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Customer Review

6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very slow eruption, 5 Nov. 2013
This review is from: An Officer and a Spy (Hardcover)
It is a puzzle to me why Robert Harris thinks the Dreyfus affair will have any resonance today even in France, let alone the Anglo-Saxon world. I suppose we are meant to equate the French Army and its brutal suppression of dissent with the Pentagon's treatment of its various whistleblowers; but the novel replays a very specific history, with its own fears and moral attitudes very different from ours.

This would not matter if the story were gripping, but in itself it is repetitive, and consequently becomes rather boring, at least in the middle third. Though Harris writes efficiently he somehow misses the "feel" of France - he should have read more Nancy Mitford - and the book lacks his old ingenuity in setting up a situation. The arc of this one is like "Pompeii" - new man takes over corrupt organisation, the old staff try to block his clean-up effort, the volcano explodes - but it is a slow eruption in this case.

I am afraid that I detect a falling-off in this and in Harris' recent "relevant" fiction - "The Ghost" and "The Fear Index". I hope the final volume of his Cicero trilogy will see a restoration of his previous form.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Jun 2014, 17:18:57 BST
Dr. Lee PhD says:
I do not know who Nancy is, but I agree with you fully - just dull. Like watching a slow motion volanco that then just puffs a wisp of smoke. A waste of my time.
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