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Enigma [Paperback]

Robert Harris
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Oct 2009
Bletchley Park: the top-secret landmark of World War Two, where a group of young people were fighting to defeat Hitler, and win the war. March 1943, the Second World War hangs in the balance, and at Bletchley Park a brilliant young codebreaker is facing a double nightmare. The Germans have unaccountably changed their U-boat Enigma code, threatening a massive Allied defeat. And as suspicion grows that there may be a spy inside Bletchley, Jericho's girlfriend, the beautiful and mysterious Claire Romilly suddenly disappears.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (1 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099527928
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099527923
  • Product Dimensions: 2.9 x 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Harris is the author Fatherland, Enigma, Archangel, Pompeii, Imperium and The Ghost - all of which were worldwide bestsellers. His work has been translated into thirty-three languages. He was born in Nottingham in 1957 and is a graduate of Cambridge University. He worked as a reporter on the BBC's Newsnight and Panorama programmes, before becoming Political Editor of the Observer in 1987, and then a columnist on the Sunday Times and the Daily Telegraph. In 2003 he was named Columnist of the Year in the British Press Awards. He lives near Hungerford in Berkshire with his wife and their four children.

Product Description

Amazon Review

A gripping World War II mystery novel with a cryptographic twist, Enigma's hero is Tom Jericho, a brilliant British mathematician working as a member of the team struggling to crack the Nazi Enigma code. Jericho's own struggles include nerve-wracking mental labour, the mysterious disappearance of a former girlfriend, the suspicions of his coworkers within the paranoid high-security project, and the certainty that someone close to him, perhaps the missing girl, is a Nazi spy. The plot is pure fiction but the historical background, Alan Turing's famous wartime computing project that cracked the German U-boat communications code, is real and accurately portrayed. Enigma is convincingly plotted, forcefully written, and filled with well-drawn characters; in short, it's everything a good techno-mystery should be. --James Early --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"The brilliance of Enigma is that it gives readers the sense of being contemporary with its characters and then leads them on a dark journey of discovery to arrive at another of the Second World War's blackest horror stories, one not fully admitted until half a century later... Altogether top-class stuff. Peter Millar" (The Times)

"Enigma totally gripped me" (Sunday Times)

"After the resounding success of his first novel, Fatherland, the question was what would Robert Harris do for an encore? This is his resounding answer" (Mail on Sunday)

"Extraordinarily good... undoubtedly the best thriller of the year, and perhaps of several years to come" (Evening Standard)

"I finished the book regretful it had ended, and full of wonder at this extraordinary world, people and achievements it evoked" (Observer)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 22 July 2000
England, 1943. The German Enigma code has been cracked and the Allied forces are close to winning the crucial Battle of the Atlantic. Suddenly, the code is changed and it is obvious that there is a traitor in the midst. Code-cracker Tom Jericho then finds that his girlfriend Claire has gone missing, leaving incriminating evidence in her room and a full-scale search begins to find her. But Tom cannot believe that she was the betrayer and sets out to find his own answers. With support from Claire's curious roommate Hester, he uncovers a mystery that goes far deeper than the Enigma codes. He discovers a secret that both the Gestapo and the British government are strangely united in their efforts to keep, a secret that could be dangerous in the wrong hands and a secret that shames those fighting on both sides.
This book is an absolutely amazing historical detective story. Harris's debut, "Fatherland" was unputdownable and vastly intriguing but this book goes one better. In "Enigma" we are presented with the world as it was nearly 60 years ago, and an England tired by War. Symbolising this fatigue is our hero Jericho, a young man press-ganged into helping to crack the Enigma cose and almost killing himself in the process. After a short rehabilitation he arrives back at the Bletchley code-cracking centre to prove his worth and finding himself embroiled in a mystery in which the enigmatic woman he has fallen for is strangely implicated. Harris creates a flawed hero and an unconventional heroine in the shape of Hester Wallace, who together discover that the disappearance of Claire and the discovery by the Germans that their code has been cracked are linked to a shameful secret hidden in the forests of Eastern Europe.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. I was hooked from the start. 15 Mar 1999
By A Customer
As well as being an excellent thriller, this book painted a very vivid picture of what life was like at Bletchley park during the war. The technical detail was interesting, and prompted me to buy other books to find out more about the enigma codes. I don't read many novels, but as soon as I started this one I was hooked. I now plan to read his other novels too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book and is also a fair film 8 Dec 2012
Hollywood appears constantly on the look out for a good story to adapt into the next blockbuster's screen play. All too often, a once and loveable old friend is re-packaged and franchised for the big screen; stripped, nay raped, of all the subtleties and nuances that made the story interesting in the first place.

Don't get me wrong, I love film. At it's best, I love the medium's ability to awe, to inspire, to entertain, and yes even to shock an audience in glorious surround sound and in pictures twenty feet tall. At it's worst, overt commercial considerations often drive a need to 'dumb down', cut short or alter so much that any similarity to the source material is purely coincidental. Good adaptations will often omit subplots, almost certainly cut out or amalgamate characters whilst at least preserving, sometimes even improving, on the substance of the original in the transition from book to screen.

Normally a book is read before it's film adaptation is seen, which is why all to often you hear complaints a film doesn't measure up to it's book. For me and "Enigma", it was the other way around. I missed the original publication back in 1995 and only through picking up a bargain DVD of the film did I finally get to see the cinematic version.

At long last I can now compare the film with it's source material, and can honestly say the film is a fair and accurate representation of the book and a good example of what I consider to be a successful adaption. Harris certainly evokes the sights, smells, tastes and sounds or a war weary Britain in the depth of the winter in 1943, and skilfully explains complicated technical details so even a technophobe can understand the various plot lines. I was gripped from the first page to the last.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A holiday book 13 May 2006
A bookish young man is found shattered; physically and emotionally. But, who is he and why is he in Cambridge? Enigma was recommended to me, and I recommend it to you. Jericho, the protagonist, persues what he thinks is his love in a page-turning race, twists and turns await the reader - all in the setting of industrious Bletchley Park. All the charachters are plausible and emotive - but there are some stereotypes about Oxbridge types, which really must be dismissed. Enigma gripped me, and must be the second brilliant invention from the wonderful family that made my tweed jacket.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alan Howard, superb reading 4 May 2008
Format:Audio CD
I had seen the film, loved the book, but I had not realised the joy of Alan Howard's intelligent and beautiful reading. He has played in Foyles War and many theatre roles and is delightful, witty, funny (as Mrs Armstrong especially, moving as Mr Jericho and wonderful as the admiral and staff) and has incredible range. This reading made a trip to Bristol, of 2 hours and back, a joy, and when the tube or train is standing room only, the perfect way to enjoy the ipod. It is slightly abridged which is a great shame, but at 6 hours +, every minute is worth it. Please Alan Howard read more!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I'm not keen on some RH books - didn't enjoy Fatherland - but loved this and an Officer and a Spy. If you find some of his books a bit heavy, try these. Excellent.
Published 21 minutes ago by Shrimp11
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read - Enigma
Very, very entertaining read. I recommend this to anyone looking for a good thriller. Casey plot with lots of twists and turns.
Published 12 days ago by Bajanexile
2.0 out of 5 stars Not This Time
I am a fan of Robert Harris and usually give his books a five star rating unfortunately unless you have a degree in mathematics plus being a qualified engineer then this one his... Read more
Published 16 days ago by David1947
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Robert Harris masterpiece
The author's ability to write gripping books on such a wide range of subjects is unique. Compelling. Great read once again.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs J. Saunders
5.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing page-turner
Enigma is a great read, Harris writes very well - so easy to read and keep turning those pages. Even very technical or mathematical explanations are made very simple to... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Michelle A
5.0 out of 5 stars Enigma - a great read
Having finished reading Robert Harris' 20th Anniversary version of 'Fatherland', which I had thoroughly enjoyed, I thought I would like to follow on with another of his books. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dr. B. H. Stagg
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book.
Great book, technical explanations well written, good story, best book I've read for ages. Well researched by the talented writer.
Published 1 month ago by Roger F
4.0 out of 5 stars A Book to be Recommended
He has done his research and it is well written even if at the end it sounds a little far fetched
Published 1 month ago by Canon P I Impey
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good story.
A wonderful plot. Excellent characters. Clever weaving of fiction and history. A bit too wordy at times, but I was sorry when it ended.
Published 1 month ago by Dr. Edward J. Swan
5.0 out of 5 stars engrossing and thoughtful
Another great read from Mr Harris, he is alone in his ability to match historical detail, suspense and character with a pace that makes this book a real page turner. Read more
Published 1 month ago by iPhone listener
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