Field Gray: Book summary and reviews of Field Gray by Philip Kerr

Field Gray

A Bernie Gunther Novel

by Philip Kerr

Field Gray by Philip Kerr X
Field Gray by Philip Kerr
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2011
    448 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

Bernie on Bernie: I didn't like Bernhard Gunther very much. He was cynical and world-weary and hardly had a good word to say about anyone, least of all himself. He'd had a pretty tough war ... and done quite a few things of which he wasn't proud. ... It had been no picnic for him since then either; it didn't seem to matter where he spread life's tartan rug, there was always a turd on the grass.

Striding across Europe through the killing fields of three decades-from riot-torn Berlin in 1931 to Adenauer's Germany in 1954, awash in duplicitous "allies" busily undermining one another - Field Gray reveals a world based on expediency, where the ends justify the means and no one can be trusted. It brings us a hero who is sardonic, tough-talking, and cynical, but who does have a rough sense of humor and a rougher sense of right and wrong. He's Bernie Gunther. He drinks too much and smokes excessively and is somewhat overweight (but a Russian prisoner-of-war camp will take care of those bad habits). He's Bernie Gunther - a brave man, because when there is nothing left to lose, honor rules.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Series aficionados and new readers alike will take comfort knowing that Kerr is hard at work on the next installment." - Publishers Weekly

"The plotting is twisty, the writing crisp, the atmosphere indisputably noir. Fans of hard-boiled PI novels and all readers interested in the dirty history of Nazi Germany will love this book. They don't come any better." - Library Journal

"An accomplished thriller." - Kirkus Reviews

"With great audacity, Kerr junks all the usual suspense techniques in a narrative that is less to do with a body count than with the protagonist's collusion with his corrupt society." - The Independent (UK)

"A thriller that will challenge preconceptions and stimulate the little grey cells." - The Times (London), selecting Field Gray as a Thriller of the Year

"Part of the allure of these novels is that Bernie is such an interesting creation, a Chandleresque knight errant caught in insane historical surroundings. Bernie walks down streets so mean that nobody can stay alive and remain truly clean." - John Powers, Fresh Air (NPR)

"Bernie Gunther is the most antiheroic of antiheroes in this gripping, offbeat thriller. It's the story of his struggle to preserve what's left of his humanity, and his life, in a world where the moral bandwidth is narrow, satanic evil at one end, cynical expediency at the other." - Philip Caputo, author of A Rumor of War

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Author Information

Philip Kerr Author Biography

Philip Kerr was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and studied at the University of Birmingham. Following university he worked as a copywriter at a number of advertising agencies, during which time he wrote no advertising slogans of any note. He spent most of his time in advertising researching an idea he had for a novel.

His first book in the Bernie Gunther series, March Violets, was published in 1989. He has written for the Sunday Times, Evening Standard and the New Statesman. In addition to at least eleven books for adults including the Bernie Gunther series, he was also the author of the Children of the Lamp series written under the name P.B. Kerr.

He died of cancer in March 2018 aged 62 a few weeks ahead of the publication of Greeks Bearing Gifts (April 2018), and having completed a ...

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