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Masaryk Station (John Russell Series #6)

Average Rating 3.5
( 8 )
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  • Posted June 20, 2014

    Historical Novels at Their Best!

    David Downing has written unforgettable characters into his John Russell series against the backdrop of WWII. Because his lead character, journalist John Russell, although British, lives in Berlin throughout the war, the reader is given a historical perspective that is fresh and compelling. Masaryk Station is the conclusion to this fine series and, once again, Downing takes the reader back in time to post war Berlin. His historical research and attention to detail make this book a truly gratifying read. If you are not familiar with David Downing, do yourself a favor and begin with the first book in this series (Zoo Station) and read all the way through to this conclusion - you'll be glad that you did! Buy all six novels!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    Highly Recommended - Early postwar Berlin comes to life

    I am a big fan of the John Russell series. We follow the fate of John Russell, a journalist and reluctant spy in Nazi Germany from the mid thirties to postwar Berlin. He is trapped by his loyalties to family, friends and idealism. This particular book deals with postwar Berlin, before the wall was built. During this time, Stalin's USSR showed its true commitment to the self-determination of the peoples of Eastern Europe. Any government was fine as long as it toed the Comintern Party line. Berlin is divided into sections governed by the victors, an uneasy cohabitation - not unlike living with a bear. As far as I can tell, the history is dead right. We behold the magic of the Berlin airlift, and John Russell's final disenchantment with the western allies, when they start hiring Nazis to help fend off the Russians.

    I really would start with the books in order. Downing is a writer on par with Alan Furst. If you like historical thrillers, you will not be disappointed with this complex view of Germany, before, during, and after the Second World War

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  • Posted November 24, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    With this, the sixth novel in the John Russell series, David Dow

    With this, the sixth novel in the John Russell series, David Downing brings to a finale the chronicle covering the years between the World Wars, those following the collapse of Nazi Germany. It has been quite a journey, with Russell having served as a double agent for both the Soviets and Americans, certainly as dangerous as an existence can be. Each of the novels reflected the times and the clashes of the ideological differences between the two countries.

    In the final book, the story of a divided Germany and Berlin is recounted, ending with the seeds that were sown in the fall of the Soviet Empire. At the same time, the personal conflicts that beset Russell and others who at first embraced and then questioned socialism are explored and analyzed.

    Each entry in the series was well-crafted to not only tell a gripping story of our times, but to call to mind the era as portrayed by real-life characters. It has been an excellently told saga. (It is unfortunate that the latest volume suffers from poor production, editing and proofreading, riddled with typographical and grammatical errors.) Next spring, we are promised a new series by the author moving back in time to World War I.

    My parenthetical criticism notwithstanding, the novel is recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2013

    SILVER

    Enters his house and sits down on his bed

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  • Posted August 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Masaryk Sta­tion by David Down­ing is the last novel in the John

    Masaryk Sta­tion by David Down­ing is the last novel in the John Rus­sell series. The story takes place in the chaotic time in 1948 Berlin, when the city was divided in the post-war era.

    John Rus­sell is an Amer­i­can jour­nal­ist liv­ing in Berlin for a long time. Even though he was linked to the Com­mu­nist Party he is involved in spy­ing for the Amer­i­cans and the Rus­sians try­ing to keep his fam­ily secure and safe. John is mar­ried to a Ger­man actress named Effie, they have a son and an adopted daughter.

    John is plan­ning one final job which will cement the finan­cial secu­rity and well being of his fam­ily before he retires. How­ever that final reward will take guts, cun­ning and an enor­mous risk which he might not be will­ing to take.

    Masaryk Sta­tion by David Down­ing ties up the John Rus­sell series nicely, will giv­ing the reader much to think about even thought the story takes place 7 decades ago. In this book Mr. Rus­sell strug­gles to the do the right thing but doesn’t really know what the right thing is, or even what is the right course of action he should take.

    Mr. Down­ing does an excel­lent job writ­ing char­ac­ters. All of the char­ac­ters in the book, bad or good, felt as if they could have been real peo­ple. How­ever, the plot is still dark and bru­tal against the back­drop of Prague and Berlin.

    The inter­est­ing part of the book was the cur­rency reform of Berlin, when both Amer­i­can and Russ­ian inter­ests wanted to con­trol the cur­rency and hence the econ­omy. Both coun­tries try to reassert their power and legit­i­macy over Berlin, nei­ther will­ing (nor polit­i­cally able) to back out. The author also rec­og­nizes the famed Berlin Block­ade in which Rus­sia blocked all pas­sages by air, road, rail and water between the East and West zones. The block­ade was designed to force the USA, Eng­land and France to leaver Berlin or at least accept Russ­ian cur­rency in their areas.
    It didn’t work!

    This is the final book to an excel­lent series in which the author appraises post World War II Europe in a cyn­i­cal, tired, yet clear man­ner. The book is a won­der­ful intro­duc­tion to the Berlin Block­ade, told through an excit­ing story with like­able characters.

    Dis­claimer: I got this book for free

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  • Posted August 17, 2013

    The end of this terrific series and I'll definitely miss John Ru

    The end of this terrific series and I'll definitely miss John Russell. All the loose ends are taken care of and this is like a going away party for all the characters we've come to know through David Downing's wonderful characterizations.

    Hopefully Mr. Downing will keep writing and start another series as gripping as this one has been.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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