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Munich
A novel
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the bestselling author of V2 and Fatherland—a WWII-era spy thriller set against the backdrop of the fateful Munich Conference of September 1938. Now a...
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the bestselling author of V2 and Fatherland—a WWII-era spy thriller set against the backdrop of the fateful Munich Conference of September 1938. Now a...
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  • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER From the bestselling author of V2 and Fatherland—a WWII-era spy thriller set against the backdrop of the fateful Munich Conference of September 1938. Now a Netflix film starring Jeremy Irons.

    With this electrifying novel about treason and conscience, loyalty and betrayal, "Harris has brought history to life with exceptional skill" (The Washington Post).

    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. Paul von Hartmann 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 Hartmann 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, unputdownable novel.

Excerpts-

  • From the cover ***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected copy proof***

    Copyright © 2018 Robert Harris

    Shortly before one o’clock on the afternoon of Tuesday 27 September 1938, Mr. Hugh Legat of His Majesty’s Diplomatic Service was shown to his table beside one of the floor‐to‐ceiling windows of the Ritz Restaurant in London, ordered a half-bottle of 1921 Dom Perignon he could not afford, folded his copy of The Times to page seventeen, and began to read for the third time the speech that had been delivered the night before in Berlin’s Sportpalast by Adolf Hitler.

    HERR HITLER’S SPEECH FINAL WORD TO PRAGUE PEACE OR WAR?

    Occasionally Legat glanced across the dining room to check the entrance. Perhaps it was his imagination but it seemed that the guests and even the waiters moving back and forth across the carpet between the dusky pink upholstered chairs were unusually subdued. There was no laughter. Soundlessly beyond the thick plate glass, forty or fifty workmen, some stripped to the waist in the humid weather, were digging slit trenches in Green Park.

    There should remain no doubt for the whole world at this time that it is not one man, or one leader, who speaks but the whole German people. I know that in this hour the whole people—millions strong—agree with every one of my words (Heil).

    He had listened to it on the BBC as it was delivered. Metallic, remorseless, threatening, self-pitying, boastful—impressive in its horrible way—it had been punctuated by the thumps of Hitler’s hand pounding the podium and by the roar of fifteen thousand voices shouting their approval. The noise was inhuman, unearthly. It had seemed to well up from some black subterranean river and pour out of the loudspeaker.

    I am grateful to Mr. Chamberlain for all his efforts, and I have assured him that the German people want nothing but peace. I have further assured him, and I emphasise it now, that when this problem is solved, Germany has no more territorial problems in Europe.

    Legat took out his fountain pen and underlined the passage, and then did the same with another, earlier reference to the Anglo–German Naval Agreement:

    Such an agreement is only morally justified if both nations promise one another solemnly never to wage war against one another again. Germany has this will. Let us all hope that those who are of the same conviction will gain the upper hand among the British people.

    He put aside the paper and checked his pocket watch. It was characteristic of him not to carry the time on his wrist like most men of his age but rather on the end of a chain. He was only twenty-eight yet seemed older—his face pale, his manner grave, his suit dark. He had made the reservation a fortnight ago, before the crisis had blown up. Now he felt guilty. He would give her another five minutes; then he would have to leave.

    It was a quarter‐past when he glimpsed her reflection between the flowers in the wall of gilded mirrors. She was standing on the edge of the restaurant, practically on tiptoe, peering around blankly, her long white neck extended, her chin tilted upwards. He studied her for a few more moments as if she were a stranger and wondered what on earth he would make of her if she were not his wife. “A striking figure”—that was the sort of thing people said of her. “Not pretty, exactly.” “No, but handsome.” “Pamela’s what one calls a thoroughbred.” “Yes, tremendous breeding—and entirely out of poor Hugh’s league . . .” (This latter he had...

About the Author-

  • ROBERT HARRIS is the author of eleven novels: Fatherland, Enigma, Archangel, Pompeii, Imperium, The Ghost Writer, Conspirata, The Fear Index, An Officer and a Spy, Dictator, and Conclave. Several of his books have been adapted to film, most recently The Ghost Writer. His work has been translated into thirty-seven languages. He lives in the village of Kintbury, England, with his wife, Gill Hornby.

    David Rintoul is a stage and television actor from Scotland. He has narrated many audiobooks, including books by Ian Fleming and Robert Harris.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 6, 2017
    The 1938 Munich peace negotiations form the backdrop for this intelligent novel. Thriller Award–winner Harris (Conclave) presents the diplomatic give-and-take through the perspectives of two friends who have fallen out of touch: Hugh Legat of His Majesty’s Diplomatic Service and his Oxford schoolmate, Paul von Hartmann, who serves as a translator for the German Foreign Ministry. For Hugh, the international crisis coincides with the deterioration of his marriage. Paul is recruited by a group of conspirators hoping that Hitler’s militarily unrealistic plans to attack Czechoslovakia will lead his generals to support an effort to topple him. Meanwhile, Neville Chamberlain holds vigorous discussions with his cabinet about what he could and should do to avert what he believes will be a civilization-shattering conflict that will cost many British lives over “a quarrel in a faraway country between people of whom we know nothing.” Harris succeeds in not only transforming a familiar historical event into a novel of suspense but in making the derided Chamberlain sympathetic. 100,000-copy announced first printing. Agent: Michael Carlisle, Inkwell Management.

  • AudioFile Magazine Vocally dexterous narrator David Rintoul guides listeners through this spy thriller by the bestselling author of FATHERLAND with a sure hand. Harris uses fascinating background characters to pull back the curtain on negotiations that could bring peace to Europe and head off the advance of Adolf Hitler and WWII. Rintoul portrays protagonist Hugh Legat, a personal aide of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, with the assuredness of tone and pacing of an accomplished actor. There are a plethora of fascinating characters for Rintoul to portray, and he depicts each one with individuality and personality. Rintoul handles the rising tension well as the characters barrel toward the 1938 showdown in Munich between the earnest English and the power-hungry Germans. R.O. � AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine

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