallow. I have found this series highly entertaining and addictive.
Date published: 2010-12-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Huge and Thick with mixed metaphoric excellance This book is very good. It goes well when you read it and it is a very good book and makes me happy and is well constructed. Historical revisionism aside, within the "counterfactual" historical argument, the book, through the literary mechanism of "genre fiction", contributes much to a sense of place, and time -- it's the historical equivalent of smelling the bread as it is baking, without eating it or getting any crumbs on you. "Serious fiction" tends to leave more crumbs around. Just not as tidy.
Date published: 2000-12-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from 2 Out Of 3 Ain't Bad March Violets is the weakest of these three noir novels by Philip Kerr. It is an over-stylized PI novel, hopefully, paying homage to Raymond Chandler. In fact, Bernie Gunther starts out as nothing more than a Philip Marlowe clone. This is not the case for the remaining two novels. Kerr manages to give Gunther a distinct voice moving him away from his inauspicious beginnings. The Pale Criminal and A German Requiem are excellently written and thoroughly entertaining. As an aside, what these novels offer is a wonderful glance into Nazi Germany. Kerr shows his ability as a researcher and makes the time period breath. From a historical point of view, A German Requiem was the most interesting as it reveals a post-WWII Germany in all its chaos and fear.
Date published: 2000-06-22

– More About This Product –

Berlin Noir

by Philip Kerr

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 848 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 1.3 in

Published: July 1, 1993

Publisher: Penguin UK (PB)

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0140231706

ISBN - 13: 9780140231700

From the Publisher

Ex-policeman Bernie Gunther thought he'd seen everything on the streets of 1930s Berlin. But then he went freelance, and each case he tackled sucked him further into the grisly excesses of Nazi subculture. And even after the war, amidst the decayed, imperial splendour of Vienna, Bernie uncovered a legacy that made the wartime atrocities look lily-white in comparison...

About the Author

Philip Kerr was born in Edinburgh on February 22, 1956. He received a master's degree in law from the University of Birmingham in 1980. Before becoming a full-time author, he worked as an advertising copywriter. His first novel, March Violets, was published in 1989 and became the first book in the Bernie Gunther series. His other fiction works for adults include A Philosophical Investigation, Esau, A Five Year Plan, and Hitler's Peace. His non-fiction works include The Penguin Book of Lies and The Penguin Book of Fights, Feuds and Heartfelt Hatreds: An Anthology of Antipathy. He also writes children's books under the name P.B. Kerr, including the Children of the Lamp series and One Small Step.

From Our Editors

Ex-policeman Bernie Gunther thought he'd seen everything on the streets of 1930s Berlin. But then he went freelance, and each case he tackled sucked him further into the grisly excesses of Nazi subculture. And even after the war, amidst the decayed, imperial splendour of Vienna, Bernie uncovered a legacy that made the wartime atrocities look lily-white in comparison...
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