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am 3. Mai 1999
McEwan deftly illustrates how turmoil and deception can lie just below the surface, whether that surface is a city street in divided Berlin, or the surface of a seemingly clean-cut, upright human being. In McEwan's world of post-war Germany, no one is truly innocent, or at least no one beyond page 20, and nothing is truly as it seems. All is a shade of grey, nothing is black and white. This book is gripping, as Leonard's life becomes more ensnared in lies and cover-ups. A terrific read.
0Kommentar7 von 7 Personen haben dies hilfreich gefunden.. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 22. Januar 2003
Until this book, "The Innocent", written in 1989, I had only read more recent works by author Ian McEwan. He has been widely honored both in prizes that he had been nominated for, and in prizes he has won such as The Booker Prize, and the Somerset Maugham Award. If you are only familiar with his more recent work you may find yourself puzzled and disappointed as I was with this novel.
The kernel this book is built around is based on true historical events. There was a major intelligence gathering tunnel built to tap Soviet communication lines that was begun around 1953 and was abandoned when discovered by the Soviets in April of 1956. The novel begins as a Cold War spy genre book, adds a love story, and then veers off wildly in a direction worthy of a Quentin Tarantino film. Until the point I mention, I thought the book was a reasonably good read; however when the bizarre turn of events came about I only finished the book as I was close to the end and I was curious how the author would bring the whole novel to a close.
The author wrapped up his tale, again using a piece of history, but he did so in a manner that was as outlandish as the acts spawned by the final decisions of the protagonist, and made this portion of the book funny, even silly.
I have greatly enjoyed other work by Mr. McEwan and I will continue to read his new books and continue my way back through his earlier published tales. From my experience with what I have previously read, this is an anomaly for him, and I would not suggest it as a first venture in to this author's work.
0Kommentar9 von 10 Personen haben dies hilfreich gefunden.. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
TOP 1000 REZENSENTam 20. März 2010
Das Hörbuch (Audiobook) zum Roman "The Innocent" von Ian McEwan ist wirklich fantastisch! Anton Lesser hat eine sehr angenehme Lesestimme. Für LeserInnen, deren Englischkenntnisse evtl. nicht perfekt sind oder schon einige Jahre zurück liegen (wie in meinem Fall), kann ich unbedingt empfehlen, beim Hören der Audio-CD's das engl. Taschenbuch "The Innocent" vor sich liegen zu haben und den Text - zumindest beim ersten Anhören - im Buch mitzuverfolgen. Das Hörbuch ist zwar um einige Passagen gegenüber dem Roman gekürzt, aber das tut dem Hörgenuss keinen Abbruch.

Nun zur Geschichte selbst: "The Innocent" ist ein hervorragender Spionage-Thriller, der im Jahr 1955 mitten im Kalten Krieg in Berlin spielt und durch die eingebaute Liebesgeschichte des britischen Offiziers Leonard Marnham (der in Diensten der Amerikaner steht) zu einer Deutschen einige überraschende Momente bereit hält. Noch überraschender ist allerdings das Finale am Schluss des Buches (bitte Taschentücher bereit halten). Mittendrin wird's ein bisschen blutig - oder sagen wir mal: ganz schön sogar... (bei dem harmlosen Titel hätte ich alles andere vermutet, aber NICHT das!).

Die Figuren in dem Roman, wie Ian McEwan sie für "The Innocent" erschaffen hat, wirken so lebensecht, so nah! Der Autor hat seinen Protagonisten wahres Leben eingehaucht, und beim Lesen glaubt man, sich mitten im Geschehen zu befinden (genau dies habe ich z. B. beim Roman "On Chesil Beach" ein wenig vermisst; dort wirkten die Figuren bis zum Schluss auf mich etwas "leblos" und unreal).

Sicherlich, der Kalte Krieg ist längst vorüber und Berlin zum Glück heute keine geteilte Stadt mehr, aber es ist trotzdem ein Vergnügen und sehr interessant, sich noch einmal beim Lesen bzw. Hören zwanzig Jahre zurückversetzen zu lassen und dem Bau des unterirdischen Spionage-Tunnels von West- nach Ostberlin (Operation "Stopwatch"/"Gold") durch die Briten und Amerikaner beizuwohnen! Dabei ist natürlich die exzellente sprachliche Darstellung des Autors maßgeblich, dass das Ganze so ein erstklassiger Lesegenuss geworden ist!

Fünf Sterne für eines der besten Bücher, das ich in letzter Zeit gelesen habe. Die Geschichte wirkt noch eine ganze Weile nach, nachdem man (frau) sie gelesen hat; das kann ich versprechen!
0Kommentar1 von 1 Personen haben dies hilfreich gefunden.. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 13. April 2010
This a brilliant book about the former conflicts of the East and West within Berlin. Not even that the reader can feel the military tension of the cold war ten years after the 2nd world war. He or she can also feel the typical Berliner atmosphere during these times.
Its great for the younger generation who hasn't lived then, the book brings history alive. Later on you won't give yourself a rest and won't stop reading it, cause the love story of Leonard and Maria is getting first very weird and later on you need to have strong nervs to cope with the whole situation mentioning in McEwan's book. For English-speaking persons only, you should know at least basic German, e.g. police means Polizei and other basic words like thank you means danke, because sometimes they aren't explained. In my opinion this book is recommendable especially for people who come to Berlin and start to live there. It's a must read, especially in early spring around March till April. However you need strong nerves and not to mention mental resistance to cope with some scenes in the book.
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am 14. April 1999
This book has a dark edge to it. Leonard, the central character finds himself lodged in a tangle of intrigues that lead to one barbaric act. At each moment I wondered what would happen next. This novel contains many interesting elements including cold-war paranoia, American bravado, romance, tragedy and a portrayal of the depths of depravity a trapped human can fall into. Ian McEwan is a masterful storyteller who clearly enjoys the unravelling of a story before the reader's eyes. He gives just enought information to lure us further into his story. It's great reading on the commute to and from work!
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am 2. März 2010
Starting at "On Chesil Beach" and working my way zigzag backwards, I arrived at "The Innocent" by Ian McEwan. Its interesting to read a book about which the critics (here at Amazon) differ so much in their opinions.

This is a good Spy, Love, Historical story which is so well researched and so well thought out. Really enjoyed it from start to finish. Try it yourself.
0Kommentar1 von 1 Personen haben dies hilfreich gefunden.. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 20. Mai 1998
I'm a fervent admirer of McEwan's books and can't help but be affected profoundly by this one as well. The private and the public mix ambiguoulsy and the intricate machinations of the political sphere reveal themselves as the aftermath and residues of the private catastrophes and psychoses. The book reads like a piece of music.
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am 27. Januar 2010
This book is sad and touching, mixing the twisted world of counter espionage with a love story, which of course is an old recipe. McEvan however takes this to another level, placing the characters in grey post-war Berlin, and contrasting innocence and brutality. I like the style of Ian McEvan, and this book did not disappoint me.
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am 18. März 1998
Leonard, the "Innocent" title character, is a naive young Brit who finds himself transported to the strange environs of post WWII Berlin and into a world of emotions and intrigue he is ill-equipped to handle.
Faced with the brash American Bob, who sees spies behind each face he meets, Leonard encounters the lovely Maria who captivates his imagination and his heart.
Leonard doesn't heed Bob's warning against becoming involved with Maria and finds himself helplessly caught up in a web that eventually embroils him in a killing and jeopardized the project on which he is working.
Leonard's struggle elicits a curious mixture of emotions in the reader. His awkwardness and confusion elicit empathy, while the laughter is short lived and tinged with a touch of sadness.
Leonard is an Everyman, a true innocent, whose brief sojourn in this strange and bleak "wonderland" robs him of the one thing he had -- that unblemished innocence unique in a jaded, post war Berlin.
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am 23. März 1998
The images of subterranean constructs, of buried lives and secret agendas, that permeate "The Innocent" continue to haunt us in the chilled aftermath of the Cold War. What we don't know can and does hurt us, now as then. Even the men and women who, like Leonard,the novel's title character, seemed to be intimately involved in the secret history of our time in fact knew nothing of the wishes of those who controlled them. The spy tunnel Leonard helps make operational beneath the streets of post-War Berlin is very real. It was a Top Secret operation of Western intelligence. And it was "blown" to its Soviet target before excavations had begun. So we are left to ponder: Who are the warriors? Who are the victims? On whose altars are the innocents sacrificed?
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