SS-GB Paperback – 28 May 2009
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
‘A brilliant picture of Britain under German rule’ Sunday Telegraph
‘One of Deighton’s best. Apart from his virtues as a storyteller, his passion for researching his backgrounds gives his work a remarkable factual authority. With Bomber and Fighter he established himself as an expert on a period… the authority of these books seem absolute.’ The Observer
‘Len Deighton is the Flaubert of the contemporary thriller writers… there can be little doubt that this is much the way things would have turned out if the Germans had won the war.’ Michael Howard, Times Literary Supplement
‘Deighton is a tremendous weaver of tales… action is all, and splendidly done.’
‘A master of fictional espionage.’ Daily Mail
‘The poet of the spy story.’ Sunday Times
‘For sheer readability he has no peer’ The Standard
About the Author
Born in London, Len Deighton served in the RAF before graduating from the Royal College of Art (which recently elected him a Senior Fellow). While in New York City working as a magazine illustrator he began writing his first novel, The Ipcress File, which was published in 1962. He is now the author of more than thirty books of fiction and non-fiction. At present living in Europe, he has, over the years, lived with his family in ten different countries from Austria to Portugal.
Showing 1-8 of 262 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
But here, in a novel imagining an alternative version of history in which Nazi Germany rules a defeated Britain, Deighton’s apparent refusal to reflect the fact that many Nazis, particularly those in positions of power, really were profoundly and irredeemably evil means that the whole narrative seems a little superficial and even trite. Everyone is much too pleasant and decent, old soldiers from both sides chat convivially and even references to what we understand to be the holocaust are presented as a sort of unpleasantness.
Another issue is that Deighton doesn’t really seem to have worked out how he wants his central character to feel about working for an occupying force; the idea that it should take the events of the book to lead him to question his loyalties is ludicrous because, not least because he’s a highly educated man, that’s a process that he would have gone through a long time before and, most probably, his reason for - essentially - collaborating would have either been through shared ideology or pure self-interest, or both.
So, really, the problem I think is a lack of realism and a lack of the sort of grit and substance that that realism would have brought but also, and I think that this is probably the thing that sinks the book, it seems like a lack of honesty and integrity too.
A large part of the story hinges on the rivalries that existed between the SS and the German Army. Against this is set the dilemma faced by British civil servants and in particular, the police. How far should collaboration go? I am a fan of Len Deighton who seems to have a fascination with Germany and its Nazi past. There are themes here that can also be found in his Hook Line and Sinker series and its prequel, Winter.
Worth a read.
Started the book after watching the first episode on BBC and had finished the book before the next episode had aired! The book was fantastic and ended well, in fact, far better than I found the TV series to end.