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The Secret Generations by [Gardner, John]
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The Secret Generations Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2558 KB
  • Print Length: 454 pages
  • Publisher: Endeavour Press (15 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00JQG90HS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,070 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
John Gardner is sadly probably best known for his Bond books. If this is the only place you have encountered his writing, give yourself a real treat and tuck into this three course meal. In comparison his Bond books are fast food.

This is the first in a trilogy of books covering the intertwined lives of two families who are connected by marriage and their professional lives (they are spies). The hybrid spy/family saga spans most of the twentieth century with this first book dealing with the First World War.

To truly appreciate this masterpiece you must accept this is a trilogy and read all three books. Highly recommend this satisfying labyrinth tale.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Im only half way through this book but Im really enjoying it. I was testing out downloading books and this one sounded the most interesting for my first e book. I have not been disappointed. I will certainly be reading the other two in the series and if you enjoy a good mature spy thriller then give this a go - its was free ...what a bargain ;-)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent,very well written but you have to work hard to remember who s who within this family. Description of the conditions in the trenches on the western front are harrowing. The author manages to capture the mood of the times brilliantly and subtly brings home to you the incredible "class war" that existed in the early 1900's eg having lunch at the Savoy while young men were dying of starvation etc on the Western Front!!!
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Format: Paperback
An excellent book. I really enjoy the historical novel genre. The characters were well developed. I felt an affinity for many of the characters and what was happening to them. Several times I felt palpable tension at the action going on. I'm now reading 'The Secret Houses'.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An interesting book following a well to do family through the early years of the 20th century and their involvement in the establishment of the various different secret service departments and how world affairs and famous people from history interacted with this fictitious family and the outcome of their involvement. An interesting read and one you can get engrossed in - would appeal to readers who enjoy John LeCarre.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A good and frightening story of a family born to privilege, most of whom abuse it by betraying each other and in some cases their country. Selfish and self deluded, the patriach uses his family to further his own ends, not to mention his country's secret service and their enemy's as well. He is much more capable than the Cambridge cold war spies. An example of power corrupting.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Set in the run up to and during WW1, this is part espionage story and part family saga. The family being the Railtons who are involved in the development of Britain's secret services.

It intertwines fiction with real events, this is sometimes cleverly done but at others, if you know a bit about key WW1 moments, you'll have alarm bells ringing in your head about particular plot lines way ahead of time.

There's a lot of setting up at the start which means the book does seem to drag for a while before it gets into its stride.

The biggest problem I had though is that there are a lot of characters and a lot of Railtons and the latter have a habit of marrying and having children so it can be hard to keep track of who's who. You could really do with plotting a family tree as you read.

There's also the odd historical howler - the LMS railway hadn't been formed in 1918 for example.

Finally it seems to have a sort of sprint finish. Having dragged its way to 1917 it deals with the last two years of the war and a short hop to the 1930s to set things up for a sequel in just three chapters.

You'll find a fair bit to like here but as a reader you need to be prepared to work at it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't understand why the late John Gardner is such a well-kept secret. This is a wonderfully written trilogy which I thought was at least as good as John Le Carre. I am now exploring his other books, some of which shamefully are out of print and not even available on Kindle.If you want another fix of this trio there are some sort-of sequels featuring the character Herbie Kruger.
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