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This is the back-story to Bernie Gunther and I urge Phillip Kerr's fans to read all of his books.. it does not really matter which order. They are all complete in themselves and provide a well researched and an unusual point of view of life in Nazi Germany during the rise of Hitler right, through WWI to escaping the Nazi hunts in Europe and South America.
Really enjoyable read... good, interesting writing, a bunch of history, albeit German, Berlin in the late 1920's, but very well paced, executed(sorry) and concluded. Author will be missed.
Philip Kerr returns to the grey shadows of Weimar Republic Berlin for another Bernie Gunther tale - mired in moral ambiguity, political undertow, and the swamp of human depravity surrounding our hero. Kerr, in fact, returns to some of the historical mise en scene he does best: "Hell's metropolis, Berlin itself." Bernie Gunther is younger, perhaps more naive, but already showing the depth of moral questioning which so resonates with the film noir ethos.
A triptych of serial killers and social depravity awaits him in the underbelly of Berlin society.
I can’t get enough of Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther and his totally noir pre- and Post-war Berlin. He captures times, places and political situations perfectly while keeping us very interested in Gunther’s moral struggle. (I’m going to watch Fritz Lange’s film of the same name, which comes up in the book, too.)
Haven't read it yet - just now reading #13 of the series. Being from Germany, I am awed and totally impressed by the scope of the novels and the tremendous research that has gone into them. I hope Tom Hanks goes through with rumored plans of bringing Bernie to the screen!
17 Sep 19 - Just finished "Metropolis" and am feeling a profound sadness that this was the last book in the series. Bernie Gunther was very real; now we'll never know how he adjusted to post-war Germany.
Words cannot begin to describe the pleasure gleaned from reading Metropolis by Philip Kerr.
It is set in Berlin 1928ish and soo soo good, making it all the more painful to accept that Mr. Kerr is gone. The research that man did... the deft way he weaves richly colored threads of social history into a book peopled with real (e.g., Fritz Lang and Lotte Lenya) and fictional characters. Nothing here feels contrived. All the characters, but especially Bernie Gunther, radiate the teeming humanity and, yes, the darkness, of the late Weimar Republic and the rise of the Nazi Party. We see how bureaucratic and criminal dynamics shape the politics of Extreme Left and Extreme Right in a struggling democracy.
This book also reflects the complex social reaction in Germany to the World War One wounded warriors, many of whom were maimed and living on the streets. Kerr poignantly shows how--tragically--these disabled men were like salt in the wounds of the German people, who were already ashamed at having lost the Great War.
Kerr's plot flows quickly and, until up to the very end, unpredictably.
Metropolis is one of those rare books one can read again and again. Its content is so rich that it should be required reading for classes covering this era.
Will miss the intriguing novels of this series. Kerr has melded serious research into his fiction as few have been able to accomplish. Thanks Mr. Kerr for an enjoyable voyage.
The last, unfortunately, book of the Bernie Gunther series about murders built in the chaotic late 1920-s, early 30-s Germany. The historical background is well researched, as always. Fact and fiction mixed with great talent.