Read Funerale a Berlino by Len Deighton Maria Grazia Griffini Online


Quattro servizi segreti combattono intorno a un famoso scienziato russo che vorrebbe - si dice - fuggire in Inghilterra. L'"agente senza nome di Len Deighton è sul posto, in una lotta serrata dove tutti si ingannano ed è facile pagare con la vita i pochi sbagli commessi. Finalmente, una grossa lucida bara varca il confine dell'Est, entra nel settore britannico di Berlino..Quattro servizi segreti combattono intorno a un famoso scienziato russo che vorrebbe - si dice - fuggire in Inghilterra. L'"agente senza nome di Len Deighton è sul posto, in una lotta serrata dove tutti si ingannano ed è facile pagare con la vita i pochi sbagli commessi. Finalmente, una grossa lucida bara varca il confine dell'Est, entra nel settore britannico di Berlino... tutto finito? Nemmeno per sogno, la vicenda ricomincia, e a rotta di collo, verso la straordinaria conclusione finale....

Title : Funerale a Berlino
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 28338542
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 240 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Funerale a Berlino Reviews

  • Russ Melrose
    2019-02-07 15:55

    I quite enjoyed this Len Deighton novel. I had seen the Harry Palmer movies starring Michael Caine (Funeral in Berlin and The Ipcress File) way back when and loved them. So I thought I'd give the novels a try. Glad I did. The writing is sharp and witty and Deighton's style is quite unique.Funeral in Berlin is a spy novel set in the '60s. Of course, if you're looking for a spy or secret agent in the James Bond mold, you won't find him here. The novel centers around a proposed smuggling of a scientist across the Berlin wall. The characters are colorful and interesting (even the bureaucrats) and everyone seems to have their own agenda. Our hero has to figure out who's after what, and at times he struggles to do so. A clever plot that unfolds nicely. Bottom line, this is a cerebral spy thriller--not really a lot of action. If you enjoy quality writing and an intelligent spy novel, you might want to give it a try.

  • Jim
    2019-01-30 17:02

    Looking back, the Communists were a worthy enemy. There were no suicide vests or improvised explosive devices aimed at innocent civilians. (Religious wars are always the most brutal.) Mind you, the Russians weren’t Boy Scouts, either. But after the ugliness and indiscriminate savagery of the current Sunni Muslim jihad against the West, I grow downright nostalgic about the 1960s.Lately, I have been reading the three great spy novelists of that time—with great pleasure. I just finished Funeral in Berlin by one of them, the great Len Deighton. The other two were Ian Fleming of James Bond fame, and John Le Carré, author of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and The Spy Who Came In from the Cold.Funeral in Berlin is typical of the period. The hero, who is called Harry Palmer in the movies but is unnamed in the books, arranges to transfer a Russian scientist to West Berlin by means of a coffin. No one seems to be trustworthy. In fact, the character one would think would be the most villainous, Colonel Stok of the KGB, is actually the most sympathetic character that “Harry” encounters. The people who are supposedly his allies are an untrustworthy lot: two of them try to kill him, others just want to sell him down river.In comparison, James Bond is almost never surprised by villains who are supposed to be on the same side as him. There are all those lovely girls, and Felix Leiter of the CIA appears as a supporting hero in several of the novels.Only Le Carré comes close to Deighton in creating a murky world of spies and supposed friends. My favorite of his books is Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, which has been made into an excellent film and a great British TV series starring Sir Alez Guinness as George Smiley.

  • Simon Mcleish
    2019-02-18 16:02

    Originally published on my blog here in January 2004.Because it is the main focus of the Bernard Samson novels, Berlin might appear to be something of an obsession with Deighton. It actually features remarkably rarely in his other novels, particularly considering its unique position during the Cold War as a bastion of the West surrounded by the Soviet bloc. It does, however, feature heavily in the third Harry Palmer novel, as the title obviously indicates.The plot of Funeral in Berlin is apparently the mirror image of The The Ipcress File, with Palmer trying to arrange the reception for a Russian scientist defecting via West Berlin. But it soon becomes obvious that this isn't quite what is going on - why, for example, are those involved so insistent that the scientist's fake papers should be in a particular name when any would do for what they are claiming to want them for?The whole of this novel, like Deighton's first two, revolves around things not being quite what they seem, right up to the ending with its particularly surprising revelations. (This was not the first time I'd read the novel; I'd forgotten the details but remembered the gist - and still found it exciting.) Deighton's novels do tend to be designed around this kind of misdirection, and it is of course a style particularly appropriate to the spy novel.The setting of Berlin is atmospheric, more because it is full of nervous, posturing tough guys (both would-be and really tough); the descriptions are not as fully developed as they became in later years when Deighton's novels increased in length (Funeral in Berlin is less than half as long than Berlin Game, for instance). The most sympathetic character, as far as Palmer is concerned, is a Russian KGB colonel; for him, the distinction in the espionage business is between professionals and amateurs, rather than between friends and enemies.The world of the spy as documented by Deighton continued to be a male dominated one through his entire career, and in fact never completely loses the old boy network feel that Palmer is so cynical about in The Ipcress file (Bernard Samson complains about this twenty years later on). Here, the two female characters are good looking young women, one Palmer's secretary and lover who does most of the routine work assigned to him, and the other a rather naive agent for some other power, whose seduction of Palmer seems to have slipped out of a James Bond story. Having mentioned Ian Fleming's famous spy in this context, though, I should point out that Deighton has moved on from Fleming's insistent misogyny. (Palmer is a much brighter but less flamboyant character than Bond, too.)Apart from The Ipcress File, Funeral in Berlin is the best of the Harry Palmer novels, sharing its best quality - an ability to surprise even after all these years.

  • David
    2019-02-07 18:01

    This was fun! Deighton overcooked at times – "we get it! Hallam's tight!" - but always enjoyable and not, thankfully, horribly confusing.Additional excitement#1: a previous owner of my copy had used their 1/3d ticket for London bus route 137 as a bookmark.Additional excitement#2: someone has scribbled out the name of the fireworks company on p. 232. I understand from wikipedia that there was a court case and this paragraph was removed from later editions. "He was a big-boned man, his hair was cropped to the skull and his complexion was like something the dog had been playing with.""Samantha lived in the sort of road where driving schools teach people to turn around.""Hallam clasped his thin hands behind his head and swung gently from side to side in his swivel chair. As the light from the window moved across his features, I could see the handsome ground plan of his bombed-out face. Now the powdery skin, sun-lamped to a pale nicotine colour, was supported only by his cheek-bones, like a tent when the guy ropes are slackened.""He sipped a little coffee and then settled the cup into the saucer like he was landing a damaged helicopter.""The red-cloaked Horse Guards sat motionless clutching their sabres and thinking of metal polish and sex.""The [taxi] driver jammed the flag down and pulled abruptly back into the traffic. A man in a Mini shouted 'You stupid bastard!' at my driver and I nodded in agreement.""His face was very white and very wrinkled like a big ball of string,""That basically was why the English would never be good at doing anything: they were amateurs. Such amateurs that finally someone standing by couldn't watch their bungling any longer, and took over. That's what America had done in two Word Wars. Perhaps it was all part of a vast British conspiracy."

  • Bill
    2019-02-11 11:53

    I enjoyed this story. In some aspects, I had no idea what was going on, but at the same time, it didn't matter. This is a Cold War spy mystery, that meanders along to its ending but is so well-written, that it was a pleasure to read. The basic premise is that the main character, Harry Salzman, a British operative, is in Berlin trying to arrange for the smuggling of a British scientist from the East through the Berlin wall back to the West. But that is the story at its simplest. The tale wanders from London to Berlin, east and west, to Czechoslovakia and France and contains a cast of characters, from Salzman to his capable assistant (one of my favourite characters even if she is only rarely in it), Jean to his boss, Dawlish, the Russian, Stok, etc that you love meeting and enjoy the interactions. Each chapter discusses the rules of chess and various plays and moves and ultimately, this is the crux of the story, a chess game with players feinting and moving across the board until the end. And who will win the game? You have to read Funeral in Berlin. Enjoy!

  • Sairam Krishnan
    2019-02-11 17:52

    A sparkling, racy, supersmart cold war spy story that packs more than a punch. Len Deighton is an acclaimed historian, and Funeral in Berlin owes much of its smart-as-hell real life references & accurate sense of time to that fact.I enjoyed it immensely and I think this book has brought me back full circle to my old love for historically accurate and inspired genre novels. John Le' Carre, here I come again!

  • Nooilforpacifists
    2019-02-08 12:37

    This was fun--zany, not as serious as the Samson works. And, the real mystery is revealed only at the end.

  • Stewart Sternberg
    2019-01-24 18:56

    This is not a casual read. The plot is complicated, there are numerous devastating plot twists, and a shocker reveal at the end. in my opinion, this is the best of Deighton that I've read so far, and book number three of the Palmer series, although that character is unnamed in these books.

  • Colin Harding
    2019-02-19 17:59

    As ever with Len Deighton, this rattles along at a good old pace, but rush it at your peril. The plot is sinuous, and much is left to implication - many of the key plot points aren't explicit, and personally I like this, with the onus on the reader to join the dots.The shadowy world of 1960s espionage is painted well, along with its relationship with normal life. Unlike James Bond, our unnamed protagonist goes home to make his tea. This is what I've always liked about Deighton's work, and a style that critically wasn't lost in the film adaptation - Harry Palmer is cynical and rebellious.The best part of this book though has to be Deighton's sometimes caustic view of the world he portrays, with dry, sarcastic wit evident throughout, and some wonderful turns of phrase.

  • Simon
    2019-02-05 16:41

    I think this is the second of Len Deighton's spy novels that revolve around an unamed spy (he was given the name Harry Palmer in the films with Michael Caine).Our hero is given an assignment that on the face of it is to bring a Soviet defector over to the west. Set in cold war era London, Berlin, Prague and the Franco Spanish borders what should have been a straight forward exctraction turns into a triple cross involving the MI6, KGB, MOSSAD, the West Germnan secret service, Nazis and Swiss Banks.The highly complex plot gives nothing away and keeps you guessing to the last.

  • Jim
    2019-02-08 11:44

    I read this book whenever I have the flu. I love it. And I don't like the others of these series much at all. I first read it when I was twelve and fell in love with Deighton's light touch, and the narration is wonderfully wry. I adore Stok as much as Palmer, btw.Occured to me that this is one of the important existential novels of the sixities. Sorry Sartre

  • Tom Greer
    2019-02-16 13:55

    Funeral in Berlin is the second in the "Harry Palmer" trilogy and is perhaps the best as it's more believable than The Ipcress File or Billion Dollar Brain.Deighton's writing here is well crafted and the Berlin scenes, both East and West, are well drawn and come to life.

  • John
    2019-02-12 18:39

    A superior espionage thriller. Packed full of convincing detail and dry wit. A dense plot, but not so overwhelming that you'll get lost in it. Len Deighton's nameless protagonist is more charming than James Bond, just as smart as George Smiley and as cynical as a bullet in the back.

  • Vikas Datta
    2019-01-30 12:43

    Another gloriously bleak tale of espionage and its consequent deceptions and betrayals - and the continuing shadow of the Second World War and the Holocaust in the turbulent 1960s...

  • Aline
    2019-01-26 13:33

    Another re-read. Well written, with rich and often amusing descriptions, great eye for detail.Cold War era spy classic which stands up well 50 years on.

  • Alistair
    2019-01-27 17:34

    This is a spy classic. It's a clever read that will keep you thinking throughout. Small cheat since you never quite have enough information.An enjoyable and quick read.

  • Jack Bates
    2019-02-05 15:53

    I bought this in a charity shop because I'd never read anything by Deighton. It's much as one might expect, that particular kind of sharp precise detail you get in spy stories, especially those written before 1965. It's an almost unrecognisable world of course, not just the Cold War Berlin, but smoggy cold London and everyone smoking constantly and everything coldly modern in a way that's impossibly distant.

  • Paul
    2019-01-24 16:49

    Not a poor book, with a story the reader can follow and attempt to piece together - at least partly. In particular, I appreciated the additional humour that Deighton starts to inject into the characters of Dawlish and ???, which hasn’t been their to such an extent in previous books.A shame that after over 240 pages of proper spy-like posturing the end comes quickly and disjointedly.

  • Michael
    2019-02-14 15:56

    This is exponentially better than the first two books. Why he deems it necessary to mention the model number of the Mercedes grated on my sensibilities - all in all hangs together and worth a rainy afternoon.

  • James
    2019-01-23 17:34

    A first class stylised spy thriller that brings cold war intelligence work in Europe (esp. Berlin) to life. One thing this book has, which always pleases me as a reader, is multi dimensional characters who act intelligently and, in this case, with the sly cunning a reader wants from professional intelligence agency operatives. If – like me – you are not a secret service agent (or a smarty pants), the expediency of these decisions is sometimes only apparent once the bigger picture is revealed; Deighton likes to keep us guessing, and several of the frequently morally murky characters have some revealing surprises up their sleeves. A funeral in Berlin is as stylised as a Clint Eastwood western, and similarly it’s an evocatively choreographed peak into the past; into the cold war secret services in this case, especially those of Britain. My only objection is that I could not read it fast because every sentence is so succinct and packed with meaning and innuendo that you really have to concentrate, looking at it as though through a microscope. Some of the words are also very literary. This is part of the stylisation, but, for good or ill I had to either spend many moments along the trail, trying to recall their exact meaning; at times having to resort to my trusty dictionary. Readers with huge vocabularies will be happy to revel in their literary superiority in this as Deighton enjoys little inside jokes with us while, with well researched accuracy, steeping the times and the secret services with all the fickle ‘perfidy’ (as Deighton might put it) of the age. Even so, Deighton has the genius throughout the book, to make the reader feel intelligent as sprinkles paper trail clues like an Easter egg hunt. It also adds something to learn, according to the back of my age stained 1966 copy, that the CIA stocked up their library in Langley with all Deighton’s books. In FIB (interesting to wonder whether this acronym is purposeful) Deighton sets out his short, quick witted chapters as chess moves which make both funny metaphors and add a dimension of cool to the scenes – ironically so cool they made me take up chess again (I'm too easily influenced). The characters are also realistic, and cool in amusing and idiosyncratic ways; the hero is understated in the custom ‘English’ manner yet individualised. FIB also demonstrates the subtlety’s of the now fading ‘class system’ (the protagonist not being ‘posh’ or ‘well healed’ as those men might say who the protagonist accuses in the story of judging others by whether they say ‘like’ or ‘as though’. But those above him who matter recognise his talents and our understated friend demonstrates, even to the doubters, that the art of the spy is deception, and he has got that down to a tee, ha ha.

  • Daniel
    2019-02-17 11:37

    The third in Len Deighton's 'nameless spy' series provides more witty, well-written, spy action. I enjoyed it more than its predecessors; its highs are higher, though it sags a little in the middle. Colonel Stok and Hallam are great fun. The climactic scenes are the best Deighton has yet written, action-packed, laugh-out-loud funny and sad all at once. Jean, such a good character in The IPCRESS File, is barely present, and might have been better served by being absent entirely.Deighton exercises a new writing muscle, injecting a few chapters of close third-person narration in amongst the series' usual first-person, abandoning the idea that we're reading a real agent's secret reports.The movie is very different, and is in some ways better than the book. In particular, the 'funeral in Berlin' of the title plays out very differently, so differently you could see the movie and consider much of the book unspoiled. Sam Steel is more developed: the screenwriters found a better reason for her to be there. But it's a shame the book's superior finale wasn't used.My copy - a Penguin 1966 - has a few interesting features. It has a great blurb talking up how popular Deighton's books are, invoking Bond and the Beatles. It claims Americans waited in line for hours to get into cinemas showing The IPCRESS File. There are some great excerpts from reviews, including a few surprising names, such as:Tremendously gripping and very well-written. - P.G. WodehouseAbsolutely perfect - suspenseful, intricate and coldly logical. - Ogden NashA fireworks manufacturer successfully sued the author or publisher (wikipedia is unspecific, and I can't find a better source), over a character's lengthy criticism of the use of fireworks on Guy Fawkes night. They frighten the animals and blind and burn children. Who gains? 'Brock's Fireworks,' says the hero.At least one later edition had much of the offending conversation removed. My copy strangely has the name of the manufacturer 'redacted' with black texta. It must have still been in a warehouse when the lawsuit was decided, and was made sellable by manually removing the company name.

  • rabbitprincess
    2019-01-28 11:51

    This is the third of Len Deighton's "nameless hero" books, although they can also be referred to as the "Harry Palmer" books, after Michael Caine's portrayal of the narrator. I had previously tried the first of these books, The Ipcress File, but wasn't engaging with it. This one was easier for me to get into, perhaps because I knew from the outset that the narrator would not be referred to by name, or perhaps the story was more interesting.Our hero is tasked with arranging the defection of a Soviet agent named Semitsa, and there is plenty of double- and triple-crossing by the various personalities involved. The intricacy of the plot is illustrated by the quotations that begin each chapter: each one details a rule of chess and even kind of describe what is about to unfold, in an indirect way.About 2/3 of the way through I lost a bit of steam (it can get a bit too twisty and turny sometimes), but I was able to complete the book eventually and did not hold the slowdown against the book. The dialogue and narration were what really carried the day for me, especially imagining some bits being said by Michael Caine (which may be my way of proceeding with The Ipcress File if I ever try that one again). For example:"Been trying to get you since four o'clock this afternoon," the Charlotte Street switchboard said petulantly."I was in the toilet," I said.Or this one, where the nameless hero's boss, Dawlish, is complaining about him playing his music too loud in the office:Hero: "It's not in your office, it's in my office."Dawlish: "It might just as well be in my office. I can't hear myself speak."Hero: "You're not missing a thing."I also chuckled at the description of Charlotte Street as running "north from Oxford Street and there are few who will blame it." Classic Deighton.I would recommend this to those who have read at least one other Deighton novel, or at the very least anyone who comes into the book knowing that the hero won't actually be referred to by his real name (he does have an alias, but he complains bitterly about it, much to his secretary's and the reader's amusement).

  • Jason
    2019-02-06 17:55

    I've had this book kicking around the shelves for awhile now I think because I had read Billion Dollar Brain somewhat recently. So I recently read a blog post from someone saying Funeral was an overlooked classic - therefore I dove right in.I'm glad I did. Funeral In Berlin is one of Deighton's unnamed spy novels (Ipcress File, BDB, An Expensive Place To Die among others) many of which have been made into films starring Michael Caine as a spy named Harry Palmer. In this story our spy hero travels back and forth between London, Prague and Berlin shaping and organizing the defection of a Soviet scientist to the West. He has to work with a Russian security man named Colonel Stok and a German playboy/hustler, Johnny Vulcan. In addition he has to contend with an Israeli agent called Samantha Steel and a Home Office man back in London who may be compromised because of his homosexuality. The plot is pretty complex but the author manages to keep all the balls in the air fairly deftly.Deighton's writing is taut and funny although he has a tendency to be overly descriptive and rely on simile. Mostly, though, it works well:"I walked into the lounge. It was about thirty foot of ankle-high carpeting from silk wall to silk wall. The cocktail cabinet was in the corner. I opened it and was socked in the head by pink neon. I groped inside the cabinet among a platoon of bottles, mixed a martini and slammed ice into it.The bathroom was all mosaics and radiant heating. A low marble table held three dozen bottles of lotion and salts and above that there was a huge pink mirror and a complexity of stainless steel shower fittings.The bathtub was made of some sort of black stone. Samantha was in it. She was wearing a half dozen bracelets and a string of pearls."

  • George K.
    2019-02-04 19:38

    "Αποστολή: Βερολίνο", εκδόσεις Τριάς.Uber κλασικό κατασκοπευτικό μυθιστόρημα γραμμένο το 1964. Ενώ στην αρχή η υπόθεση φαίνεται εύκολη και απλή, μια μεταφορά ενός Ρώσου επιστήμονα από την Σοβιετική Ένωση, στο Ανατολικό Βερολίνο και μετά από κει στο Δυτικό Βερολίνο και έπειτα στο Λονδίνο, τελικά καταλήγει αλλού. Η όλη υπόθεση γίνεται περίπλοκη και ο αναγνώστης αφήνεται στον περίπλοκο κόσμο των κατασκόπων, του ψυχρού πολέμου, των κρυμμένων μυστικών, των παιχνιδιών εξουσίας, των διπλών πρακτόρων και πάει λέγοντας. Πραγματικά πάρα πολύ καλό βιβλίο, με καταπληκτική ατμόσφαιρα, καλή γραφή, έξυπνους διαλόγους, αρκετό χιούμορ σε πολλά σημεία, ενδιαφέροντες χαρακτήρες και δυνατό τέλος με πολλές αποκαλύψεις που κάνουν τον αναγνώστη να καταλάβει τι έγινε τελικά στην όλη ιστορία, αν μέχρι τότε δεν είχε καταλάβει επακριβώς. Φυσικά εγώ σαν έμπειρος από κατασκοπευτικά μυθιστορήματα κάτι είχα ψυλλιαστεί, αλλά οπωσδήποτε δεν είχα καταφέρει να λύσω μόνος μου όλο το μυστήριο. Στα ελληνικά το βιβλίο είναι πάρα μα πάρα πολύ σπάνιο, μέχρι τη στιγμή που το βρήκα δεν ήξερα καν ότι είχε μεταφραστεί, και έμεινα αρκετά ευχαριστημένος από την έκδοση. Εντάξει, η μετάφραση δείχνει τα χρονάκια της, αλλά δεν ήταν και άσχημη, ούτε κουραστική ή βαρετή. Το μόνο πρόβλημα είναι ότι δεν ξέρω πότε εκδόθηκε στα ελληνικά το βιβλίο. Οπωσδήποτε μετά το 1966, αλλά μάλλον πριν το 1970. Δραχμές 20 λέει στο οπισθόφυλλο. Κάποια στιγμή θα δω και την ταινία σε σκηνοθεσία Guy Hamilton (σκηνοθέτης μερικών ταινιών του James Bond, Δύναμη 10 από το Ναβαρόνε, Η Μάχη της Αγγλίας κ.α.) με πρωταγωνιστή τον Michael Caine.

  • David Manns
    2019-01-25 18:33

    After the, in my opinion, somewhat pedestrian Horse Under Water, Deighton hits his stride with the third "Unnamed Spy" novel, Funeral In Berlin. Capturing perfectly the mid-sixties Cold War paranoia that affected all sides, Deighton sends his protagonist to secure the defection of a top Soviet scientist, Semitsa. But there is always more at play than a simple defection.We are introduced to one of the great villains, Colonel Stok, who is playing his own game of chess with the West. Hallam, the Home Office spook who procures false documents for Semitsa's defection, is also a well drawn character. Then there is the femme fatale, Samantha Steel, and the playboy fixer Johnnie Vulkan, who is brokering the deal. Nothing is as it seems, everyone has a hidden agenda that only really becomes clear in the final few chapters.Our hero navigates his way through double cross after double cross while trying to keep his boss, Dawlish, off his back and uncover the real situation behind the game of bluff and double bluff.Deighton keeps things moving at a swift pace and the short Chess rules quotations at the head of each chapter are a nice touch. This really is like a game of chess with our hero trying not to be a pawn sacrificed in the game. Shadows of the war, lost Nazi money and Cold War politics all make for a highly enjoyable read. Recommended.

  • Jim
    2019-02-06 17:39

    The three great novelists of the Cold War spy genre were all British: John Le Carré, Ian Fleming, and Len Deighton. Perhaps this is because the American spy novels involved too much flag-waving and rah-rah, whereas the Brits wrote about a more ambiguous world (except, maybe, for Ian Fleming, whose James Bond was, for all intents and purposes, an honorary Yankee).I loved Funeral In Berlin, which is just as morally ambiguous as Le Carré's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. The unnamed hero (who is called Harry Palmer only in the movies, where you can't have an unnamed hero) finds the head of the KGB in East Berlin to be more sympatico than most of his associates, two of whom try to kill him. The only trouble with the Deighton novels I have read is that they are so very nuanced and densely packed that you not only can't read them at the beach, but may have to re-read them to understand what is going on. The death of a certain German agent with whom "Harry" deals is so tricky that I had to read the chapter several times just to find out how it all happened. But it's all there: You just have to be wide awake.

  • Tbfrank
    2019-02-14 20:01

    Nearly 50 years after it was written, this novel hardly shows its age. A few elements may appear dated but those can be attributed to the setting in time and place rather than style. The story meanders in the early sections which serves to make the plot more mysterious, so much so that at the end, it was necessary to recap the story to make sure the reader knew what it was all about. Deighton has a singular skill at crafting descriptive images which got in the way during the first half of the story. The dialog is realistic and flows easily with comments and commentary that is wity and engaging. The periodic observations Deighton makes on politics, economics and society in the post-war/cold-war era damn East and West alike. The story reminds the reader that it is not easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys.Comparable novels would be Graham Greene's earlier novel, The Third Man, and any of John Le Carre's novels written at the same time in the 1960's. Deighton's protaganist Harry Palmer falls between Flemmings dashing James Bond and Le Carre's methodical and bookish George Smiley. The workman-like view of the intelligence service Deighton takes is very similar to that of Per Wahloo and Maj Sjowall in their Martin Beck series of police novels.

  • Neil
    2019-01-20 11:32

    The best and worst part of this book was the narration. The recording wasn't great, and it was impossible at times to figure out what was being said. The narrator's British accent didn't help. That said, I loved the narrators accent and voice. His dry British accent complimented the book's dry sarcastic humor very well. It was incredibly easy to see him as the spy through whose eyes the story was told. The book had a way of keeping one step ahead of me the whole time - though it's possible that had I understood all of what was being said, I wouldn't have been quite so in the dark. I enjoyed the very multilayered way that the personal relationships were conducted in. Everybody knew that everybody else was lying to them and they knew that the people they were lying to knew. The trick was in recognizing the truth from the lies and even using the lies to help find the truth. Yet with all of this lying, appearances and conversation were designed to pretend that everything was on the up and up. I found it highly amusing and enjoyed the plot.

  • Felix Hayman
    2019-01-27 15:50

    The transition from the post war spy of Ian Fleming's novels to the cold war spy of John Le Carre's has often been overlooked because the star of Len Deighton has faded far too quickl,yet Len Deighton's "Berlin" novels were some of the most popular spy thrillers in the 1960's. Why? It seems that Deighton was able to streamline Fleming's obviously antiquated (by 1960's standards) prose into a more action oriented style, without losing the sense of post war paranoia in and around the Eastern and Western sectors of BerlinDeighton's "Funeral in Berlin" sees the hapless British agent caught in a web of cross and double cross between the paranoiac east Germans, the Mossad and the CIA. Each one is after the defection of an agricultural scientist to the West and the British seem to have the inside running.The sparse writing style ls probably one of the reasons it transferred so well to the screen and it is this style that motors the plot so successfully. I read this book when I was 16 and still love the prose that filters through this novel

  • Barry
    2019-01-24 13:53

    The saving grace of this book is Mr. Deighton's sense of humor. Really, it is the biggest reason to read this book. Dry, snappy, and very reminiscent of Joseph Heller, the humor makes it an entertaining book to read. The plot is okay, but I found it rather difficult to piece together exactly what was happening until dozens of pages later. Effectively, my understanding of the book was 20 or 30 pages behind where I was reading. Mr. Deighton seems to have had a desire to spring surprises slyly and then move on to explain what happened. Or at least that's how I understand it to have happened. Much of this book is only worth about 2 stars, but the ending picks up to the point where I toyed with a 4 star rating. In the end I went with the average of the two ratings. This is an enjoyable book to read for the humor, but don't read with great expectations.