Pavel and I [NOOK Book]

Overview

Set during the winter of 1946-47, one of the coldest on record, Pavel & I unfolds against the tattered social fabric of postwar Berlin. Pavel Richter, a decommissioned GI, finds himself at odds with a rogue colonel in the British Armed Forces and a Soviet general when an American friend deposits a dead Russian spy in his frozen apartment. The race to take possession of the dead spy's quarry soon begins threatening Pavel's friendship with a street orphan named Anders and his budding love for his upstairs ...
See more details below
Pavel and I

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.49
BN.com price
(Save 11%)$12.99 List Price

Overview

Set during the winter of 1946-47, one of the coldest on record, Pavel & I unfolds against the tattered social fabric of postwar Berlin. Pavel Richter, a decommissioned GI, finds himself at odds with a rogue colonel in the British Armed Forces and a Soviet general when an American friend deposits a dead Russian spy in his frozen apartment. The race to take possession of the dead spy's quarry soon begins threatening Pavel's friendship with a street orphan named Anders and his budding love for his upstairs neighbor, Sonia. As the action hurtles toward catastrophe, the hunt merges with one for the truth about the novel's protagonist: Who exactly is Pavel Richter? Peopled with pimps, prostitutes, spies, and a gang of child thieves, Pavel & I explores the power of storytelling to wrest meaning from the wreckage of civilization. An electrifyingly suspenseful novel played out among the first salvos of the Cold War, Pavel & I is a literary debut that introduces a writer of brilliant imagination and virtuosity.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Set during the frigid Berlin winter of 1946, Vyleta's wily debut follows the exploits of an American GI, a German street urchin and an enigmatic prostitute as they struggle to survive both the cold and the looming Cold War. Pavel Richter, an American soldier who remained in Berlin after the war, is shocked when his friend Boyd White shows up at his door with a dead German midget. After agreeing to help Boyd hide the body, Pavel and his friend Anders are thrust into the middle of a conspiracy that runs deeper than they could ever imagine. Boyd soon turns up dead, and Pavel and Anders discover that the midget, Söldmann, was a spy for the occupying Russians and was set to deliver a mysterious package on the night of his death. Boyd's and Söldmann's deaths arouse the interest of Pavel's upstairs neighbors, the nefarious British Colonel Fosko and his prostitute companion, Sonia, who join the Russians and Germans in the hunt for Söldmann's lost loot, and Pavel finds himself falling in love with Sonia. Despite an overabundance of minor characters and a conclusion that isn't exactly surprising, Vyleta conjures a convincing postwar Berlin in all of its moral ambiguity. (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

The son of Czech refugees who immigrated to Germany in the late 1960s, Berlin-based Vyleta sets his debut in Berlin in the terrible winter of 1946-47. His narrator Petersen, the "I" of the title, is a freelance torturer for an obese British colonel named Fosko. When an American grifter dumps the body of a dead midget on Pavel Richter and is killed soon after, Pavel attracts the attention of the colonel. Apparently, the midget was a spy for General Karpov of the Soviet NKVD (secret police) and had in his possession "merchandise" of interest to all. But just who is Pavel? He appears to be simply an ex-GI, an American who abandoned his wife in the States and lives in squalid conditions with Anders, a 12-year-old orphan. Pavel, a quiet scholar at heart, and Anders are soon forced to turn for help to Sonia, a prostitute who has just moved in upstairs. In the midst of these entangled lives and against a noirish backdrop of starvation and ghastly cold lies many a mystery. But the mysteries themselves-and the details of plot-are far less interesting than the characters, whose unusual lives are explored with masterful depth. Recommended for larger public libraries.
—Ron Terpening

Kirkus Reviews
A messy, over-the-top thriller set in postwar Berlin. A pimp, a whore, a midget and a soldier in a mink coat propel the plot of this first novel from Cambridge-educated Vyleta. The soldier is an epicene brute, a grotesquely fat British colonel called Fosko; he has a secret fact-gathering operation and uses torture. He gets wind of a wily German midget, Soldmann, who trades information on the black market and frequents a brothel run by an American, Boyd. Fosko, promising a British passport, induces a desperate young German woman, Sonia, to go work for Boyd and spy on the midget. Soldmann does indeed have an immensely valuable microfilm. Fosko has him killed. Boyd dumps the dead midget on his best friend, Pavel; soon after Fosko has Boyd tortured and killed, but the microfilm is missing. Thus Pavel enters the story. He claims he's an American citizen, son of a German-Jewish father and a Russian mother, but who knows for sure? He's an enigma, a gentle man who kills ruthlessly when he must and inspires devotion. Sonia the whore, who by now is Fosko's mistress and living next door, falls for him big time. So does Anders, the young gang member looking for a surrogate father. Even Peterson, Fosko's one-eyed torture guy and the "I" of the title, comes to love him like a brother. All this happens around Christmas 1946. Berlin is bitter cold. Its poverty is abject. Underneath their tough-guy exteriors, Vyleta's characters are quietly weepy, except for Fosko, who sings a Christmas carol as he strips a Russian corpse (the Russkis want that microfilm too); the man is so vile you know the author has a horrible end planned for him. The story, clumsily told, moves in fits and starts, doubles back onitself and switches viewpoints recklessly, bringing us no closer to understanding Pavel. Pretentious and silly. Agent: Simon Lipskar/Writers House LLC
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608196517
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 1/15/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 846,110
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Dan Vyleta is the son of Czech refugees who emigrated to Germany in the late 1960s. He holds a PhD in History from the University of Cambridge. His first novel, Pavel & I, was published to international acclaim. His second novel, The Quiet Twin, was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. A Canadian by adoption, Dan Vyleta teaches Creative Writing at Durham University. danvyleta.com
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2008

    Strong Debut!

    This is a fine book by a very talented writer. While it has been marketed as a spy story - and it surely is that - Pavel and I also makes an intriguing argument about historiography and imagination. The book is essentially about ideas. I think fans of thrillers and literary fiction alike will find much to love here! Highly recommended.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    This is a fabulous historical mystery

    Germany surrendered to the allies just over a year ago, but the occupation remains everywhere in the battered country divided up between America, France, England and Russia. Adding to the despondency is the weather is icy cold as 1946 turns into 1947.---------------- American G.I. Pavel Richter remains in brutally freezing Berlin. His friend Boyd White arrives at his home asking for help as he has the corpse of a local midget to dispose of. Getting over his initial shock, Pavel agrees to help conceal the body in his place for now. However soon afterward Boyd is killed and Pavel learns the body living with him is a Russian double agent Suldmann whose delivery package is missing. Pavel¿s neighbors British Colonel Fosko and his prostitute Sonia along with German and Russian agents seek whatever Suldmann was carrying while Pavel just wants to get out of the mess he inadvertently finds himself in although he is in love with Sonia.------------------ This is a fabulous historical mystery in which the atmosphere of Berlin just after WWI owns the well written story line. The prime players especially Pavel seem genuine. However the cast of a zillion support characters bring alive the war battered residents struggling with sustenance in any way possible as any pre war ethics mean nothing on an empty stomach but intrudes on the main plot of deadly rivals competing to find Suldmann¿s cache. ------------------- Harriet Klausner

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)