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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; Unabridged edition (2 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747586764
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747586760
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 14.8 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (284 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 840,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William Boyd is the author of ten novels, including A Good Man in Africa, winner of the Whitbread Award and the Somerset Maugham Award; An Ice-Cream War, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Brazzaville Beach, winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; Any Human Heart, winner of the Prix Jean Monnet; Restless, winner of the Costa Novel of the Year, the Yorkshire Post Novel of the Year and a Richard & Judy selection, and most recently, the bestselling Ordinary Thunderstorms.

(Photo credit: Eamonn McCabe)

Product Description

Review

'The most accomplished storyteller of his generation' Independent 'Boyd has an exceptional ability to tell a really compelling story, in dense imaginative detail, about characters with complex, and convincing, emotional lives' Los Angeles Times Book Review 'Boyd has combined serious literary intent with an enviable talent for character, storytelling and humour' Daily Express

Book Description

The Richard & Judy bestseller, the BBC TV series is now available on DVD --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

124 of 128 people found the following review helpful By BookWorm TOP 500 REVIEWER on 31 May 2007
Format: Paperback
Although a fan of Boyd's writing, I was quite pleased to see his latest novel, Restless, was something of a departure from his usual storyline centring on a bumbling Englishman plauged with absurd misfortune, usually in some exotic setting. It's always a test of a good writer to see if they can pull off a story in a different genre to their staple area - and Boyd passes the test.

Restless is a spy thriller, with two strong and interesting central characters, fast paced, well plotted, and with a couple of good, original twists. The story is told in alternating first and third person chapters; the first person narrator being Ruth, a single mother in 1970s Britain; the third person narrative telling the story of Eva, a young woman recruited into the murky world of British spying/propaganda in Europe and America during WWII. The lives of the two overlap in modern times as Eva turns out to be Ruth's mother - now living an apparently ordinary life as an English widow - and has decided the time has come to settle some old scores.

Boyd's writing style is always a pleasure to read, and lends itself surprisingly well to this genre. His attention to detail and ability to make the mundane seem interesting, as well as bringing out the absurdities of life, are ideal for creating atmosphere and setting the scene, and it seemed somehow much more plausible than many spy stories.

The idea of combining the war era with peace times isn't entirely original, but it did work quite well here and brought home the story's central point of how spy work changed the mindset of a person forever.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and found it very gripping - one of those it's difficult to put down. Maybe not a book that would stay with me forever, but certainly a good read whilst it lasts. I would place Boyd up there along with masters like Le Carre, and would look forward to reading anything else he writes in this genre.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Mick Read on 2 May 2009
Format: Paperback
It is 1976 and Ruth Gilmartin is a single mother living in Oxford with five-year-old son Jochen and getting by teaching English to foreign students. Sally, her mother, now in her seventies, lives an hour away by car and they see each other regularly at weekends. It is on one such hot summer Saturday that Sally hands her daughter a large file of loose pages to read and, in so doing, introduces Ruth to Eva Delectorskaya, beautiful Eva, multi-lingual Russian émigrée living in Paris in 1939, soon to become a wartime British spy and Ruth's mother.

From here on Boyd skilfully, wonderfully interleaves the unfolding story of Eva Delectorskaya during those war years with the here and now of 1976, as Sally Gilmartin, once again the spy, inveigles her daughter into one last assignment. The use of two time-lapsed stories is seamless, working perfectly to develop the total picture; when reading a chapter of Eva's racy history I found myself itching to get back to Ruth's here and now, and when catching up on Ruth's life and her mother's calculating plan I was desperate to know what happened next with Eva.

Boyd delivers a gripping, grass-roots story of disinformation and subterfuge, more in the vein of Alec Lemas than James Bond, where brain is more important than brawn and only the sharpest minds survive. And Eva Delectorskaya is not only very beautiful but very, very sharp.

Enjoy this book.
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88 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 31 Aug. 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed the story and am a fan of Boyd's writing in general.
But the Kindle edition has very low production values. Missing words, the same names spelled different ways in different places, extra hyphens for no apparent reason. And not just the odd instance, but many of them. It's as little as though they have used some poor OCR and failed to proof read properly. I'm not massively picky about such things, but this was so bad it distracted from the book. I wouldn't mind if the Kindle editions were cheaper than the physical book, but at these prices proper quality is a must. Will be complaining direct to Amazon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Abbie on 8 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback
Sex. Espionage and Deathly Secrets.
An outstanding novel, page turning and thought provoking. Restless is William Boyd's ninth book and is the winner of Costa's Novel Award 2006. Boyd has established himself not only within the literature community but also on media levels as well with 13 of his screenplays being filmed and even writing and directing `The Trench'.
Restless is told in alternating first and third person chapters. The first person is a young woman called Ruth Gilmartin, a single mother with a first degree from Oxford whom is now teaching English to foreign students as their second language. The third person narrative is the voice of Eva Delectorskaya a 28 year old Russian who is recruited by British Secret Service after her brother's mysterious death. Eva's story of secrets, love, lust, betrayal and murder hits Ruth hard as she's reading her own mothers closely guarded autobiography. Nothing is as it seems. Ruth begins to realise that her mother, a top class spy in world war two, has one last score to settle, without knowing it Ruth is now part of this tangled web of deceit and has a vital part to play in her mother's last mission.
Extremely well written and tantalisingly gripping, culminating in the alternating first and third person narrative seamlessly linking into the current events from the first person narrative of Ruth. I found myself wanting to read Eva Delectorskaya's diary all at once. Boyd's twist's had me gasping; his effective manipulation of tension and suspension creates shockwaves throughout the reader.
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