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Titel: The Book of Kings (1st edition hardback)
Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Good
Auflage: First Edition.
Good+/Good 1st edition 2000 Duckworth hardback, unclipped DJ, highly impressive novel. Some corner wear/bumping with top corner nicks and a little edge-wear to DJ, some discoloration to page edges and lower front corner curling to first pages, unmarked. Sent Airmail at no extra cost; Worldwide Shipping IMMEDIATE 1ST CLASS/AIRMAIL DISPATCH Quantity Available: 1. Shipped Weight: Under 1 kilogram. Category: Fiction; ISBN/EAN: 9780715629765. Pictures of this item not already displayed here available upon request. Inventory No: 056475. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 056475
Inhaltsangabe: An electrifying grand-scale novel set on the eve of the Nazi invasion of Europe as the idyllic student life of four friends in Paris gives way to the frenzy of war.
Rezension: Landing on bookshelves with something between a bang and a whimper, The Book of Kings has been its own war as much as it is about war. Twenty-five years in the making, James Thackara's near-800 page tale focuses on four friends whose lives are both scattered and sculpted by the winds of Nazism. It is first and foremost a war novel, and an unbelievably ornate one at that. Thackara draws the particulars of tank battles as lavishly as he does the incessant dinner-party set pieces in which moneyed armchair military strategists opine. For instance, Hitler himself is best defined not from the handful of scenes he actually occupies but rather by the appearances he makes in the correspondence and parlor rumor of the book's vast supporting cast.
Deep within the recesses of this baggy monster, however, beats the heart of the more intimate novel suggested by its title (an hommage to the prophet Samuel's warning from God about the rise of man-made kings). Thackara's two main protagonists--David, alternately trading on and fighting against the awesome power of his family name, and Justin, the brooding intellect risen from humble beginnings to the role of renowned political fire-starter--wrestle with their own youthful hubris. The specter of Der Führer looming in the wings makes their struggle infinitely more resonant.
Ultimately, however, Thackara's nuanced approach to understanding the most horribly misguided mind of the 20th century is washed away by the sheer weight of historical footnote and battle choreography, as well as by a ceaseless flood of bombast ("Now I will kill the swindling, weak musician! Oh, sensitive one. Oh, conceited womanish one"). Granted, the epic, baroque, and grandiose aren't necessarily out of place in a novel about World War II, but ultimately it comes down to a question of proportion. War fanatics and those who prefer their fiction a bit... potboiled will thrill to Thackara's fascination with his subject. Those also looking for a more subtle spin on things, however, stand to be disappointed. --Bob Michaels
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