Summary and book reviews of Brandenburg Gate by Henry Porter

Brandenburg Gate

by Henry Porter

Brandenburg Gate by Henry Porter X
Brandenburg Gate by Henry Porter
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 2006, 448 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2007, 448 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Set in the weeks before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Dr. Rudi Rosenharte, formerly a Stasi foreign agent, is sent to Trieste to rendezvous with his old lover and agent, Annalise Schering. The problem: Rudi knows she’s dead.

September 1989. The Communist government in East Germany is on the brink, desperately clinging to power through the iron grip of the Stasi. One of the most formidable intelligence services the world has ever seen, the Stasi has one informer for every seven residents of East Germany, plus countless armed guards, special jails, and nightmarish interrogation centers. But even the Stasi can’t stop the rebellion that ends in the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is in these last few frenzied weeks that Brandenburg Gate is set.

Dr. Rudi Rosenharte, formerly a Stasi foreign agent, now an art scholar living in Dresden, is sent to Trieste to rendezvous with his old lover, Annalise Schering. The problem: Rudi knows she’s dead. He saw her lying in her own bloodied bathwater, and then kept her suicide a secret.

The Stasi believe Annalise is returning to the fold with vital intelligence. To make sure Rosenharte plays the game while in Italy, they have imprisoned his family. But the Stasi is not the only intelligence agency using Rosenharte. Soon the British and the Americans encircle him, forcing him to choose to either abandon his beloved brother to a torturous death or return to East Germany as a double agent.

Brandenburg Gate is a brilliant, gripping, and multilayered espionage thriller that captures the fall of the Berlin Wall, the most important geopolitical event of the last fifty years, as shocking and unexpected as it was revolutionary.

1
Edge of the Void

The man in the straw hat dogged his footsteps from the first, keeping his distance, yet never bothering to hide himself. Rosenharte saw him loitering outside the hotel when he checked in, then at the conference centre and later sitting at a cafe in Piazza dell’Unità, a mournful fellow with a washed-out face, who wore the hat unconvincingly on the back of his head as though he’d just won it in a shooting gallery. At times he got so close that Rosenharte could see the ventilation holes in the side of the hat and a mark on the narrow brim. He wanted to be seen – that much was clear – and once or twice Rosenharte thought he was going to approach, but then he seemed to decide against it and darted away into a side street.

He wondered if the man was the visible part of the Stasi’s surveillance operation in Trieste, put on his tail to remind him of their presence. Though he didn’t need it; they had made it clear to him ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

This is a first-rate thriller, comparable to the best of Le CarrĂ© or Littell.  Porter juggles a complex plot and a large cast of well-developed characters with aplomb, but it is his depiction of the dying days of East Germany, and the massive reach of the secret police required to maintain a country set to implode, that raises Brandenburg Gate above the level of mere entertainment.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Full Review (405 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

Media Reviews

The Sunday Telegraph (UK)
An accomplished retro-thriller . . . warmly recommended. Henry Porter has fast become one of the masters of the genre.

The Sunday Times (London)
A first-rate thriller . . . Porter sustains an elaborate plot skillfully and portrays memorable, multifaceted characters.

Booklist - David Wright
Although a mite overstuffed, the novel’s engrossing plot, convincing tradecraft, and vivid depiction of a ruthless totalitarian regime losing its stranglehold ... prov(e) that the golden age of spy fiction isn’t over yet.

Publishers Weekly
Starred review. It's easy to see why this riveting read won the CWA's Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award.

Library Journal
Beautifully researched and rich in incident and intriguing characters, this tour de force ... has as many twists as a mountain road but is never confusing.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

As The Berlin Wall fell my husband and I procrastinated. We sat in our small London house saying to ourselves that we really should go and see it, but we'd just got back from our honeymoon, and there were things to do, thank you cards to write, jobs that we shouldn't really take any more time off from - and as a result we frittered away the opportunity to see first-hand one of the most momentous events of the 20th century. ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Henry Porter

If you liked Brandenburg Gate, try these:

  • All Tomorrow's Parties jacket

    All Tomorrow's Parties

    by Rob Spillman

    Published 2017

    About this book

    In his intimate, entertaining, and heartfelt memoir, Spillman narrates a colorful, music-filled coming-of-age portrait of an artist's life that is also a cultural exploration of a shifting Berlin.

  • The Three-Nine Line jacket

    The Three-Nine Line

    by David Freed

    Published 2015

    About this book

    Three American ex-POWs are accused of murdering their former prison guard, and Cordell Logan - pilot, aspiring Buddhist, and former military assassin - is sent to Vietnam to investigate.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Pianist from Syria
    The Pianist from Syria
    by Aeham Ahmad
    Aeham Ahmad became famous as the face of Syrian suffering when a photo of him playing piano in the ...
  • Book Jacket: The Smiling Man
    The Smiling Man
    by Joseph Knox
    Joseph Knox's latest turns on a simple premise: an unidentified and unidentifiable murdered man is ...
  • Book Jacket: The Heavens
    The Heavens
    by Sandra Newman
    I've been a big fan of Sandra Newman's writing ever since reading her 2014 novel The Country of Ice ...
  • Book Jacket: Sugar Run
    Sugar Run
    by Mesha Maren
    Mesha Maren's debut novel is a plunge into the depths of the dark Southern gothic with pulsing and ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    American Princess
    by Stephanie Marie Thornton

    Rated 4.9 stars by BookBrowse members - one of the highest scores of all time!
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Last Year of the War
    by Susan Meissner

    A little-known story of WWII with great resonance for our times.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Girls Burn Brighter
by Shobha Rao

An extraordinary and heart-rending tale of two girls with all the odds against them.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Book Club Giveaway!
Win The Summer Country

Win up to 12 copies to share with friends or your book club!

A sweeping epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D T T! Full S A!

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.