- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (16 Feb. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007413637
- ISBN-13: 978-0007413638
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.7 x 24 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 487,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Pantheon Hardcover – 16 Feb 2012
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***** ‘Shifting his focus from hi-tech present day conspiracies to a very dark chapter of the second world war, Bourne has proved he can more than rub shoulders with the likes of John Le Carre and Robert Harris.’ Mirror
‘Pantheon is a propulsive, satisfying novel which burns with moral indignation, earning Bourne his place at the thriller-writers' high table.’ Guardian
‘Ingeniously constructed … a page-turner which maintains the tension’ Observer
‘An intelligent thriller with a vividly drawn wartime atmosphere’ Independent
‘A compelling story that combines the personal traumas of war, its headline dramas and the tragic tension that can arise between them. A disturbing delight.’ A D Miller, author of SNOWDROPS
About the Author
Sam Bourne is the pseudonym of Jonathan Freedland, an award-winning journalist and broadcaster. He has written a weekly column for the Guardian since 1997, having previously served as the paper’s Washington correspondent, and presents Radio 4’s contemporary history programme, The Long View.
In the annual What the Papers Say Awards of 2002 Jonathan Freedland was named Columnist of the Year, and in 2008 he won the David Watt Prize for Journalism. His first novel, The Righteous Men, was a Sunday Times Number 1 bestseller. His subsequent novels have all been top five bestsellers. He lives in London with his wife and their two children.
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Top Customer Reviews
I disliked it for the writing style - plodding and tedious, with way too much scene-setting in the first half of the book. Perhaps an equal reason for my dislike was the protagonist, James Zennor. Okay, I understand that he was badly wounded in the Spanish civil war and that he's suffering from what we'd now call PTSD but I was completely unable to empathise with him. To me, the character came over as thoroughly unpleasant, arrogant and obnoxious and, in real life, any sensible wife would have left him.
Although the author has done a huge amount of research into events surrounding his main plotline, it's a pity that nobody in the editorial team picked up on a couple of really silly errors. There was no "first class stamp" in England in 1940. First- and 2nd-class postal services were introduced in 1968. Additionally, it is extremely unlikely that Zennor would have seen container ships in the Port of Liverpool in 1940. Containerisation as we understand it today did not arrive until the 1950s.
I read to the end, hoping the book would get better and hoping for a twist in the tail. Neither wish was granted. Ho hum. Sorry but I can't recommend this to anybody for any reason.
It's terrible. Boring, rambling, pages and pages of exposition, suddenly interspersed with about three lines of action, all of it incredible.
Phone call to Master of Oxford College (a man who 'knows everybody') 'I need a passage across the Atlantic in 1941 and if you don't get one for me, I'll tell everybody about your pregnant mistress.' My, my, that's original. And is the Master a ticket agent?
It goes on like this with an increasingly dislikeable and ludicrous protagonist lurching about all over the place doing nothing of interest other than find potential nuggets of truth which he reduces to trivia.
Terrible. And what makes it worse is that it's badly written for which there is no excuse at all as the writer is an excellent journalist. Don't bother if you haven't already bought it. Or, if you're an aspiring writer, have a look and be appalled.
Could not quite get to grips with the internal musings of the main character with regard to - amongst other things - his "rage;" the reasons for the 'wonderful' Florence leaving suddenly were not adequately explained and when an attempt was made to explain was not at all convincing; and I found the attempt to write as though this was coming from the mind/point of view of an upstanding, middle class well educated gentleman in the 1930's a bit contrived. He lacked depth and it was difficult to empathise with such a remote and at times unlikeable character. I found myself wishing that he would be arrested, and then deported back to the UK, thus leaving the impossibly 'wonderful' and 'beautiful' Florence to her fate in the US for having the audacity to leave with this small child in the first place. The 'by the way' references to the 'strange' foods - ie pizza's - was rather silly and not really in context.
Everything and everybody was so middle class, rich and posh that I just didnt care in the end what happened to any of them! The only time us mere mortals were mentioned was when the good Dr worked himself into a tiz thinking about those good working class fellows fighting the nazi menace for good old Blighty and the rest of the world.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found this a little hard to get into at first but once I had, I was gripped til the end!Published 9 months ago by Mrs. Hayley Edmunds
finding hard going not the usual type of Sam Bourne story ,it's a bit like when you dream but keep dreaming the same bit over and over
going nowhere fast. Read more