View all 19 comments. Dec 30, Tony rated it liked it Shelves: wwi , scottish. I don't usually want my pots boiled; but when I do, I like Mr. Boyd to do the boiling. He's erudite, can raise the temperature at times, and knows how to keep things hidden. That said, there were moments when he strained credulity.
Filthy sex, many locales. She realizes she is four-months pregnant and she and her husband have him arrested for rape. His lawyer finds all the overwhelming evidence of consent hotel bills, witness testi I don't usually want my pots boiled; but when I do, I like Mr.
His lawyer finds all the overwhelming evidence of consent hotel bills, witness testimony and is prepared to win "in a cakewalk". He faces 8 to 10 years in prison, but can clearly be acquitted. The woman comes to see him and begs him not to expose their affair in court. He answers, duh, okay. But I'm guessing three months before I forget the plot and characters. The clever thing is to interpret it. View 1 comment. May 02, Zina rated it it was ok. I like William Boyd - a lot, but I didn't like this.
Young, middle-ranking English actor shows up in Vienna to consult an English shrink to help him with his inability to achieve orgasm. Shrink helps. Young actor, Lysander Rief, then has steamy affair with very neurotic young artist, who accuses him of rape to protect herself when her volatile partner finds out about their affair. Rief escapes because he is a master of disguise. Of course he is. He's an actor. His skills have been noted and I like William Boyd - a lot, but I didn't like this.
His skills have been noted and appreciated by England's Secret Services, who recruit him as a spy. Off to the front he goes, to France, then Switzerland then finally back to England to sort it all out. There's plenty of local colour; quite a lot of sex - but a great deal of inconsistency of character, some plodding plotting, and too many of the dullest sentences I've read in a while. Definitely Boyd in an off period. Apr 19, Jake Goretzki rated it it was ok.
All a bit bloodless. He felt shallow and rushed. He then finds himself ap All a bit bloodless. He then finds himself appointed spy hunter. I also suspect that William Boyd really wanted to write a WW2 thriller - I kept having to remind myself that this was , not , since the world of espionage seemed so much more developed than I imagine it would really have been in WW1.
Oh, and that cover. Another Book Design Crime. So, all a bit of a mixed picture. Think of it as a practice run for the next Bond novel. I enjoyed reading this so much I didn't want it to end. Great character in Lysander Rief: a young Englishman, a stage actor turned espionage pro, a man who frequently falls for the fairer sex, and is able to put on a disguise that his own mother won't recognize.
The story begins in Vienna, just prior to WW I, , where Rief is seeking the advice of a psychiatrist to deal with a personal problem.
After all Vienna is Freud's milieu. The doctor he sees is English however and he falls for a woman I enjoyed reading this so much I didn't want it to end. The doctor he sees is English however and he falls for a woman who is also English. Go figure. His surreptitious return to England leads him to the Army as war breaks out and his journey takes him into many interesting twists and trysts.
Great story, writing, setting and characters. Like Boyd's other recent and highly successful novels, Waiting For Sunrise is the story of a relatively ordinary individual caught up in extraordinary events.
Opening in Vienna in nineteen fifteen, it begins with Lysander Rief, a not overly-successful English actor, sitting in the consulting room of Dr Bensimon, a psycho-analyst, to whom he has come for help with sexual problems that originate in a childhood burdened with confusion and deception. A chance acquaintance with Hetty, a young Englishw Like Boyd's other recent and highly successful novels, Waiting For Sunrise is the story of a relatively ordinary individual caught up in extraordinary events.
A chance acquaintance with Hetty, a young Englishwoman, in the psycho-analyst's waiting room, precipitates a passionate affair that will profoundly alter the course of Lysander's life. In his childhood, as he confesses to Dr Bensimon, he was the cause of an innocent young man losing his livelihood and being falsely accused of sexually molesting him.
So there's a certain justice when some months later he himself is falsely accused of sexual assault by Hetty, and is obliged to flee Vienna in disguise. Later, when Boyd has returned to London and believes he has put the incident behind him, Monroe resurfaces, requiring a service from Boyd in repayment of his debt.
The First World War is now in full swing and someone is revealing details of the British Army's plans to the enemy. Monroe wants Lysander to unmask a traitor in the highest echelons of the British Army Like all good spy stories Waiting For Sunrise presents the reader with a a hall of mirrors.
The psycho-analyst's strategy for curing Lysander is the construction of an imaginary parallel world in which he must learn to believe in a different past. A similar process is now required by Lysander's new career in espionage with its assumed identities and false trails. In addition, there's also a complex web of literary allusions that adds yet another teasing layer of meaning and commentary.
It's an highly entertaining story with some wonderful description, both of character and setting. But, for me, it's a little bit too much of a game. It's extremely well-researched and well-constructed but it didn't move me in any way, or leave me feeling that I've witnessed anything other than a formidable display of craftsmanship.
From many other authors that would be enough. I just think that Boyd is capable of a great deal more. Apr 23, Sean rated it really liked it Shelves: 20th-century , read-in , espionage. This spy novel was a pleasant surprise.
It follows a young British actor named Lysander Rief who is wrongly accused of rape in his travels to Vienna to seek treatments for a sexual dysfunction. As a result, he flees the country and returns home and enlists in the war effort.
He is recruited as a spy to locate a mole in the British war office and is caught up in an exciting counter-espionage This spy novel was a pleasant surprise. He is recruited as a spy to locate a mole in the British war office and is caught up in an exciting counter-espionage plot. This author has a gift for storytelling. His prose is elegant and enthralling. Highly recommended.
Feb 24, Laura rated it really liked it Shelves: british-literature , hf-world-war-i , e-books , african-literature , historical-fiction , read , espionage , mtbr-challenge A quite enjoyable book on espionage during World War I. Jan 19, switterbug Betsey rated it it was amazing. Young, blandly handsome British stage actor Lysander Rief lives in the shadow of his renowned, deceased father, a charismatic, talented actor that died in his prime.
Lysander travels to Vienna in to undergo psychoanalysis, which is becoming the rage now that Freud has pioneered the "talking cure. The consequences propel him toward the most intrepid performance of his life--a persona game of guile and espiona Young, blandly handsome British stage actor Lysander Rief lives in the shadow of his renowned, deceased father, a charismatic, talented actor that died in his prime.
The consequences propel him toward the most intrepid performance of his life--a persona game of guile and espionage, a dangerous role that he must inhabit and "perform" for the British government. Telling too much about the plot risks spoiling the reader's discovery. The story is largely interpretive, and the inferences are shaped by an individual's own experiences, knowledge and beliefs regarding psychology, mythology, art, and the different states of consciousness. What is readily apparent, and what is under the surface, like the Danube's ever-flowing water, teases the reader long after the last page is read.
The cover of the book before me shows a photograph of Vienna, the photo being a representation of reality. What is real, and what may be projection, imagination, manipulation, creation, or representation, is left for the reader to discern. The story unfolds during the transformation of an era, as WW I looms on the horizon. Late modernity is taking root, "flickers," or film advances as a medium for actors, art is moving toward Expressionism, and Freud and Jung have split over their views of sex and the unconscious.
This is a perfect book for structure fans, for its form is a frame for all that transpires. Boyd seamlessly braids, through alternating points of view and short, terse chapters, what is known and what is obscured.
Often, what is hidden reveals what is present, and what is present exposes what is veiled. Moreover, he peppers the pages with a constant play of light on things concrete, like buildings and objects, and things abstract, like dreams and ideas. At first sight, the narrative moves linearly at a clipped pace, almost blithely, artlessly straightforward. Like a kaleidoscope, however, the perspective turns a fraction with each short chapter and with the three points of view Boyd incorporates throughout.
The reader may eventually perceive that it is more opaque than clear, more dissembling than disclosing, and yet, it ultimately coalesces and connects, like night and day, wakefulness and sleep, dreams and reality, truth and lies, identity and deception, betrayal and faithfulness, shadows and light.
Boyd's genius is that the story succeeds and commands on any of its contingent trajectories. Any inferred fissures, breaches, and cracks, no matter which way you spin the narrative wheel, intersect with the threshold regions where this book resides. The novel inhabits liminal spaces and periods, taking place in the interstitial zones of time and place, between the conscious and unconscious; knowing and unknowing; twilight and dawn.
That applies, also, to the relationship between the reader and the narrative. The story is full of paradoxes, ambiguities, coded keys, and psychosexual connotations. As you navigate through the pages, you may sometimes wonder which way the compass is pointing.
May 29, Nancy Oakes rated it really liked it. I loved it. Lysander Rief arrives in Vienna in to receive psychological help for a sexual problem. His closest friend in England had convinced him to try psychoanalysis; taking his advice, Lysander took out all of his savings and moved to Austria.
At his first session with Dr. Bensimon, he is advised to keep a journal, which Lysander calls his "Autobiographical Investigations," which Bensimon says will hopefully yield a direct insight into Lysander's unconscious mind during the I loved it. Bensimon, he is advised to keep a journal, which Lysander calls his "Autobiographical Investigations," which Bensimon says will hopefully yield a direct insight into Lysander's unconscious mind during the course of his treatment.
Lysander's first entry details the event at age 14 that led simultaneously to his burden of guilt and his sexual issue. Bensimon believes the answer is to be found in his theory of "parallelism," scoffed at by Freud, which is "basically about using your imagination. The doctor's brief use of hypnotic therapy plants an altogether-different version of that traumatic day in a "parallel world" within Lysander's subconscious that Lysander can develop in place of the real one.
This technique aligns with Lysander's profession as an actor, where he is both himself and not himself, where he is always performing, and where it's "just an act, after all And so begins this tale of deceptions, of shifting identities in a world of duplicity and performance in some fashion or another. It's a book where efforts to discern what is real and not real and who to trust follow on the heels of the fictions created by Boyd's characters, and really, what better venue can there be for such ideas than a spy story?
The story moves from Lysander's psychological treatment to his infatuation with another one of Bensimon's patients, Hettie. She is a sculptor, living a rather bohemian life with her artist-significant other Udo.
Hettie and Lysander enjoy a torrid affair, but out of nowhere, Hettie accuses him of rape; he is placed under arrest and "escapes" with help from fellow countrymen at the British Embassy, leaving him in a lot of debt.
Leaving Vienna and returning to England, he joins the army as World War I erupts, but his days in Vienna come back to haunt him when he is called upon to perform some secret-agent type work that will take him across enemy lines into Switzerland.
Once home in England again, he must penetrate the closed-ranks bureaucracy within the military war machine to root out who is leaking secrets to the enemy, but some bizarre and unforeseen complications arise along the way. He makes several references to waiting for sunrise, when "he might know what to do next," or when he has hopes that its arrival will bring understanding and clarity or "at least clearer vision," but the actor who once loved the limelight learns that it may be safer to remain in the world of shadows.
Obviously there's much more to talking about this book than space will allow. I liked this novel immensely. Search The Canadian Encyclopedia.
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