Waiting for Sunrise: A Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview

Vienna, 1913. Lysander Rief, a young English actor in town seeking psychotherapy for a troubling ailment of a sexual nature, becomes caught up in a feverish affair with a beautiful, enigmatic woman. When she goes to the police to press charges of rape, however, he is stunned, and his few months of passion come to an abrupt end. Only a carefully plotted escape—with the help of two mysterious British diplomats—saves him from trial.

But the frenzied getaway sets off a chain of ...

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Waiting for Sunrise: A Novel

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Overview

Vienna, 1913. Lysander Rief, a young English actor in town seeking psychotherapy for a troubling ailment of a sexual nature, becomes caught up in a feverish affair with a beautiful, enigmatic woman. When she goes to the police to press charges of rape, however, he is stunned, and his few months of passion come to an abrupt end. Only a carefully plotted escape—with the help of two mysterious British diplomats—saves him from trial.

But the frenzied getaway sets off a chain of events that steadily dismantles Lysander's life as he knows it. He returns to a London on the cusp of war, hoping to win back his onetime fiancée and banish from memory his traumatic ordeals abroad, but Vienna haunts him at every turn. The men who helped coordinate his escape recruit him to carry out the brutal murder of a complete stranger. His lover from Vienna shows up nonchalantly at a party, ready to resume their liaison. Unable to live an ordinary existence, he is plunged into the dangerous theater of wartime intelligence—a world of sex, scandal, and spies, where lines of truth and deception blur with every waking day. Lysander must now discover the key to a secret code that is threatening Britain's safety, and use all his skills to keep this murky world of suspicion and betrayal from invading every corner of his life.

Moving from Vienna to London's West End, from the battlefields of France to hotel rooms in Geneva, Waiting for Sunrise is a mesmerizing journey into the human psyche, a beautifully observed portrait of wartime Europe, a plot-twisting thriller, and a literary tour de force.

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Editorial Reviews

(4 stars) - People Magazine
"Always a smooth and expert storyteller, Boyd effortlessly combines historical detail with a sexy, galloping narrative that proves irresistible."
Laura Miller
“Boyd retrofits a genre full of familiar devices and character types with finer textures and deeper psychology than it typically boasts. . . . Waiting for Sunrise manages to conjure an atmosphere of genuine disorientation that most spy novels gesture toward and few, if any, attain.”
People (4 stars)
“Always a smooth and expert storyteller, Boyd effortlessly combines historical detail with a sexy, galloping narrative that proves irresistible.”
People

“Always a smooth and expert storyteller, Boyd effortlessly combines historical detail with a sexy, galloping narrative that proves irresistible.”

The Wall Street Journal
“Boyd is a born story teller whose clear, taut prose never gets in the way of his characters and their unpredictable fates.”
The Telegraph
“As ever with Boyd there is an effortlessness to the prose and a piercing acuity to the period detail and evocation of place, along with thrilling set pieces. . . .[This book] proves that rarest of beasts: a tantalizingly experimental work that is also an immensely satisfying page-turner.”
Good Housekeeping
“A page-turner. . . . A thinking person’s thriller.”
The Financial Times
“A literary thriller that genuinely thrills, a plot-driven novel assembled by a master of plotting. The deftness with which Boyd knits together a complex cast of characters is immaculate. . . . It demonstrates yet again this writer’s unrivalled versatility and consistency.”
CNN.com
“An evocative mix of sex, spies, and psychoanalysis. . . . Fans of the author will love and recognize all the hallmarks of Boyd’s best books.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer
“A thoughtfully plotted story, whose twists and turns reveal the price its characters pay in trust. . . . Boyd is a nimble and entertaining writer.”
The Tucson Citizen
“The narrative in this novel is almost seamless. . . . This atmospheric novel is elegantly crafted by a London writer who serves up a rich portrayal of human psychology and a plot that is both engaging and imaginative.”
The Independent
“It’s ages since I read a novel that offers such breathlessly readable narrative enjoyment, such page-by-page storytelling confidence and solidity. Boyd has a positive genius for pace and description.”
The New Yorker
“Thoroughly entertaining. . . . Waiting for Sunrise has the pace of a spy thriller, with code-cracking and double-crossing aplenty.”
The Seattle Times
“Sex, psychiatry and Vienna on the eve of World War I - those are promising ingredients for a novel. And William Boyd makes the most of them. . . . Boyd’s narrative moves briskly, and his local color is deftly done.”
The Times (UK)
“This is the sort of novel you finish, then begin again to revisit your favourite bits. . . . More than anything Waiting for Sunrise is a gleeful celebration of storytelling — sly, clever, frequently hilarious, always involving. . . . This is the literary event of the year.”
The Huffington Post
Waiting for Sunrise retains a consistent intrigue and a splendidly intricate plot. . . . The denouement plays out with characteristic suspense and masterful design. . . . [Boyd has] a truly remarkable imagination.”
The Spectator (UK)
“Superb. . . . To read a William Boyd novel is to open a bottle of wine, light a fire, sit back in your favourite armchair and trust that the master practitioner will take you on an intriguing and unpredictable journey. He’s done it again.”
The Washington Post Book World
“Fans of previous Boyd novels will find themselves on gratifyingly familiar ground in Waiting for Sunrise. . . . Few contemporary writers are able to evoke the ambiance and drama of our recent past as forcefully as Boyd. . . . Boyd’s prose is often radiant.”
The New York Times Book Review
“A tantalizing, fast-paced spy novel. . . . As seductive as it is, Waiting for Sunrise is no bodice-ripper. It’s a brainteaser, charged with uncertainty and danger, electric with restraint.”
The Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Powerfully entertaining. . . . Boyd’s ability to evoke a sense of time and place is unmatched. . . . He has been perfecting the craft of globetrotting entertainment for the past three decades.”
The San Antonio Express-News
Waiting for Sunrise does the neat trick of evolving from a historical romance into a seat-of-the-pants spy thriller. . . . This is Boyd’s stage, on which he is a virtuoso.”
Library Journal
In 1913 Vienna, young English actor Lysander Rief is accused of rape after launching a passionate affair and escapes with the help of two dodgy British diplomats, who promptly enlist his help in a dangerous mission. Costa/Whitbread Award winner Boyd turns in what looks to be a layered and atmospheric work; even strictly literary sorts might consider
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062126665
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/17/2012
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 139,359
  • File size: 599 KB

Meet the Author

William Boyd is also the author of A Good Man in Africa, winner of the Whitbread Award and the Somerset Maugham Award; An Ice-Cream War, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys War Prize and short-listed for the Booker Prize; Brazzaville Beach, winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; Restless, winner of the Costa Novel of the Year; Ordinary Thunderstorms; and Waiting for Sunrise, among other books. He lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 20 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I really enjoyed this novel of Europe during the period of the 1

    I really enjoyed this novel of Europe during the period of the 1910's.
    Lysander Reif is a British actor in Vienna looking for a Psychiatrist to
    help him cure his sexual dysfunction. While visiting the doctor he
    encounters another patient (Hettie) who he then get involved in a very
    tempestuous relationship with. The problem is that Lysander is engaged
    to Blanche back in London and has to figure out what to do. The
    situation gets more complicated when Lysander is jailed for a crime
    against Hettie and even though he knows he is innocent, he cannot defend
    himself because to do so would hurt Heddy. Lysander get help form some
    British operatives in the Embassy in Vienna, but having their help means
    he will be indebted to them for the rest of his life. The author does a
    marvelous job of developing Lysander's character and though he makes a
    lot of bad choices, the reader sympathizes with him and wants him to be
    happy. As was pointed out by some of the other reviewers, the story
    started out with Lysander trying to cure his issue and find happiness
    and then it turns into a political mystery/ thriller than Lysander finds
    himself in the middle of. There still remains little tidbits of
    Lysander's evolving psyche throughout the story that continue to pop up.
    I felt that this book had a great feel, like the recent Carlos Zafon
    books(Shadow of the Wind, The Angel's Game), without the mysticism. If
    you enjoyed those books you will really like this one!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 26, 2013

    Disappointed

    I really had high hopes for this despite the mixed reviews. The other reviewers alluded to a bit of a slow starter which turned into a great spy novel. I never caught the pick up I guess. The early portion was very slow, yes, I agree. I'm sure someone who is way more into critical literary analysis will argue that his whole "performance issue" is a metaphor for his life, or some such nonsense, but honestly, I wasn't in to it. Once the story picked up, I still didn't really get that it was some kind of thrill ride. And then in the end, I just couldn't even believe it was over because I was still waiting for the story to take off.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 4, 2014

    Just ok

    Not great but I read it all!

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

    Posted October 19, 2013

    Good read. Starts a bit slow but really picks up. Good story a

    Good read. Starts a bit slow but really picks up. Good story about spies during WWI.

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

    Posted August 7, 2012

    Gkgfhfgdn

    Spiritstars den

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 20, 2012

    My new favorite book!

    Love, friendship, and relationships... totally worth your while.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 26, 2012

    Good Summer Read

    Waiting for Sunrise, by William Boyd. The first third of the book began to explore Bergson's idea of "fonction fabulatrice", but then it turned into a Le Carre type of spy novel. Also, at several points it hinted at plot lines that were never followed up upon, and introduced characters who initially played a significant but who then made only a cursory appearance. Neither of these issues undermined the story but merely left me wondering if the author was not able to tie these elements back into the story. However, the story is told from both a third and first person point of view, and also from the point of view of an observer right at the beginning and the end; so, is the hero a fabulist? Nevertheless, it was a good summer read.

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

    Posted May 28, 2012

    Great read!

    Great read!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 8, 2012

    Vastly overrated.

    Get anything else.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted September 11, 2013

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    Posted April 20, 2012

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    Posted April 22, 2012

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    Posted January 30, 2013

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    Posted November 25, 2013

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    Posted December 20, 2012

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    Posted January 12, 2013

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    Posted November 19, 2012

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    Posted August 19, 2012

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