Boyd sets up the Bergsonian idea of the Fonction Fabulatrice so very thoroughly, our protagonist is an actor and a confirmed liar, so how much are we to trust his version of events? I have no idea. It all sounds plausible, coherent, but there are some rather odd elements. I think a re-read might be in order. I get it now. I was reading it all the wrong way, overthinking it. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and a thriller is just a thriller, and not a po-mo deconstruction of the Intriguing. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and a thriller is just a thriller, and not a po-mo deconstruction of the narrative process.
Bluff: from the German verbluffen, to mislead or baffle. So this is a spy story: bluff, double bluff, triple bluff. You pays your money and you takes your choice as to just how far you wants to go with Lysander's persecution complex. What is he protecting himself from? Not always adequately accounted for. And some of those odd elements really are just there to rack up the tension, no more than that.
Has his addiction to chloral hydrate addled his brain? It's left to you to decide. On a second reading, Mr Boyd's obsession with what people were wearing began to grate on the nerves.
Bit of a foot fetishist I'd say. View all 13 comments. May 20, Alexander McNabb rated it liked it. I hate to do this. I have long been an admirer of William Boyd's stuff, but this book was one I had to force myself through, often finding myself skimming. The main character, Lysander Rief, struck me as being all over the place - I often found myself drawn up to ponder why on earth would he do that or say this?
I suppose part of that is because little personality shines through that isn't self-obsessed and obnoxious. A sexual predator with little love for women, Rief is half Austrian but not in I hate to do this. A sexual predator with little love for women, Rief is half Austrian but not interred or even interviewed as war breaks out, in fact is recruited by MI6.
There doesn't seem to be much structure on offer here, it reads as if it was made up as we went along. They all become a tad exhausting. There are echoes of TE Lawrence in Rief - his superiority, his drawling insolence at a superior officer over whom he has a hold, his decision to become a private rather than take the commission he could so easily have achieved. And yet they are only echoes - there's nothing of the complexity and conflict that make Lawrence interesting.
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Rief isn't, well, driven to anything. He just muddles through. I liked the setting and I liked the language, Boyd manages to capture the clipped schoolboy spies nicely.
There are elements of this book that are brilliant. But the thing as a whole rambled and just didn't come together for me. I came out of it feeling a little tired and perhaps a tad puzzled. But for dark wartime espionage you can't better Alan Furst Jan 29, Will Ansbacher rated it liked it Shelves: mystery , ww1-ww2. Sunrise is And what ludicrously un-Edwardian sex it is too. Reif, meet Bond James Bond! This is basically knees-bent running-around intrigue, and with dialogue that is imaginatively appropriate for the era — the years from to early WW1.
In other words, authentic but stilted what is it with me and century-old tales recently? I think I have to get out of this rut! There is an interminably tedious exchange between the two of them, full of pseudo-psychological theory After a false accusation and a run-in with the Austrian police, Lysander is spirited out of the country from the British consulate and back to England where he is pressed into doing some undercover work in return for his escape.
But it takes about half the book to get to this point, so hardly fast-paced, although it does pick up after that. As in all good mysteries, there are a host of possible traitors, including his mother, his handlers, half of a War Office department and several of his women.
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The final denouement occurs at dawn of course , after Lysander twigs to an obscure statement that only he knew to be false. It would have made some of the plot twists more intriguing too. Answers on a postcard, slipped under the door, please. Jan 31, Cynthia rated it it was amazing Shelves: books-read-in This leads me to wonder if Lysander was thinking of his life as a mean spirited comedy Measure or a tragedy, specifically a tragedy where the main character becomes lost and deluded….. This book is part love story, part mystery and part espionage thriller.
For that matter Lysander seldom seems to have a center either.
The men in his life are either absent, dead father, uncle away from home, step father much older, or outright controlling such as his spy handlers. Unfortunately his worst enemy might be himself. Boyd writes an excellent book that will hold your interest. Here are a few reasons: excellent writing, an exciting era, intriguing literary references and many fascinating ideas to contemplate. View all 18 comments. Aug 08, Elizabeth K. I like William Boyd and this was enjoyable, although not outstanding.
I think there's actually a decent conspiracy drama in here -- I'm not entirely sure because at some point I couldn't follow it anymore. I got a little lost at which things were supposed to be coincidences that later turn out to be clues in the conspiracy, and which things were supposed to be plain old coincidences. I think there's a little snicker t I like William Boyd and this was enjoyable, although not outstanding.
I think there's a little snicker there, because Freud's theories are a big theme in the book, so sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. I have found this in Boyd's work in general, but rather more pronounced here, the odd tendency to write passionate scenes as if he's working from a checklist. Describe breasts. Describe nipples. Describe thighs. The love scenes are like Mad Libs. Grade: B- with standards. Recommended: It's really not bad, especially for fans of this time period. However, if you are only going to read one Boyd novel, it should still be Any Human Heart.
Feb 02, Jeanette "Astute Crabbist" rated it did not like it Shelves: started-it-hated-it. When I write an honest review of a book I disliked, it often generates endless comments, mostly from people who want to argue with me. The net effect being that a book I didn't want to waste time on ends up stealing even more of my time as I try to respond to comments months and even years later. I thought this book stank, and that's all I'm sayin'. View all 19 comments. May 02, Zina rated it it was ok. I like William Boyd - a lot, but I didn't like this.
Young, middle-ranking English actor shows up in Vienna to consult an English shrink to help him with his inability to achieve orgasm. Shrink helps. Young actor, Lysander Rief, then has steamy affair with very neurotic young artist, who accuses him of rape to protect herself when her volatile partner finds out about their affair. Rief escapes because he is a master of disguise.
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Of course he is. He's an actor. His skills have been noted and I like William Boyd - a lot, but I didn't like this. His skills have been noted and appreciated by England's Secret Services, who recruit him as a spy. Off to the front he goes, to France, then Switzerland then finally back to England to sort it all out. There's plenty of local colour; quite a lot of sex - but a great deal of inconsistency of character, some plodding plotting, and too many of the dullest sentences I've read in a while.
Definitely Boyd in an off period. Feb 24, Laura rated it really liked it Shelves: hf-world-war-i , e-books , historical-fiction , african-literature , espionage , mtbr-challenge , british-literature , read A quite enjoyable book on espionage during World War I. View 1 comment.
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Apr 19, Jake Goretzki rated it it was ok. All a bit bloodless. He felt shallow and rushed. He then finds himself ap All a bit bloodless. He then finds himself appointed spy hunter. I also suspect that William Boyd really wanted to write a WW2 thriller - I kept having to remind myself that this was , not , since the world of espionage seemed so much more developed than I imagine it would really have been in WW1. Oh, and that cover. Another Book Design Crime.
So, all a bit of a mixed picture. Think of it as a practice run for the next Bond novel. Dec 30, Tony rated it liked it Shelves: wwi , scottish. I don't usually want my pots boiled; but when I do, I like Mr. Boyd to do the boiling. He's erudite, can raise the temperature at times, and knows how to keep things hidden. That said, there were moments when he strained credulity.
Filthy sex, many locales. She realizes she is four-months pregnant and she and her husband have him arrested for rape. His lawyer finds all the overwhelming evidence of consent hotel bills, witness testi I don't usually want my pots boiled; but when I do, I like Mr.
His lawyer finds all the overwhelming evidence of consent hotel bills, witness testimony and is prepared to win "in a cakewalk". He faces 8 to 10 years in prison, but can clearly be acquitted. The woman comes to see him and begs him not to expose their affair in court. He answers, duh, okay.
But I'm guessing three months before I forget the plot and characters. The clever thing is to interpret it. I enjoyed reading this so much I didn't want it to end. Great character in Lysander Rief: a young Englishman, a stage actor turned espionage pro, a man who frequently falls for the fairer sex, and is able to put on a disguise that his own mother won't recognize.
The story begins in Vienna, just prior to WW I, , where Rief is seeking the advice of a psychiatrist to deal with a personal problem. After all Vienna is Freud's milieu. The doctor he sees is English however and he falls for a woman I enjoyed reading this so much I didn't want it to end. The doctor he sees is English however and he falls for a woman who is also English.
Go figure. His surreptitious return to England leads him to the Army as war breaks out and his journey takes him into many interesting twists and trysts. Great story, writing, setting and characters. Jan 31, Anne rated it it was ok Shelves: britain , , art-artists , austria , psychology-psychoanalysis , historical-fiction.
I have loved every William Boyd book that I've read to date, except this one. It's hard for me to believe that Waiting for Sunrise was written by the same author. The story hardly hangs together. Secondary characters seem to pop up out of nowhere, the reasons given being unbelievable; worse, they don't add a thing to the flimsy storyline. The only positive thing I can say is that I liked the main character.
What a disappointment. View all 20 comments. Like Boyd's other recent and highly successful novels, Waiting For Sunrise is the story of a relatively ordinary individual caught up in extraordinary events. Opening in Vienna in nineteen fifteen, it begins with Lysander Rief, a not overly-successful English actor, sitting in the consulting room of Dr Bensimon, a psycho-analyst, to whom he has come for help with sexual problems that originate in a childhood burdened with confusion and deception. A chance acquaintance with Hetty, a young Englishw Like Boyd's other recent and highly successful novels, Waiting For Sunrise is the story of a relatively ordinary individual caught up in extraordinary events.
A chance acquaintance with Hetty, a young Englishwoman, in the psycho-analyst's waiting room, precipitates a passionate affair that will profoundly alter the course of Lysander's life. In his childhood, as he confesses to Dr Bensimon, he was the cause of an innocent young man losing his livelihood and being falsely accused of sexually molesting him.
So there's a certain justice when some months later he himself is falsely accused of sexual assault by Hetty, and is obliged to flee Vienna in disguise.
Later, when Boyd has returned to London and believes he has put the incident behind him, Monroe resurfaces, requiring a service from Boyd in repayment of his debt. The First World War is now in full swing and someone is revealing details of the British Army's plans to the enemy. Monroe wants Lysander to unmask a traitor in the highest echelons of the British Army Like all good spy stories Waiting For Sunrise presents the reader with a a hall of mirrors. The psycho-analyst's strategy for curing Lysander is the construction of an imaginary parallel world in which he must learn to believe in a different past.
A similar process is now required by Lysander's new career in espionage with its assumed identities and false trails. In addition, there's also a complex web of literary allusions that adds yet another teasing layer of meaning and commentary. It's an highly entertaining story with some wonderful description, both of character and setting. But, for me, it's a little bit too much of a game. It's extremely well-researched and well-constructed but it didn't move me in any way, or leave me feeling that I've witnessed anything other than a formidable display of craftsmanship.
From many other authors that would be enough. I just think that Boyd is capable of a great deal more. Apr 23, Sean rated it really liked it Shelves: read-in , 20th-century , espionage. This spy novel was a pleasant surprise. It follows a young British actor named Lysander Rief who is wrongly accused of rape in his travels to Vienna to seek treatments for a sexual dysfunction. As a result, he flees the country and returns home and enlists in the war effort. He is recruited as a spy to locate a mole in the British war office and is caught up in an exciting counter-espionage This spy novel was a pleasant surprise.
He is recruited as a spy to locate a mole in the British war office and is caught up in an exciting counter-espionage plot. This author has a gift for storytelling. His prose is elegant and enthralling. Highly recommended. Embarrassed about writing popular music, Seitz used the pseudonym "Raymond Roberts" when the song was first published by Chappell in More than recorded versions have been commercially released. The Beatles recorded a home version on a Grundig tape recorder in April or May, A version by doo-wop group the Larks is featured in the film Rhythm and Blues Revue.
One of the most memorable covers of the song was done by Stan Laurel in the Laurel and Hardy film The Flying Deuces , as Laurel takes the bed strings and plays the song on it like a harp. He wrote and directed the Broadway musical revue Bunk of Hutton, Jack. Search The Canadian Encyclopedia. Remember me. I forgot my password. Create Account.