Garden of Beasts: A Novel of Berlin 1936

Garden of Beasts: A Novel of Berlin 1936

by Jeffery Deaver
4.1 33

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Garden of Beasts 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished Jeffrey Deaver's 'Garden of Beasts' and I HIGHLY recomnend it! Be warned, however, that the last quarter of it becomes a read-a-thon! Awesome character development and just the right amount of setting descriptions. Also, a very interesting education in the culture of Germany in the summer of 1936. It was a fascinating and horrifying time. In his own little way Mr. Deaver has 'kept alive' the lessons from that time we must never forget.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is by far the most ingenious Deaver I've ever read. IMO, none of the Rhymes comes close to this classic masterpiece from an acclaimed master. Drags you in from the first sentence and pulls you through the bloody and dangerous streets of pre-war Berlin, or is post-war? Right to its explosive end. You'd have fun with this, surely. Paul Schumann would keep wondering, the Nazi Kripo would keep you worrying, the Gestapo and Stormtroopers would keep you angry.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am not enough of a history buff to know the ins and outs of the period just before World War II but even without that knowledge, this novel was very enjoyable. Paul Schumann is a ¿Button Man¿ in New York City in 1936. He gets caught while on one of his ¿jobs¿ and is offered a deal. Since he has German ancestry, he is asked to pose as a journalist to the Summer Olympics. But in reality, the arresting officers want him to kill Reinhardt Ernst. In return, they will expunge his record and provide him money to start fresh. The deal is for Paul to travel to Germany, meet with his contacts and return to America. But does anything ever go as planned? Certainly not in the troubled times of the late 1930¿s. First there is a spy aboard the boat. Then the German Shupo (German Regular Police) and Kripo (German Criminal Police) get involved because a man is found murdered. He just happens to be murdered in the spot where Paul meets his contact, Reggie Morgan. There is a cast of characters such as the mistress of the boarding house Paul lives in Lisle, a waitress at the bar Otto, a criminal that helps Paul with disguises and ability to get into areas he otherwise wouldn¿t be able to and the Kripo and his assistant. You even get to meet people involved in the Olympics such as Jesse Owens. All is going according to plan until there is an unexpected twist. Reggie Morgan is¿¿well I don¿t want to spoil the book. You will just have to listen to it for yourself. When Paul finally gets all the details in place and is ready to do the job he was sent to Germany for, yet another twist gets in the way. This leads to an ending I never saw coming which is exactly what Jeffery Deaver is famous for ¿ his surprising endings. Jefferson Mays reads the novel with clarity. He does use a couple of different inflections for the various characters but not every character had a voice all their own. I had to pay close attention to be sure who was speaking at times. All in all, it was not overly hard to follow which character was speaking. Anyone interested in the history of this period will enjoy this audio book but even if you aren¿t as versed on the history, it is still time well spent listening to it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Garden of Beasts is a story of trapped animals, albeit human ones. American Paul Schumann is a depression-age hitman, forced into his profession when he avenges his father's death. When he is trapped by American intelligence he must become a weapon to kill the brilliant but ruthless Karl Ernst, the man behind Adolph Hitler's plans to rule the world. Schumann's opposite number is Willi Kohl of the Kripo, or civilian police, an eminently decent man who is also a captive trapped by having to live in The Third Reich. Schumann nervously puffs on Chesterfields as Kohl comtemplatively pulls on his Meerschaum. The resulting smokescreen is so thin that they could easily reach out and touch each other throughout the story. Whether they will or not makes for an exciting game of cat and mouse. The game begins when Paul travels to Germany under the guise of a sportswriter for the 1936 Olympics. Of course, things go terribly wrong. While Paul waits to make contact with his German counterpart, he is confronted by a possible Gestapo agent. When the agent is shot, Paul flees and goes underground. Enter the placid Willi, who becomes Nemesis' hound as he follows the trail Paul has unknowingly left behind. The book also contains interesting insights into Hitler and his inner circle. I also liked the characters. They are all prisoners of one sort or another. World-weary Kathe Richter with a tragic past becomes Paul's ally and lover. Karl Ernst is a dispassionate architect of mass murder but also a devoted father trapped by his own intelligence and his own vision for a post-Hitler Germany. Otto, an endearing underworld broker who makes his living off the shortages and shortcomings created by Nazi Germany, recognizes Paul as a kindred spirit and addresses him as 'Mr. John Dillinger.' Even Jesse Owens makes a cameo appearance, not only to provide vraisimilitude to the story, but as another trapped beast, a prisoner of his color. Deaver is a master at pace and significant detail. In short, Garden of Beasts is a great read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When first reading the description of the book, I was skeptical because the topic was so different than Deaver's usual work which I have come to know and love. However, once I started to read it, I couldn't put it down. In my opinion, this was Deaver at his best.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a Lincoln Rhyme fan, I always give Deavers books a good look. This murder mystery set at the 1936 Olympics is a unique approach for an assassination plot in Nazi Germany. It's an excellent offering that takes the reader to a place in time that few still living can imagine. Deaver does a good job at character development, while maintaining a fast story pace. I especially enjoyed the historical references that acted both as a backdrop and plot focus. The small bits of factual history with characters like Jesse Owen added a non-fiction flavor that must be quite difficult to pull off as a writer Maybe this won't be a favorite of the regular Deaver readers, but I enjoyed it immensely.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Like Deaver,, but not his mixing history and thriller genres.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought and read all the Lincoln Ryme series and then Dance. I can't put Deavers books down. So i bought this book because it high ratings and Im 60 pages in and I dont want to read it. Maybe it will get to be an interesting story later on. It seems the author wanted to show how the language and conditions of the time were without a care for plot. I cameback to read the reviews to see if I should continue, the pace must pickup further along.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Entertaining, easy read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good mystery with historical perspective of Berlin in pre-WWII days. I recently read an excellent historical account of Berlin during this time, "In the Garden of the Beasts", so this one wasn't as appealing. Prefer Deaver's Lincoln Rhymes series.
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gotham43 More than 1 year ago
Good History....well written....enjoyed it tremendously!
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PMczar More than 1 year ago
Would recommend this book to anyone remotely interested in historical fiction. The characters hook you in and the plot intrigues throughout. Definitely worth reading.
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auntikew More than 1 year ago
Lots of mystery - no one trusting anyone. Surprises as one gets deeper into characters and finds out more about them. Some seem sympathetic and turn out to be horrifying. The main character, a criminal, remains a criminal but for better reason. Very thought-provoking.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Berlin. The Olympics. Jeffery Deaver. A GREAT combination. Loved the book, couldn't put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In a word: Puh-leeze! This should never be read by night watchmen or first responder's on call. My field guide to poisonous mushrooms has more action and suspense.One more 'Ach!' and I thought I would never gargle again.When the action began there were a couple of hopeful moments and then the disappointment resumed. Boring and predictable. Paul, our protagonist, falls out of character as soon as Dickie Johnson makes the scene. Mr. Deaver should stick to Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sach's forensic mysteries.