I gave up on this one because the depiction of the female characters was horrendous While the male characters are well rounded enough, the females were one dimensional and by the time it got to the twentieth reference to the size of their breasts I was bored The repetitive sexual violence is fairly disturbing as well, and not well handled basically, the women only exist in this novel to be exploited and abused. Ever since reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Soldier s Wife, I have been intrigued by the story of this Guernsey Island s occupation by the German forces during the Second World War I have a difficult time rating this one at times I was ready to quit reading it altogether, but I did stick with it This book is much darker than either of the previously mentioned books Perhaps it is a accurate depiction of what might happen to people living under the stress and deprivation that was visited upon the Guernsey Islanders during that horrific time I found writing a bit scattered as it s viewpoint would swing between the various Islanders as well as several of the officers in the invading army There is not much heroism displayed mostly people doing whatever it was they felt they needed to do to survive And that was often grim Ultimatley, however scattered, sometimes tedious and often vague the writing is, there are so many passages that are completely brilliant. , The German Army Has Been Defeated At Stalingrad The Tide Is Beginning To Turn But On Guernsey And The Rest Of The Channel Islands, The Only British Territory To Have Been Occupied, Such A Reversal Is Unimaginable The Reality Of War Seems A Lifetime Away, Yet Resentment And The Debilitating Effects Of Food Storages Undercut The Picturesque Calm However, Life Goes On, Parties Are Held, Love Affair Blossom And The Guernesy Amateur Dramatic And Operatic Players Continue To Stage Their Productions When A Young Local Woman Is Found Murdered, Both The Islanders And The Occupiers Are Forced To Acknowledge That This Most Civilized Of Wars Conceals A Bitter And Darker Struggle Than Anyone Cares To Recognize Taking place on the island of Guernsey during Word War II, this is a novel is not sure if it wants to be a murder mystery, an historical novel, or a scintillating romance The first 100 pages introduce all the characters German officers one referred to as Major and the other as Captain very confusing , too many Guernsey girls, Todt workers, police constable Ned Luscombe, and the Van Dielens Mr Van Dielen, a builder of large projects, is working with the Germans to construct fortifications around island Isobel Van Dieleln, the prettiest and richest girl on the island, has become a favorite of German Captain Lentsch Over 100 pages into the novel, Isobel is found murdered at the bottom of a German bunker New Luscombe is asked to work with the German officers to help solve the murder Isobel s cooperation with the Germans has made her unpopular with the native population was it one of them But how could one of the natives get to a German bunker, off limits and carefully guarded What could have been good murder mystery is way laid by black market scandal, the disappearance of Isobel s rich father, antagonistic feelings of Captain Lentsch for Hitler, and the need of the Guernsey population to resist while appearing to accept the German command Unlikely friendships develop in the course of the story Multiple plot threads get wrapped up at the end, but lead to an over loaded and confusing novel. Excellent Well written, lyrical, suspensful I did not know about the German occupation of Guernsey, it was good to learn something new. Great story, set in Channel Isles under German occupation The story is great, the telling is great, and a wonderful insight into a odd little corner of history. This is a very special book.It is an historical novel as well as a murder mystery.Set on the Channel Islands during German Nazi occupation,it masterfully gets into the main character lives and describes their inner feelings and deals with the essence of humanity, as wellas inhumanity.The only flaw that I detected that would prevent it from being a masterpiecewas a somewhat rushed and uncertain ending.It was as if the author was preparing us for a sequel, although many of the main characters fates had been resolved.Still, there remained the unresolved fates of others.This writer has an uncanny ability to get into the minds of his characters and make us feel what they are feeling.I read this book straight through It is a tale of good and evil that showed clearly two sides at war, both trying to coexist as well as possible on an island cut off from the rest of the world. Based in Guernsey during the WW11 and the German occupation Very interesting read Makes you wonder if one might collaborate with the occupying army, if it fills the families bellies and makes life a little tolerable Found it an interesting read to understand how the life was under the jackboot These Islands being the only part of the UK to be occupied by the enemy Plot was good , but some of the characters were instantly forgettable Overall worth the read. Mid 4 This is a formidable novel which raises the question of allegiance and loyalty amongst a population subject to occupation by enemy forces, and the moral complexities of fraternisation with the latter In addition, how empathy with the culture and lives of those under their jurisdiction from any member of the occupying force could be interpreted by a distant leadership Binding sets this novel on the idyllic island of Guernsey, under occupation by the Nazis at the height of the Second World War The lives of his main protagonists, Major Lubitsch, commander of the occupying forces, and Ned Luscombe, head of the native police force, are woven irretrievably together by the love they share for the same woman, and a murder which will have them both question what they believe in and who they can confide in The plot of the novel cleverly incorporates a cast of memorable characters and a heady mix including slave labour, amateur dramatics, black marketeering, and even the shadow of the Fuhrer himself as his birthday approaches The author intelligently and deftly builds the tension to a satisfying climax and sublimely captures the mood and feel of the time and place. Got 120 pages in and it is still going nowhere time to gas it and move on.
Novelist Tim Binding was born in Germany in 1947 A former editor at Penguin Books in London, he is a part time commissioning editor at London publishers Simon Schuster He is the author of the novels, In the Kingdom of Air 1993 , A Perfect Execution 1996 shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize , Island Madness 1998 , set on Guernsey during the Second World War, and Man Overboard 20
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- Island Madness
- Tim Binding
- 16 May 2017 Tim Binding