Every author has a story beyond the one that they put down on paper. The Barnes & Noble Podcast goes between the lines with today’s most interesting writers, exploring what inspires them, what confounds them, and what they were thinking when they wrote the books we’re talking about.
The novelist Robert Harris has made a specialty out of flash points in history: the explosion of Mt. Vesuvius in ancient Rome, the cracking of the Enigma code, or the intrigue surrounding the Dreyfus Affair in 19th-century France. In his latest, Munich, Harris turns to the infamous 1938 meeting between Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler. Spinning a tale of brooding suspense around the true story of those four days in September, Harris offers a dramatic and thought-provoking new perspective on Chamberlain’s “appeasement” of the Nazi regime. In this episode, the author joins us to talk about that meeting and the strange alchemy required to turn a historical moment into page-turning thrills.
From the internationally best-selling author of Fatherland and the Cicero Trilogy—a new spy thriller about treason and conscience, loyalty and betrayal, set against the backdrop of the fateful Munich Conference of September 1938.
Hugh Legat is a rising star of the British diplomatic service, serving at 10 Downing Street as a private secretary to the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain. Rikard von Holz is on the staff of the German Foreign Office—and secretly a member of the anti-Hitler resistance. The two men were friends at Oxford in the 1920s, but have not been in contact since. Now, when Hugh flies with Chamberlain from London to Munich, and Rikard travels on Hitler’s train overnight from Berlin, their paths are set on a disastrous collision course. And once again, Robert Harris gives us actual events of historical importance—here are Hitler, Chamberlain, Mussolini, Daladier—at the heart of an electrifying novel.
Author photo of Robert Harris (c) The Times-NI Syndication