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V2: A novel of World War II por Robert…
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V2: A novel of World War II (original 2020; edição 2020)

por Robert Harris (Autor)

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2171295,398 (3.78)6
Membro:jtlauderdale
Título:V2: A novel of World War II
Autores:Robert Harris (Autor)
Informação:Knopf (2020), 320 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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V2 por Robert Harris (2020)

Adicionado recentemente porbarlow304, biblioteca privada, oa5599, jcumani, Eloise, iansales, ericlee, Lirmac, rodrick, rbfrazier232
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Robert Harris is a master at weaving together exciting details into first rate historical fiction. In this novel, the theme is the V2 campaign the Germans launched against London in the closing months of World War II. The book is constructed around parallel stories: that of a German scientist and engineer who is helping launch the missiles and that of a British intelligence analyst who is trying to pinpoint the location of the launch pads.

While the story is exciting and the book is a page turner, Harris doesn't turn away from the human cost of the V2 campaign. He captures the horror of a V2 strike in Britain while also tallying up the cost of the program to Germany: 20,000 dead slave laborers and many lives ruined by the Gestapo and the SS in the name of security. ( )
  barlow304 | Jun 24, 2021 |
Robert Harris is back. Having made his reputation with Second World War thrillers such as Enigma and Fatherland, Harris is on familiar territory here and knows how to tell a good story. I read the book in two days. It’s actually two stories in parallel. One features a young woman working for the British, trying to locate the elusive launchpads for the V2 rockets that were causing deaths and damage in London in late 1944. The other story is about one of the German engineers who helped create the V2 but has grown disenchanted. The three main problems with the book — no spoilers here — are these: What the German engineer reveals about the British plan to locate the launchpads is actually not a big surprise, and one wonders why no one on the Allied side thought of it. The ‘good German’ role is itself becoming a tired trop in fiction, as it surely is here, though at least we’re shown someone who notices the tens of thousands of slave labourers employed to make the V2 rockets but shows almost no sympathy for them. And finally, the very last page of the book — really? I don’t buy it. ( )
  ericlee | Jun 16, 2021 |
V2 Rocket attacks began with early launches on Paris in September 1944 followed shortly with attacks on Antwerp and London. This novel is about five days in November 1944 when the British sent a group from the Women's Auxiliary Air Force to Belgium to track launches of V2 and using slide rules and logarithm tables and radar data to figure out from where the rockets were being launched so the sites could be bombed before they were disassembled.

The main characters in the novel are fictions but historical figures such as SS Lt. Gen Hans Kammler and Wernher von Braun do appear in the roles they played V2 program. Harris has created a fast moving narrative while also including a great deal of historical information about the Nazi rocket program and the British response. I had not previously been unaware of WAAF personnel trying to track the rockets back to their launch sites. ( )
  lamour | Mar 14, 2021 |
Robert Harris is one of my favourite contemporary authors, but I found this latest novel of his a bit disappointing by his usual high standards. The story focuses of course around the infamous V2 rockets shot by the Nazis over London and south east England in the last few months of the second world war. The principal (fictional) characters are a British WAAF Kay Caton-Walsh, who is assigned to a group based in newly liberated Belgium in November 1944 where they are calculating the trajectories of newly launched V2s to ascertain their launch sites so they can be bombed, and Dr Rudi Graf, a disillusioned German engineer working on the V2s; the novel is based around the unseen rivalry between these two's efforts, though they don't meet each other until after the war when Graf and his superior the historical Werner von Braun are en route to a new life in America via London. Despite this interesting backdrop and strong narrative drive, the novel for me somehow failed to take off (pun unintentional) until the last few chapters and was rather short, with perhaps slightly too much technical details of rocket construction for my taste. ( )
  john257hopper | Feb 23, 2021 |
My third book by the author, so I kind of know his writing style and have enjoyed the other two books so thought it was time to read another. Harris is one of those authors that seems to be able to turn his hand to most genres, and in a style reminiscent of Jack Higgins, enjoys weaving factual history into a fictional plot.

V2 deals with the German development of the missile of the same name. A weapon Hitler thought may swing the war in his favour even as late as 1944 (novels setting) whilst his Third Reich empire was crumbling around his ears. Harris has written the novel in almost alternate chapters, one showing the German launch sites and the pressures faced to keep an unstable rocket firing, and the other detailing the British agents trying to intercept the missiles and figure out where they are coming from so the RAF can destroy the bases. On the German side we deal mainly with Graf, an assistant to the real life Wernher Von Braun, he is tired with the war and the destruction, longing to return to his love of potential Space travel and disillusioned with his research being hijacked to cause mass destruction. Although a proud man and still wanting to do his best the German war machine is relentless and soon cracks begin to show. Kay Caton-Walsh from the Women’s Auxiliary Air force represents his opposite number, drafted into military intelligence she soon excels at her role despite the selection process being a little less than authentic in her case. Using complex algorithms Kate and a few colleagues must calculate the launch sites within a few minutes of the weapon being sighted based on it's assumed trajectory. Each person must pit their wits against the other without being aware of the others existence.

I enjoyed the factual element of the book, and you can tell it has been well researched (supported by the abundance of source material documented by the author) and that it is a period in history the author enjoys is obvious. The pages rattle by and at times it really does fit the description of 'page turner'. You get a feel of the urgency of the wartime effort, both to destroy lives and to save them.

My biggest issue of the book was that some of the characters were just not fleshed out enough and at times seemed a little unrealistic. This was particularly true of Kate, who seemed to just fall into bed for no real reason, I don't think this really added anything to the storyline and is especially true when you consider the whole book is set over only a few days. I know there was an urgency to live your life in the moment because during wartime it could be snuffed out at any moment, but it just didn't feel something that would just happen when given the circumstances.

I would recommend picking this up if you have an interest in WW2 adventure stories, and whilst I was teetering on either a three or a four star award, it just did enough to fall into the higher banding. I suppose my overall feeling after turning the last page was it came across as almost as a poor man's Eagle has Landed. ( )
  Bridgey | Jan 20, 2021 |
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