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Restless by [Boyd, William]
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Restless Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 322 customer reviews

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Length: 336 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Review

" An absorbing historical thriller." -- "The New Yorker" " Superbly written... one of the most smoothly readable novels of the year." -- Alan Cheuse," ""Chicago"" Tribune"
" [An] espionage thriller and domestic drama by one of the very best prose stylists and storytellers in the English language." -- "Atlantic Monthly"""
" The quality of Boyd's prose and the insight he brings to the story make "Restless" resonate. Told in his characteristically unobtrusive and elegant tone-- [Boyd] explores the very idea of spying..." -- Timothy Peters, "San Francisco Chronicle"
" A gripping and smartly crafted spy thriller set against a fascinating and largely hidden episode in U.S.-British relations." -- John Dalton, "Washington"" Post"

" An absorbing historical thriller. " -- The New Yorker & nbsp; " Superbly written ... one of the most smoothly readable novels of the year. " -- Alan Cheuse, Chicago Tribune
" [An] espionage thriller and domestic drama by one of the very best prose stylists and storytellers in the English language. " -- Atlantic Monthly
" The quality of Boyd ' s prose and the insight he brings to the story make Restless resonate. Told in his characteristically unobtrusive and elegant tone -- [Boyd] explores the very idea of spying... " -- Timothy Peters, San Francisco Chronicle
" A gripping and smartly crafted spy thriller set against a fascinating and largely hidden episode in U.S.-British relations. " -- John Dalton, Washington Post

"An absorbing historical thriller."--"The New Yorker" "Superbly written one of the most smoothly readable novels of the year."--Alan Cheuse," ""Chicago"" Tribune"
"[An] espionage thriller and domestic drama by one of the very best prose stylists and storytellers in the English language."--"Atlantic Monthly"""
"The quality of Boyd's prose and the insight he brings to the story make "Restless" resonate. Told in his characteristically unobtrusive and elegant tone--[Boyd] explores the very idea of spying..."--Timothy Peters, "San Francisco Chronicle"
"A gripping and smartly crafted spy thriller set against a fascinating and largely hidden episode in U.S.-British relations."--John Dalton, "Washington"" Post""

An absorbing historical thriller. "The New Yorker"

Superbly written one of the most smoothly readable novels of the year. "Alan Cheuse, Chicago Tribune"

[An] espionage thriller and domestic drama by one of the very best prose stylists and storytellers in the English language. "Atlantic Monthly"

The quality of Boyd's prose and the insight he brings to the story make "Restless" resonate. Told in his characteristically unobtrusive and elegant tone--[Boyd] explores the very idea of spying... "Timothy Peters, San Francisco Chronicle"

A gripping and smartly crafted spy thriller set against a fascinating and largely hidden episode in U.S.-British relations. "John Dalton, Washington Post""

The Guardian

'Enormously readable ... a confident, intelligent, ambitious
novel'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1466 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; 1 edition (24 Aug. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747586209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747586203
  • ASIN: B002RZZIXU
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 322 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,133 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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.
9 Comments 92 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
As a fan of both Boyd (An Ice Cream War & Any Human Heart, especially) and WWII spy fiction (Alan Furst being the master) I looked forward to this. And it is indeed a page turner, the 1940s part of the narrative being particularly gripping.

It's the 1970s stuff with the daughter that lets it down. Too many pointless characters and dead ends (the Iranian protesters, the German hippies, etc.). I wasn't around in the 40s, so I can't speak for its authenticity there, but some of the 70s scenes are simply anachronistic - a history prof with a computer on his desk in 1976? No way. And I can only assume that Boyd has no children, because I have NEVER heard a pre-school aged kid speak the way that "Jochen" does - he sounds like a very well-educated 40-year old!

Worth reading, but it won't go down as one of his best.
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By Julia Flyte TOP 50 REVIEWER on 1 Dec. 2007
Format: Paperback
Ruth is a single mother who teaches English as a second language in Oxford, England. One day her mother hands her the first installment in her autobiography, and Ruth discovers that everything she thought she knew about her mother's background is a lie, and that her mother was actually a secret agent by the name of Eva, who worked for the British immediately prior to and during WW2.

From here, the book alternates between Ruth's life in the present day and her mother's story during the war. Like Ruth, I found myself caught up in the spy saga and hungry to see how it developed. William Boyd has done a great job of creating a plausible and intriguing storyline for Eva - more John le Carre than James Bond. While he captures the isolation of Eva's world and the mundane elements of her job, the story also builds with genuine tension and pace. Ruth's life, on the other hand, is more prosaic, but as she gets caught up in her mother's story, she loses her jaded view of the world and starts to see potential intrigue in the people and events around her.

This is an easy book to read and I enjoyed it very much. The details about Eva's training and life as a spy felt real and fascinating to me. The twists and turns in her story kept me hooked without feeling contrived or false. As I read the book I could feel it building towards some kind of climax but I had absolutely no idea where it would go. The mother's and daughter's stories eventually intersect in a way that I found very satisfying. I thought it was a great read from start to finish.
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