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Krumnagel Hardcover – 19 Jul 1971

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Heinemann Ltd; 1st edition (19 July 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0434817082
  • ISBN-13: 978-0434817085
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,069,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

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By A Customer on 11 July 2003
Format: Hardcover
Its been a long time since I first read this book. And this is the sort of story that leaves a lasting impression.
It also shows distinctly the difference between the conservative European and the fast-forward american cultures. An american cop finds himself on the wrong side of the law in a small English town for something which would be dismissed as an aberration in America. He starts serving his sentence in all earnestness. When he is transferred to an 'open' prison with ample scope to escape, (coz someone wants him to), he refuses to take a chance, as he starts enjoying the new life in prison. Then, one day, something snaps and nothing is the same again...he escapes to return home, to an america in turbulence, and decides to make a statement....with a bullet....
A must read....
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Format: Paperback
I read Krumnagel because it was proposed by my book club, rather than necessarily something I would have chosen myself. Overall I found the book wryly amusing rather than laugh out loud funny. The series of misunderstandings that result in the many twists and turns are deftly handled if resolutely implausible - I particularly liked the consequences of his suggestions to his fellow prisoner. I also found entertaining the assumption that real decisions are made over lunch in the members' clubs - apart from the fact there would now be more women, this aspect of the book does not feel outdated at all (sadly). However, sometimes it feels like Ustinov is delighting so much in his manipulation of the language that purely telling the story takes a back seat - and I found I had to re-read some passages to understand what was being said.

Krumnagel himself is not a particularly sympathetic character, but by the end of the book you find yourself rooting for him - simply because the rest of the cast are so much worse! I won't spoil the ending, but I didn't see it coming, which is always a bonus. Some parts of the book felt more dated than others, but the underlying theme of misunderstandings between two cultures that share a common language, but at times little else, still has relevance even in the internet age.
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Format: Paperback
Genius Ustiinov! This one is a must! It starts by taking a Chief of Police Bartram T. Krumnagel, an American, of Albanian origin, from a small mid-western American town who has an unbeatable talent for wrongful arrest. By virtue of keeping the streets safe by shooting on sight, it mirrors real-life stories of the American police, but how would such a stout defender of American liberty fare on British soil? He soon finds out when he shoots a trade-unionist and ends up in a British open prison for seven years. Think of Sharpe's Riotous Assembly and you're half way there!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE UGLY AMERICAN 1 July 2008
By Connemara - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Peter Ustinov at his best. Who wouldn't like to win a round-the-world trip, especially if you happen to be a no nonsense, crabby New York city cop named Bartram Krumnagel. First stop is a pub in England and Bartram, being the ugly american that he is, gets into an argument with a drunk Scott, now when you have two drunks that's when the fun starts. Ustinov writes his characters the way he played his movie roles, with humor, satire and a nudge in the side to get the party rolling. Traditional English values of law and order versus America's vigilante style justice brings out the worst and the best of both countries.

GREAT READ.
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