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The Berlin Crossing [Paperback]

Kevin Brophy
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 8.24 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

5 Jan 2012

Secrets and spies, love and tragedy in Stasi East Germany.

Brandenburg 1993: The Berlin Wall is down, the country is reunified and thirty-year-old school teacher Michael Ritter feels his life is falling apart. His wife has thrown him out, his new West German headmaster has fired him for being a socialist, former Party member and he is still clinging on to the wreckage of the state that shaped him. Disenfranchised and disenchanted, Michael heads home to care for his terminally ill mother.

Before she dies, she urges him to seek out an evangelical priest, Pastor Bruck, who is the only one who knows the truth about his father. When Michael eventually tracks him down, he is taken on a journey of dark discoveries, one which will shatter his foundations, but ultimately bring him hope to rebuild them.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (5 Jan 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755380851
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755380855
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 116,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Its humanity, attention to period detail and sheer guts will win you over' (Guardian)

There are distinct echoes... of the shadowy, sinister world evoked in John Le Carre's The Spy Who Came In From the Cold (Irish Independent)

'This fascinating tale, which throws new light on recent history, is an excellent first novel' (Literary Review)

Bittersweet and beautifully observed (Financial Times)

If you enjoy a good story with depth and intrigue, I don't think this book will disappoint. I loved it. Thoroughly recommended (www.thebookbag.co.uk)

Book Description

For readers who were gripped by the world of espionage in William Boyd's Restless, The Berlin Crossing is a compelling, unforgettable novel that brings to life the very human story behind a momentous turning point in history

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Human and moving story 18 Jan 2012
By I Readalot TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The destruction of The Berlin Wall is a momentous event than anyone who witnessed it will never forget, it happened so quickly and completely. We will never forget the East Berliners swarming through the breeches, the celebratory mood the excitement, it appeared that everyone was happy about it. OK, questions were asked about the speed of reunification not to mention how it was going to affect the West. But what about the East Germans? Those who were quite happy with how things were? Not the politicians and Stasi but the ordinary man on the street? `The Berlin Crossing' takes such a man, Michael Ritter and shows how reunification has destroyed his life. Once a respected `card carrying' English teacher, now he is treated with suspicion. His country no-longer exists and he believes that he has no place in this brave new world in a country that is still divided.

On her deathbed his Mother tells him to find Father Bruck the man who knows the truth about his father. He finds him but are some truths better left buried? Michael uses the information he discovers to write the history of his father starting in the Autumn of 1962 in London. It is part cold war spy thriller, part love story and makes for a compelling read.

It is apparent that the author knows Berlin well, I lived in West Berlin myself in the 70's and know what it is like to live surrounded by that wall, to stand on a platform and look over into the East while being watched by border guards. While reading `The Berlin Crossing' I was back there at a time when incredible risks were taken by East German to escape to the West. We are so used to reading the `West good - East bad' kind of story that this makes a refreshing change.

This is a very human and moving story of one man's odyssey to find out the truth about himself the question is will the truth set him free and allow him to pick up the pieces of his life to start again?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars masterful 20 April 2012
By Ioannis Glinavos VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a fantastic book that I thoroughly enjoyed. It is divided in four parts telling interrelated stories. The opening part tells the story of an emotionally lost young man at the point of the collapse of the Berlin Wall. The character of the young man is very well constructed and has an interesting twist: he longs for the days of communism, as he was a very idealistic member of the party. This is very interesting, as one is used in literature covering this period to read about characters who fight the regime. The man's life is thrown upside down by the collapse of his 'homeland' the loss of his job and the death of his mother. It is the latter that provides the core drama in the book, as with her dying words she asks the man to locate the father he never met. This sets him off on a quest to locate this long forgotten father. The following part tells the story of the father and how he came to be in Germany behind the wall as an English spy. I will not reveal more as it will spoil the suspense.All in all a masterful work combining the best of historical novels and spy thrillers that I am confident you will enjoy. If you do like it watch Goodbye Lenin! (2002) [DVD]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By JK TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Have to be very honest and say that I surprised myself by enjoying Berlin Crossing much more than I thought I would. Great credit has to go to Kevin Brophy for the amount of work he obviosuly put into producing a book that's refreshingly original and highly stylish. Runs a tight line between thriller and spy and captures the essence of both without becoming confused or muddled. Brophy develops his lead character with confidence and has no objection to flinging him into situations that are incredibly intense and emotional as he trawls the streets of a much changed Germany after the collapse of the Berlin Wall. This is a guy who has to lose everything in order to find himself again and there's a real feel of loss and abandonment throughout the book on both a personal and a social level. Hard hitting, powerful and, in it's own way, deeply disturbing with an equal blend of violence, anxiety and raw emotion as people are thrown around in the the face of enormous change. Can't say that Berlin Crossing is quick paced and a real page turner, it's not, this is a book that takes some concentration and not one to dip in and out of but it's worth the read. Enjoyed it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant first novel 5 Jan 2012
By Mrs. V. Bradley TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I found the characters totally believable. This is really I suppose a book in three parts, each one equally moving and unforgettable. The story begins in Germany with an embittered Michael who does not want to come to terms with the fall of the Berlin Wall, because he is still a communist at heart and favours life as it used to be in the divided city. His relationship with his mother is far from perfect, and he has lost his job as a teacher because of his beliefs. Following his mother's death things will never be the same for Michael. Admittedly this part of the story takes a little while to get going, but it draws the reader on with a need to find out what happens next. The second part takes up the bulk of the novel and eventually takes the reader back to a divided Germany and the world of espionage, love and loss. For me this is how I imagine life on the wrong side of the Berlin wall must have been like, and indeed the author says in his acknowledgements that he spoke to a few former disenchanted members of the GDR and gained some insight in to their lives. Without giving anything away the third part of the book comes almost full circle with Michael discovering his true self. A rattling good read and one I heartily recommend. More please Mr Brophy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars It's ok but!
A very believable story spoiled by use of unneccesary swearing. It adds nothing to the story. Does the author suffer from Tourette's?
Published 8 months ago by D C Morris
3.0 out of 5 stars The Berlin Wail
`The Berlin Crossing' by Kevin Brophy opens with a very interesting idea; what happened to those East Germans who stayed loyal to the Soviet Union after Germany unified? Read more
Published 12 months ago by Sam Tyler
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Le Carre nor Deighton ...
.... but it doesn't try to be. Nevertheless, it is a very enjoyable read - I read it on a train journey to and from London. Read more
Published 15 months ago by yeg
5.0 out of 5 stars very good
Based on the divided history of Germany, with a love story behind. The realisation of the timescales and the fact that people are still alive that will remember the situation. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Pat
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
An ok read for anyone interested in East Germany but there are some errors in the facts. On the other hand there is such a shortage of Stasi literature that it is worth spending a... Read more
Published 16 months ago by T
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
A good story is spoilt by too frequent use of the f-word. The author resorts too much to stereotyped sadism on the part of the authorities whether they are the London police or... Read more
Published 21 months ago by lpg
2.0 out of 5 stars Too many flaws
This story is implausible in many aspects of its plot. There are also many small and some larger factual mistakes, which one would not expect from someone who has spend... Read more
Published on 27 July 2012 by LoriKai
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual
This is an odd book. Set in London/Berlin/East Germany of the 1960's after the construction of the Wall and Germany and Ireland post German Re-unification. Read more
Published on 7 May 2012 by Donald Thompson
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not great
I wanted to like this book. I studied German to degree level and have spent considerable time there. Read more
Published on 26 April 2012 by R. A. Mansfield
1.0 out of 5 stars I can't believe it.
Disappointing with the same level of credibility as a Jeffrey Archer pot- boiler.
I normally read sixty to hundred pages a night, but I feel if I persevere for much longer... Read more
Published on 19 Mar 2012 by coopercat - surrey
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