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London Underground (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. September 2012

5.0 von 5 Sternen 1 Kundenrezension

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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Chris Angus is the author of several works of nonfiction and is also a newspaper columnist. He has published more than four hundred essays, articles, book introductions, columns, and reviews in a wide variety of publications. Angus lives in Canton, New York.
-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.

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Format: Taschenbuch
London is an old city full of underground railways systems, subterranean rivers, ancient Roman ruins, remnants from medieval times, artifacts from the World Wars, rats and a hell of a lot more. There is also a lot of undiscovered history, particularly from World War II, Winston Churchill, the Nazis and the ‘plague’ that is entombed in that hellish dark place. When modern times accidentally discover some of these hidden treasures and horrors of the past, the ride begins and it’s no ordinary thriller.

Interweaving a spy thriller story of a Nazi V-2 rocket produced and traveling Europe by rail in the second World War with modern day discoveries is a marvel of mysteries. It is told stealthily and in a maddenly fast pace as it unfolds in Norway and under the City of London. Did Winston Churchill or Hitler have something to hide that has lied buried for decades that holds a horrible truth and a possibly catastrophic illness? Why are the rats running from the underground in mass and why is there such an interest by so many in what lies beneath?

These are part of the story of “London Underground”, a novel that takes unique and interesting characters through a series of calamities and circumstances that hold the reader spellbound. Once started, the reader is committed to the story with a quickening and terrifying pace. Some of the imagery and circumstances will have anyone, especially those claustrophobic or afraid of the dark in a deep hold. No one is safe from the deadly darkness that prowls the underground. If you don’t like bloody rats, be prepared. There are plenty and some are more than extraordinary.

This is one of the best science fiction novels I have read and the story is so utterly believable that it causes reason for alarm.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 von 5 Sternen 16 Rezensionen
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen It is a very busy book, but despite all of the disparate elements, it actually holds together. 22. August 2015
Von Peter S. Bradley - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This book is a science fiction thriller. Reading it is like watching a juggler keeping a ball, an egg and chainsaw in the air.

The book starts in the London of Henry VIII where we learn two things: first, London is in the grip of a dangerous plague known as "the Sweat" that kills its victims within hours; second, Henry has decided to hide half of England's wealth by burying it somewhere under London.

And then we shift to the present day, when Asperger's sufferer Carmen is involved in an architectural dig at Coram's field, where something historical has been uncovered. In the course of the archeological dig, some bodies are uncovered and we are introduced to the very tall Inspector Sherwood Peets and his assistant Harry Forsyth. The mystery deepens when it is determined that the bodies are from World War II and they have some jewelry associated with Henry VIII.

And then we shift to World War II where we meet Norwegian freedom fighter Gunnar and Winston Churchill's assistant Natasha. They have been tasked with taking part in a raid to investigate and disrupt something the Nazis are doing with rockets in Norway.

Then we shift back and forth between the two eras as we see Gunnar and Natasha close in on a Nazi plot to develop "super rats" and a horrible disease, both of which are to be delivered by rocket, and we see Carmen and Peets visit "underground London" where they find the remains of a British secret project to develop super rats and a disease.

Both eras have their own problems, but the focus is clearly on modernity, as giant, dangerous rats, voracious, furless and about four feet long, emerge from underground London to prey upon whatever - and whoever - they can find. There is a race for the treasure, double-crosses and national politics that threaten the government.

It is a very busy book, but despite all of the disparate elements, it actually holds together. Actually, I got the sense that this book might make an entertaining movie. I could well imagine the fight against the super-rats in the underground would make for an entertaining visual spectacle.

A drawback for the book, in my opinion, were the characters. I never really engaged with them, and they didn't become more than two-dimensional, defined by one really outstanding characteristic, e.g., Peets is really tall; Carmen has Asperger's; Trimm is short and wants revenge on the tall world. These characteristics were stressed, but never amounted to anything. Carmen explained her Asperger's issue on multiple occasions, but to all intents and purposes she was completely normal, i.e., she has friends and falls in love, just like a regular heroine in a thriller.

What was fascinating for me was the historical elements. I researched "Fleet River" - which is where most of the action is set - and discovered that the Fleet is one of dozens of "buried rivers" in London. These were once open rivers that were covered over as they became used as sewers until they became actual sewers. The Fleet River gives its name to "Fleet Street" and can be spotted or heard through the occasional grating at various points. There is a pretty decent website by a company that gives tours of "underground London"; I suspect that tour company was an inspiration for the setting of this book.

Likewise, Coram's Field is a real place; it was the location of a foundling hospital and eventually became a park for children.

This book is a page-turner with some fun ideas, some of which were overdone - the rats seemed to be endlessly snufflingly around the characters - or underdeveloped - why was it important that Carmen had Aspergers? - but if you like action and lots of cutting back and forth between characters in danger, this is a good book. If you are looking for something with more intellectual heft, keep looking.
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Cover-up and the Great Race 20. Mai 2016
Von John R. Carpenter - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
London Underground by Chris Angus
This is a novel of suspense, a thriller. It is also a work of history that evokes many of the unsolved, catastrophic events of the past. These go back to the Middle Ages and earlier still, to Roman times, to archaeology. Many of our “historical” events were mysterious and still are. In 1507, during the reign of Henry VI, a disease broke out, then again in 1517, and again in 1551. Originally it was called “the sweating sickness.” Was it the “plague”? There were no skin lesions symptomatic of the plague, according to “London Underground,” perhaps it was an unclear hereditary or Darwinian mechanism. An outbreak occurred during World War II. But records were destroyed during the bombing, and it remains largely unexplained until today. This book is a work of suspense and also a vision of history: its many uncharted catastrophes and sicknesses, its wars and loss of life--these continue to the present moment.
A man named Sherwood enters the underground tube: “Riding London’s tube lifts always felt like a thirty-second fall from grace. The ancient machines issued forth a continuous series of ominous sounds, inevitably coming to a halt with a loud clank, as though Lucifer himself were rattling his chains in anticipation of their arrival.” This is the setting for what is to follow.

Two young women, Julia and Carmen, work at an archaeological site or “dig” not far from the British Museum. Later they walk toward the underground. After five minutes, it is clear they are going lower than they had been before. They hear the sound of a distant subway, probably headed for Victoria Station: “The silence grew heavy. They were beneath a city of more than eight million people. There was not a sound, except for the distant tinkling of water falling somewhere, and the occasional scurrying of rats. They quickly passed the section of Great Conduit Julia had showed her earlier, bypassed the cistern and continued through a bewildering array of tunnels. ‘You sure you can find your way out of here?’ asked Carmen.”
New discoveries are made underground. Bones and whole bodies are found, they are analyzed to find out when they died and, if possible, the causes of death. A new burial ground is discovered. In addition, strange sucking sounds are reported in the underground passageways; a worker hears the sound of something heavy that is moving above them somewhere. At one point singing is heard. A mad woman wanders through, she is not carrying a flashlight.
Scurrying rats that produce feelings of revulsion or queasiness. A young colleague, Norman, is asked to explain to Julia the “rat facts”: “There are an estimated three rats for every human in London. There are tens of millions of rats. You are probably never more than three feet from a rat at any time. There are 4000 rats born in London every hour. They are incredibly prolific.” Later, Carmen falls through a crumbling floor that is the ceiling to another tunnel below. There are piles of dead rats and filth, it is a scene of unrelieved horror. Not much later the two young women make a gruesome discovery in an unexplored passageway: it is the body of the dead Norman.
This is a thriller, a novel of suspense, but it is also a work of historical fiction with a broad background. Several men investigate the underground tunnels searching for clues to the recent mysterious deaths and disappearances. Near a cistern they find a metal “protrusion” that is black in color, rough, and considerably aged. One of them bangs his flashlight against the metal, and hears a metallic echo; there is a worn but still legible series of numbers on the side of the object. A sudden chill grips his insides. Looking at the distant opening above him he shouts, “It’s the V-2!”
An earlier subchapter described events during World War II and Hitler’s obsession with biological warfare. A German outpost was established in a village in the north of occupied Norway, intended to develop biological weapons. These weapons with their “payload” were so lethal that the outpost was constructed far from the German homeland. A group from the Norwegian underground tries to blow up the outpost, or at least steal the weaponized bio-missile. But they are too late. It has been put on a railroad flat-car and bound to the south and Germany.
These vignettes are deftly done. The narration of “London Underground” uses a broad range of sub-plots or “slants” in different times and places, some far from London, that involve the unfinished business of World War II. They contribute to the intense suspense of the novel.
In the present-- in London-- deaths and disappearances continue. The mysterious infections are increasing. The group that works on archaeological sites tries to alert the British government, but their concerns are met with denial. The Prime Minister asserts there is absolutely no danger of a bio-missile, he brushes them off. However he has already collected his own information attested in London. He is lying.
The reader might recall the poisonings that took place in London with radioactive Polonium-210, administered by a hostile government in a pot of tea. The novel also recalls the fast-paced plotting of Dan Brown’s DaVinci code novels or Stieg Larsen’s “Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.” The episodes with British politicians and modern technology are quite modern. Unfortunately they are entirely plausible.
4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen "You are probably never more than three feet from a rat at any time" 15. Juli 2013
Von Amelia Gremelspacher - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Humans have an ancient, almost instinctual fear of rats. Over the years they have spread ,. Of course, if the general creepiness of a rat is not enough, the varieties of diseases they and their parasites carry provide ample reason for revulsion. In the years of Henry VIII, three outbreaks of the Sweating Sickness killed thousands; probably spread by ticks and lice carried by rats. Today there is an archeological dig, overseen in part by Carmen. The discovery of bodies brings Sherwood from Scotland Yard. The tunnels of London are open for exploitation.

While much of the novel occurs from these two characters, they are the main axis and my favorite. Carmen has Asperger's Syndrome with which she struggles with extremes of sensory input and is unable to match her communication to the emotion she feels. I found this to be an intriguing plot line, but one I think was underutilized. We know her parents valiantly worked to remediate her weaknesses, but I still feel some of the gorier sequences would have nearly incapacitated her. Sherwood is no social genius of his own, but they make an interesting team.

Into this mystery/ugh/horror story is the complex history running from Henry's time to the present. The Sweating Sickness has reappeared. Giant and repulsive rats are seen in the tunnels. Regular rats are afraid of them and are swarming London. There is even an old Nazi missile down there. Just for fun, there is an apparent lost treasure of the Aztecs hidden within the rest of the labrynth. Sometimes the story gets a little complex, and I feel a couple of strands maybe should have been left out. However the complexity surely kept me guessing and at no point was I bored. I am always up for a bit of history in my novels, and the honeycomb under the streets is certainly interesting. This is a good, and sometimes gross, summer read.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Good strong characters, she more than anyone else. A real page-turner. 10. Februar 2016
Von CarNut - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Scary stuff! Actual history - who the heck knew that there was a different kind of plague back in Henry the VIII's day that would come full circle to today - and then you layer in left-over WWII bombs and disease (warfare) - INCREDIBLE stuff. Good strong characters, she more than anyone else. A real page-turner. Bravo to the author.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Fun Escape 15. Oktober 2013
Von Jeffrey Swystun - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This was a surprising find. It mixes history and horror to spin a tale involving Nazi V2 rockets, plague, treasure and nasty creatures. I most enjoyed the occasional historical reference and facts that were so interesting. The characters were a bit stiff and underdeveloped but that can be forgiven given the pace and action they find themselves placed. I liken it to a funhouse ride with interesting twists and turns along with the odd scare and laugh. It is a guilty pleasure read that delivers great entertainment.
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