Customer Reviews for

An Officer and a Spy

Average Rating 4
( 26 )
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(14)

4 Star

(2)

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(6)

2 Star

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1 Star

(3)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

This fictionalized chronology of L¿Affaire Dreyfus describes one

This fictionalized chronology of L’Affaire Dreyfus describes one of the most appalling episodes in French history. It is told in the first person by Major (later Lt. Colonel) Georges Picquart, who played a minor role in the arrest of Captain Alfred Dreyfus for espionag...
This fictionalized chronology of L’Affaire Dreyfus describes one of the most appalling episodes in French history. It is told in the first person by Major (later Lt. Colonel) Georges Picquart, who played a minor role in the arrest of Captain Alfred Dreyfus for espionage and treason. Picquart acted as a Judas goat in bringing Dreyfus to his arrest and then served as the Minister of War’s eyes and ears at his ensuing trial and public disgrace.

As a reward, Picquart was promoted and placed as the head of a secret spy agency where he ultimately learned of various discrepancies in the “evidence” which convicted Dreyfus before an army court martial. After initially believing in Dreyfus’ guilt, he then became convinced of his innocence and spent years, much to his misfortune, attempting to free the convict and clear his name, even himself ending up in prison and being forced out of his beloved army.

The role of the establishment, the generals, the lies and cover-ups even after the truth is known is related in fine detail, as is the atmosphere of anti-Semitism prevalent in France which colored much of the Dreyfus case, since he, of course, was a Jew. The whole sordid affair followed soon after the French defeat in the Prussian French war and the loss of Alsace-Lorraine, and was a forerunner of the First and Second World Wars. The author’s diligent research and fluid language prevail in a gripping recount of a well-known story, and is told with much poignancy, in an understated tone that makes history come alive.

Highly recommended.

posted by tedfeit0 on February 27, 2014

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Not as good a previous Harris work!

Robert Harris has always written historical fiction that I have loved. Here he broaches the subject of a huge French spy conspiracy, that I admittedly had never heard about. While the late 1800s intrigue of the French spy game was interesting, there was little to no a...
Robert Harris has always written historical fiction that I have loved. Here he broaches the subject of a huge French spy conspiracy, that I admittedly had never heard about. While the late 1800s intrigue of the French spy game was interesting, there was little to no action. Because the readers are basically told early on that a certain character is not guilty there is little mystery. The courtroom drama was too long winded as the events are repeated sooooo many times that its tedious. The book wasn't bad but i was also not very good. Just a decent read about a very interesting topic. Robert Harris has done much more with much less.

posted by Sean_From_OHIO on March 9, 2014

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  • Posted February 27, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    This fictionalized chronology of L¿Affaire Dreyfus describes one

    This fictionalized chronology of L’Affaire Dreyfus describes one of the most appalling episodes in French history. It is told in the first person by Major (later Lt. Colonel) Georges Picquart, who played a minor role in the arrest of Captain Alfred Dreyfus for espionage and treason. Picquart acted as a Judas goat in bringing Dreyfus to his arrest and then served as the Minister of War’s eyes and ears at his ensuing trial and public disgrace.

    As a reward, Picquart was promoted and placed as the head of a secret spy agency where he ultimately learned of various discrepancies in the “evidence” which convicted Dreyfus before an army court martial. After initially believing in Dreyfus’ guilt, he then became convinced of his innocence and spent years, much to his misfortune, attempting to free the convict and clear his name, even himself ending up in prison and being forced out of his beloved army.

    The role of the establishment, the generals, the lies and cover-ups even after the truth is known is related in fine detail, as is the atmosphere of anti-Semitism prevalent in France which colored much of the Dreyfus case, since he, of course, was a Jew. The whole sordid affair followed soon after the French defeat in the Prussian French war and the loss of Alsace-Lorraine, and was a forerunner of the First and Second World Wars. The author’s diligent research and fluid language prevail in a gripping recount of a well-known story, and is told with much poignancy, in an understated tone that makes history come alive.

    Highly recommended.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2014

    Captivating story

    This is my first book by the author but will not be the last based on this story! I had a hard time putting it down and was totally drawn in to the plot. I would highly recommend this book!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    The mezmerising drama in this brilliant novel contrasts a countr

    The mezmerising drama in this brilliant novel contrasts a country's frightened masses (willing to avoid responsibility for thinking for themselves) and those who, despite their own peril, take full responsibility for what they know.




    The first category places ambition, prestige and lust for power well before legal procedure and human decency.




    One of the main features of sociopathy is a pronounced lack of conscience and we see countless 'group style' examples as it most often operates among the spineless.




    The main character, Colonel Picquart, falsely accused of being a spy, and during his first moments in prison, expresses the contrasts, "What more does a man want? I am imprisoned and I am liberated. The solitary burden of secrecy that I have carried all these months have been lifted." and "There are occasions when losing is a victory, so long as there is a fight."



    A must read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2014

    Q

    If u got locked out oh well

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    Cloud

    Sure

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2014

    Ro

    Okay sure, just not the weekends

    1 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    Spy

    There

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2014

    A very hood bpook Soulder and a spy

    A very good read Dificult to pronounc the Gernan names and keep up with all characters involved Highly recomend .Good history

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2014

    Great historical fiction

    Normally i dont love historical fiction because they speculate too much on thins that we could never really know. This author did a great jo of telling an amazing story and giving you a personal knowledge of the characters without over reaching

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2014

    A great read and based on a real story.

    I have heard of the Dreyfus affair for years, but didn't know what exactly it was. Now I know. This book was a page turner. Very good!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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