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The Budapest Protocol [Paperback]

Adam LeBor
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Jun 2009
Nazi-occupied Budapest, winter 1944: the Russians are smashing through the German lines. Miklos Farkas breaks out of the Jewish ghetto to find food - at the Nazi headquarters. There he is handed a stolen copy of The Budapest Protocol, detailing the Nazis post-war plans. Miklos knows it must stay hidden forever if he is to stay alive. Present day Budapest: as the European Union launches an election campaign for the first President of Europe, Miklos Farkas is brutally murdered. His grandson Alex, a journalist, buries his grief to track down the killers. He soon unravels a chilling conspiracy rooted in the dying days of the Third Reich, one that will ensure Nazi economic domination of Europe, and a plan for a new Gypsy Holocaust. The hunt is on for The Budapest Protocol. Alex is drawn deeper into a deadly web of intrigue and power play, a game played for the highest stakes: the future of Europe. Powerful, controversial and thought-provoking, The Budapest Protocol is a journey into Europe's hidden heart of darkness... Part of the sales proceeds to be donated to the Medical Foundation for the Victims of Torture.

Product details

  • Paperback: 235 pages
  • Publisher: Reportage Press (1 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906702128
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906702120
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 617,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'A first class political thriller.' --Alan Furst, author of The Spies of Warsaw

'The Budapest Protocol is in every way a superior thriller; tense, intelligent and thought-provoking. One of those rare books which flies by while you're reading it, but stays with you long after you've finished.' --Boris Starling, bestselling author of Messiah

'The Budapest Protocol is a well-paced eurothriller that rolls the headlines of today into a conspiracy from the past.' --Mark Burnell, author of the Stephanie Patrick thriller series

About the Author

Adam LeBor is the author of six acclaimed works of non-fiction. His groundbreaking Hitler s Secret Bankers, was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize. City of Oranges: Arabs and Jews in Jaffa was Book of The Week in The Guardian, Paperback Pick of The Week in the Sunday Times, and was shortlisted for the Jewish Quarterly Literary Prize. Adam LeBor writes for numerous publications including The Times, Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph, Monocle, Traveller, Comment is Free and the Economist, where he reviews crime and thrillers. Adam recently presented Jaffa Stories , based on City of Oranges, for BBC TV. He is a frequent commentator on the BBC and CNN.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 90% Intelligent, 10% Silly 12 Aug 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Budapest Protocol sounds like a cheesy Robert Ludlum thriller from the 1970's. The synopsis makes it sound like a paranoid anti-EU tract. Its neither of these things. For 90% of its length its an intelligent, complex 'what if' political thriller set in and around modern-day Hungary.

Written by Adam LeBor, a journalist, the heroes of the book are two journalists who uncover a plot, hatched by a cabal of Nazis and Swiss Bankers at the end of WWII to acheive via political and economic means what the Third Reich couldn't using military might; namely the takeover of central Europe. If this sounds far fetched (and to be honest it is) then LeBor's approach for the first 90% of the book isn't. For most of its length The Budapest Protocol is an intelligently written, soundly plotted political thriller that eschews the sort of OTT action that many contemporary thiller writers use to pep up their novels. There are no remorseless assassins, armies of henchmen, super cool secret agents or other thriller cliches on display here. Just decent characterisation, logical plot developments and pacing that if not turbo-charged is fast enough to hold your attention.

Despite the far fetched conspiracy angle there is also a strong sense of realism to much of the book. The political events that occur, whilst entirely fictional, do have the ring of the possible rather than the improbable about them. Equally the Hungary LeBor depicts, although again given a 'what if' spin, also feels real, the author using his first hand knowledge of the country and its culture to paint a vivid picture of the place and its peoples. All this, along with the solid characterisation and the generally logical plotting, helps mitigate against a central premise that is somewhat hard to swallow.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice ideas imperfectly realised 7 Oct 2011
I really wanted to like this thriller, but in the end I felt that it had failed to deliver, which was a great shame.

Adam LeBor is a very good journalist, and his book on Hitler's Swiss bankers is well worth reading Hitler's Secret Bankers: The Myth of Swiss Neutrality During the Holocaust - nailing as it does so well - the myth of the 'neutral' Swiss during WW2. He also knows eastern Europe and Hungary in particular very well - writing for The Economist, amongst others, on the country.

But as a novelist I think he has a way to go.

If you've not read the book and you're going to, I apologise now for any plot spoilers. The book's main hero is a journalist, troubled by the memory of the translator he was unable to save during the Bosnian war.

It is a story of a right-wing Hungarian government, carrying out racist sterilisation experiments on the country's Gypsies or Roma population - all set against a background of supposed extremist Muslim attacks on various European countries.

We have the spectre of a looming European super-state - elections are to be held for the newly-cerated and very powerful post of European President.

And, gradually we learn that pulling the strings behind the scnes is a shadowy group of neo-Nazis, determined to succeed where old Adolf and his ilk failed in 1939-45.

It may be that there were just too many ideas jostling for attention in the book, any one of which would have been fine as a main plot-line. Take the neo-Nazis - we could have had a book just about them - joining works like Glen Meade's
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy or tomorrow's nightmare ? 16 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are two readings of this book. One is a reasonably entertaining whodunit which could take place anywhere in the world. The other is much more substantial. Adam LeBor has familiarised himself intimately with the intricacies and sensitivites of one of the post-communist societies in east central Europe. The concrete criminal plot - while based on a counterfactual that is not totally impossible - does appear far fetched. However, the daily conversational sketches and character constructions are convincingly life-like. The story can be read as a warning about the directions that may be taken in a number of countries in the eastern part of the European Union, a region which has not ceased to be volatile in spite of its membership of the EU.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, high-minded thriller 6 Jun 2010
By Sarah A. Brown VINE VOICE
As a thriller this is solid, and rather old fashioned. The main interest lies in the setting, Budapest, the analysis of anti-Semitism and racism against the Roma in Hungary, and the depiction of far right politics in a near future Europe. Once its premises have been established, the novel plays out comparatively predictably, if pleasingly. I agreed with other reviewers who didn't care for the book's ending - but I think the same is true of many thrillers.

I bought this because I had been impressed by LeBor's book about Jaffa, `City of Oranges', and had also found his journalism interesting. Although I enjoyed this thriller, I found myself thinking that I'd actually prefer to read a non-fiction book about the rise of the European far right, which is all too real, although less sensational than events in `The Budapest Protocol'.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting ideas, but a predictable thriller
Not a bad book by any stretch and the ideas are interesting. Sadly the most interesting parts for me were the appendices, which discuss the true events much of the narrative is... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Pav
4.0 out of 5 stars A second coming?
A new author for me who created a vivid sense of many of the disturbing aspects of post communist Hungary and tied them to strands from its troubled past all within the format of a... Read more
Published 6 months ago by John S. McDonald
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable read
The Budapest Protocol is a well written and well informed contemporary thriller. Some of the plot twists are a bit outlandish but the political and historical background is good... Read more
Published on 14 Oct 2010 by MichaelR
3.0 out of 5 stars A bathroom thriller
The plot would call for a decent political thriller but there are some problems in its realization; it gives a vivid picture about the life of an English journalist (the author,... Read more
Published on 19 May 2010 by L. Fazekas
2.0 out of 5 stars At best mediocre, at worst offensive
I'm not sure what to make of this, but lets start by giving the author the benefit of the doubt and assume he isn't peddling his own political views. Read more
Published on 17 May 2010 by Fraser the Frank Fish
5.0 out of 5 stars First-class entertainment
I came to The Budapest Protocol having admired Adam le Bor as a journalist for a long time. He has written authoritative books on the UN, the war in Bosnia and, more recently,... Read more
Published on 11 Nov 2009 by Colin Lambert
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed Attempt to deal with rise of the Far Right in Hungary Through...
First up, this book deals with a very important issue: the rise of the far right in Hungary and the potential danger it poses for both Hungary and the wider European Union. Read more
Published on 21 Oct 2009 by Paul Hellyer
4.0 out of 5 stars I expected more......
A British journalist with Hungarian roots (Alex Farkas) , who is based in Hungary, uncovers a conspiracy following the murder of his Hungarian grandfather. Read more
Published on 7 Sep 2009 by johnverp
5.0 out of 5 stars you won't be able to put this down
A page-turning cliffhanger which forced me to cancel plans until I got to the end. A thriller in every sense of the word, intelligently crafted and frighteningly close to what is... Read more
Published on 13 July 2009 by Marianna Daniel
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