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The Moment Paperback – 28 Apr 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 160 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Hutchinson (28 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091795842
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091795849
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.3 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 364,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Epic novels, covering decades, great emotional drama and deep political schisms, have become an all too rare thing - certainly those that really zing with life and painful truths. So thank goodness for Douglas Kennedy. An American with a great European literary sensibility, he has produced a number of best-sellers marrying recent big historical events with finely-tuned tales of personal relationships and desires. The Moment, aside from being his tenth novel, is his most ambitious to date and most deeply felt. One way or another, writers rob from what is real and The Moment feels strikingly real... I used to think characters made novels, not settings. However, in The Moment, Douglas Kennedy has created a love story that's very much a product of a particular time and place, and yet the conclusion is beautifully understanding and universal." (Daily Mirror)

"Kennedy is an absolute master at love stories with heart-stopping twists, but even if you know this and read along expecting the unexpected, the denouement will have you feeling about as intense as printed words can make you... With its glorious evocation of a love affair at its highest height tempered by a wonderful supporting cast of Berlin's distressed beauties and freaks - the people and the buildings - the moment is simply sensational." (Times)

"The readers of Douglas Kennedy's novels aren't often left feeling short-changed - and here, once again, the storytelling is served up thick and meaty... there are shadowy spooks and John le Carré-style twists aplenty ... The result is a big, satisfying read.'" (Daily Mail)

"Kennedy, like William Boyd and Paul Watkins, has always managed to walk that precarious tight-rope of credibility between the twin towers of popular and literary fiction... Kennedy is particularly adept at capturing the ugliness of modern life... He captures with acuity men's self-destructive nature and the eddies in which husbands, fathers and sons find themselves caught." (Independent on Sunday)

"The Moment is a must if, like me, you are a sucker for a gripping yarn: nearly 500 pages of superbly written love and heartbreak, betrayal and redemption... Author Kennedy, clearly a hopeless romantic, is a dense writer in the Sebastian Faulks style... This is a spectacular piece of work, creating an irresistible world and life of its own, a novel in its purest form. Kennedy's secret weapon is so simple, words that need no translation as they move mountains: "Ich liebe dich."" (Sunday Express)

Book Description

From the Sunday Times bestselling author of Leaving the World comes a tragic love story set in Cold War Berlin.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even as a keen Kennedy fan, I've got to say that this novel just doesn't make the grade; it offers one dull, tedious, reading experience. Set in the 1980s before the Berlin Wall came tumbling down, it is obvious upon reading 'Moments' that Kennedy had done his research - maybe too much so. Rather than evoking the place/era through description, he constantly drops in the names of real German streets and locations, almost as if he had Google Earth up on his computer as he wrote the novel. It took a couple of hundred pages for the story's main protaganists to meet, leaving me to wonder at some points if the story was ever going to get going and gather pace. The European characters were also rather cliched, with most bars being filled with cynical, smoking, sardonic patrons. The passionate romance at the centre of the story was equally unoriginal in its depiction - with the couple alternately 'falling' or 'tumbling' into bed. I suspect that as Kennedy is one of the highest earners in his publishing house's stable, they are a little reluctant to edit him quite as much as they would with a new writer. The result is a rambling effort, which never quite engages. He can definitely do better than this! If you're new to Kennedy, save your cash and get one of his earlier efforts.
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Format: Paperback
Really enjoy reading Douglas Kennedy and absolutely loved this book. A few people had told me that it was a slow beginning but I have to disagree as I found myself completely absorbed from the start. This story is about a very intense love affair between two people living in Berlin pre the wall coming down. It was not only of great historical interest but also a very good insight into the lives of so many people who were affected by the cold war. An excellent and well written novel.
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Format: Paperback
In some ways this book is great. Great initial plot idea, great setting for most of the action- 1980s divided Berlin, and a very readable story that hooks you quickly and makes you want to keep reading. All classic Kennedy. But there are problems. Particularly towards the end of the book, much of the action seems unbelievable (and yes I realize it's fiction! I'm talking about characters' actions) and happens only to push the story along. I realize all stories need to do that but I feel it could have been done a bit better. My biggest complaint is that some major action that take place towards the beginning of the book and a plot point that takes place at the beginning of Petra and Thomas' love story are never mentioned again or resolved- I can't believe the editor of this book let those things go! I got the feeling Kennedy got bored writing this at the end because neglecting such things is seriously lazy from a writing standpoint. I also feel Kennedy is suffering a bit from the "Mary Sue" syndrome as the main character's job and much said about it I suspect are more than a little similar to the author's life. And also I GET that the book is set in the 1980s but do we really need yet another tragic, tortured gay character? Surely there were happy gays in the 1980s? (Another character we never hear about once the action moves to the present day, by the way.)

But! As I said there are good things! A generally readable story - finished the book in 2 days! Loved the description of 1980s decadent wasteland West Berlin as well as 'going behind the Iron Curtain' - and one exchange that takes place there really captures the feeling of paranoia among citizens of the former GDR. And, though some were evident from the outset, there were some really great twists that I didn't see coming.

Not quite as good Kennedy's best work. But still a fun read.
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I loved Douglas Kennedy's earlier books - I have recommended them to many book loving friends and as an avid reader I went on to buy his later books and was sadly very disappointed. I was hoping that this book would bring him back to his earlier form. In the first instance I disliked Thomas Nesbitt the main character - I found him arrogant, self centered and too too perfect. I also found the dialogue to be strained - would people really say some of the things Kennedy puts into their mouths - high intellectualism at the drop of a hat as in the conversation he has with his daughter. When I ask to whom is this book directed the idea of his homosexual heroin using painter flat mate was dark and unpleasant - the whole life style unappealing & sordid - then suddenly Petra appears and this over sugary love story in thrust into the middle of the action - the word "love" appearing in every other sentence. Are we looking for a male or female reader? Petra's story is right out of "The Lives of Others" (one of my favourite films of all times) and thus trite and although I am as yet only have way through the book it will have to go a long way to redeem itself.
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An inveterate Douglas Kennedy fan for many years, his last three offerings disappointed and buying this novel was the triumph of hope over experience. My faith was rewarded, the Douglas Kennedy I first read and loved is back.

Just as difficult to put down as his early books, The Moment creates memorable and credible characters and has a narrative that doesn't require suspension of disbelief. Beautifully written, this is the best Kennedy yet.
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