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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunningly good
I'm not sure that it would be accurate to describe Audrey Magee's `The Undertaking' as a story, maybe it's more `theme', tracing the descent of the soul in two connected people, one on the front line, one on the home front, into a kind of hell that they could not have imagined when they started out as, respectively, a village schoolmaster and a bank clerk. The choice of...
Published 13 months ago by Longchamps

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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bleak and brutal
The literature of war is written by the victors. Later, the victims, and eventually, the vanquished. There is a space in which to explore how ordinary housewives, everyday soldiers and those who conform to socially accepted norms of civilisation behave in times of conflict. Do they gradually succumb to an erosion of those values, becoming cruel and cynical in order to...
Published 9 months ago by leekmuncher


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4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully emotion evoking., 26 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Undertaking (Hardcover)
I loved this book. It is a far cry from my normal genre of literature but i am so glad i chose it. Refreshing to read about the war from a German perspective. It was brutally honest which evokes a great emotion from the reader. AMAZING.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so sad, so brilliant, 15 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: The Undertaking (Paperback)
So horrifying, so sad, so brilliant. A must read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and a very good, 13 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: The Undertaking (Paperback)
Account of the second world war from a different perspective. From the corrupting influence of the Nazi regime to an oblique view of the holocaust and life on the eastern front. Interesting and a very good read
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What would I have done...?, 14 May 2014
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This review is from: The Undertaking (Kindle Edition)
There are no spoilers in this review.

From the opening paragraphs Audrey Magee’s prose had me keen to read on.

Surprisingly Audrey Magee has only given us three hundred or so pages with this novel. I say surprising because she seems to have put so much into those pages, making every word of her prose, every sentence and paragraph have relevance – no superfluous word count filling unnecessary chapters here.

The Undertaking is fiction but it is a novel based on thoroughly researched facts and has the potential to offer the reader much to think about.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a new story but..., 6 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The Undertaking (Kindle Edition)
Well, this ought to be three stars, it really should, because of the sheer volume of dialogue. I warn you: you'll end up turning pages.

And we've had the home-front in Germany done a hundred times so there is nothing new here. It isn't original at all. So a mystery as to why a publisher grabbed it in this market...it's yet another WW2 novel.

Well, one reason is that if you do get past chapter three and can rise above the endless dialogue to where the writer actually writes - then it is readable. I did enjoy it. That's the fact. And I liked the characters.

So, Russian Front soldier desperate for leave goes back to marry girl from lower middle-class home - where the father is a Nazi sympathizer. Our hero rather touchingly falls for the girl and she him. But we know what's going to happen. What grabs is the gradual decline in their fortunes, not in terms of money, but survival. And we see the changes in the horrors of home and the front - but we know about those....

I'm not sure I'd recommend this - due to the quality of writing - and I turned page after page of dialogue that added little to the story - but there is something about the book that I did enjoy and I think it is the quality of the characterisation. It's good and that gets it into a four star. But not the page after page of conversation...
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4.0 out of 5 stars I found it one of the darkest books I have ..., 31 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: The Undertaking (Kindle Edition)
I found it one of the darkest books I have ever read -at the same time it made me think deeply about the war from a German point of view.
Well worth reading but can be upsetting.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A personal view of conflict. Excellent!, 30 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: The Undertaking (Kindle Edition)
You became immersed in the whole passage of time . It was so interesting and informative. The conversations were really well constructed. You were a fly on the wall.
Great read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A true and honest account, 20 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: The Undertaking (Kindle Edition)
Audrey Magee has written a truly remarkable book with a brutal honesty that favours no one. I believe this book should be on the reading list of every school.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 27 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: The Undertaking (Paperback)
Loved it. Can't say why because it would spoil the end. But throughout the book they live for the day they meet again and this hope keeps them going.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The undertaking by Audrey Magee, 14 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: The Undertaking (Kindle Edition)
I was recommended this book by a member of greystones book club. For a first novel l thought it was very good , very atmospheric and emotional.
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The Undertaking
The Undertaking by Audrey Magee (Hardcover - 6 Feb. 2014)
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