- Published: 2010
- Number of pages: 435 pages
- Format: Epub
- File Size: 0.31 MB
- Authors: Len Deighton
He was the best source the Department ever had, but now he desperately wanted to come over the Wall. ‘Brahms Four’ was certain a high-ranking mole was set to betray him. There was only one Englishman he trusted any more: someone from the old days.
So they decided to put Bernard Samson back into the field after five sedentary years of flying a desk.
The field is Berlin.
The game is as baffling, treacherous and lethal as ever…
Review ‘Deighton’s best novel to date – sharp, witty and sour, like Raymond Chandler adapted to British gloom and the multiple betrayals of the private spy’Observer‘Sheer consistent rightness page after page after page’The Times‘Virtuoso top level performance’Guardian‘A masterly performance, much the best thing Deighton has done since SS-GB’Sunday Times –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Reviews from Amazon users, collected at the time the book is getting published on UniedVRG. It can be related to shiping or paper quality instead of the book content:
⭐ From the closing days of World War II until the destruction of the Wall four decades later, Berlin was the epicenter of the clash between East and West. Divided into four zones by an agreement signed in London in 1944, the German capital became the site of nonstop intrigue involving the intelligence agencies of all four powers. The clash was especially intense between Britain’s MI6 and the Soviet KGB. So, it’s no surprise that the city became a favorite setting of spy novelists from John le Carré, Joseph Kanon, Philip Kerr, Volker Kutscher, and so many others, but especially the English. One of the most celebrated of those authors to explore Cold War espionage is Len Deighton, and his reputation rests in part on his novel, Berlin Game.Berlin Game, the first of ten books (three trilogies and a prequel), introduces MI6 officer Bernard Samson. As the novel opens, Samson is a veteran field officer. He has had enough experience with treachery on both sides of the conflict to now view the game as morally ambivalent, much like John le Carré’s George Smiley. He had grown up in Berlin, where his father had run the Berlin Field Unit, and had stayed in touch with a number of school friends. Most of them are now involved as assets in his work as a spy. They’re part of the Brahms network that exists to funnel secret information from Brahms Four, an official in the East German government.A morally ambivalent view of Cold War espionageUnfortunately, Brahms Four feels threatened and wants to be exfiltrated to the West. But Samson’s superiors want him to return to Berlin to persuade Brahms Four to hold out for another couple of years. The agent’s reports are invaluable to the British Government. And Samson is the only serving officer who knows Brahms Four personally and is thought to be the only individual who can keep the intelligence flowing to London.In the course of following through on his assignment, Samson comes to suspect that a high-level official within MI6 is a Soviet mole. And as his meeting with Brahms Four moves closer, evidence continues to mount and the danger to Samson’s life becomes increasingly great. Like le Carré’s work, Deighton’s novel adds a realistic dimension to our present-day understanding of Cold War espionage.An amusing sidelightIf you’re old enough, you may remember hearing President John F. Kennedy declare on a visit to Berlin, “Ich bin in Berliner” (I am a Berliner). However, the people of the city regarded it as a joke. “A Berliner is a doughnut,” according to Deighton. I’d read this back in the day but had long since forgotten it.
⭐ This is the first book of a nine part series. When you think about Germany and the wall and do not remember the history. This is the book to read. It tells holds your imagination in a way that you are there seeing, feeling berlin in that time period and the British Secret Service, of which Bernard Samson is part of. All the aspects of his life as a boy and now a married man. His friends, his wife, his family and all the sinister people and plots going on. The setup of a Russian mole in the British Secret Service. I know this book was published in 1983 and the cover in 2010. This is a timely book and story. You will enjoy this book and the addition eight books. Each set is a trilogy Game, Set Match. Hook, Line, Sinker, Faith, Hope and Charity.I have read the entire set a couple of years ago and wanted to Berlin Game again. I am so glad I did Len Deighton write a book so easy to read, yet the spy craft then and today is the same. The spy story whether Russian or other countries is the long game.
⭐ I’ve read this many moons ago, and rarely go back to the scene of the crime, particularly when I knew who was the mole. But I’d just read the Harry Palmer quartet and was in full Len Deighton mode. I wanted more challenging, gripping, espionage. Set during The Cold War.Berlin Game did not disappoint. Deighton reads like a younger, non-public school, spymaster,his ability coming through as slight contempt for the hoorays of the Establishment.The end is a glorious cliffhanger, clearly indicating there’s more to come in the three further books in this series.No wonder I was hooked on this stuff-especially as from 1969 on I went behind Communist borders for my summer holidays. I used to leave the latest Le Carre or Deighton on the rear parcel shelf as part of the Border Game wind up, but apart from the usual shouting and gesticulating there border boys didn’t rise to the bait!Now I live just outside Prague, permanently and legally, and am grateful that Progress has delivered plenty of enjoyable books to read.!As I write this the temperature outside is struggling up from -17%C and will be perfect for the next book, set in warmer climes!
⭐ If you like this book you will want to read the entire Samson series so this review is just a few notes on the series as a whole. The complete series in order of publication is:-Berlin Game / Mexico Set / London Match-Winter-Spy Hook / Spy Line / Spy Sinker-Faith / Hope / CharityThis is the order I read them when first published but I recently re-read them with Winter first. Winter is a sort of prequel but could be stand alone or omitted, however I think it should be included to set the tone/ambience for the setting, namely Berlin.which could be considered one of the major characters.Superficially this a spy story but at a deeper level it is a soap opera/ family saga involving people who just happen to be spies. Except for Winter and Spy Sinker each book is written in first person from the point of view of Bernard Samson. Spy Sinker is written in third person in order to reveal certain events and action that are hidden from Samson and the reader. By the time you reach this volume you will likely be quite sympathetically engaged with the character Samson so in a sense Spy Sinker is a “spoiler” -and some what flat and unengaging but serves the function making the ambiance even darker -thus should not be omitted.If you were born too young to remember the Cold War the series will most likely be just entertain as a good read. If you are older and especially if you were a British or American who spent a significant part of your formative years in a military family living in West Germany you may find yourself identifying with Samson even if your experience was much tamer than his.
⭐ It takes a lot of skill to make everything fit so tightly that it looks like casual day by daily life. Such a good story, good characters with weaknesses and strengths, great locations. I woke last night at about 1-00 am and started reading to help me back to sleep. At 5-00 I was still fresh and wide awake and still the story was dragging me on, filling my mind all day. If you can’t be excited by this book,make sure that you still have a pulse.
⭐ Interesting book – about 33% of the whole volume with near endless ambience and weather descriptions as well as interiors, including utensils and other irrelevant details. Easily distinguishable from American spy or mystery stories with abundance of action, not interminable conversations, accompanied by heavy alcohol consumption and smoking. It is passable if once has some time to kill to reach an implausible ending.
⭐ Cool story, a bit older for my tastes. Not as all-consuming as a Le Carre would be, set in the same period, but interesting enough. The only problem is you figure out “the person” in the middle of the book, and then you just kinda read till the end, when it’s suddenly confirmed, not much fanfare.
⭐ Deighton’s strength is his realism. His characters are human, the stories are complex but believable, and Sampson is not a superhuman former SEAL who can beat up King Kong. Rather he is an intelligent person, whose affections sometimes get in the way of reason. It is a great story, with interesting people, and most of all you learn from it. Loved it
⭐ I first read this book after seeing the miniseries. There are nine tales, BERLIN GAME being the first, about a very un-James Bondish British agent. I enjoyed them when I first read them and am so far happy as I read MEXICO SET, the second book.
⭐ The author plays the hook well, and you take the hook, line and sinker early in the story’s build-up. The seemingly inept aren’t. The seemingly clever aren’t as clever as they believe. A “mystery within an enigma” is the main character, Bernard Samson. Loved how the story progressed, and the inter woven personalities in Berlin and London. A great read for an espionage fan.
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