An Officer and A Spy

An Officer and A Spy

Audiobook CD - 2013
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A tale inspired by the infamous Dreyfus Affair finds Georges Picquart, the recently promoted head of Paris' late-nineteenth-century counterespionage agency, leading the effort to convict Dreyfus only to succumb to gradual doubts that a high-level spy remains at large in the military.
Publisher: New York : Random House, 2013
ISBN: 9780804165693
Characteristics: 13 sound discs (16 hrs.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: Rintoul, David 1948-


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Nov 04, 2017

Four stars. I didn't think I would like this book and was prepared to abandon it if it was boring. However, the author managed to make a period of history interesting and suspenseful. I only vaguely remembered the Dreyfus affair from my French history class. This book also taught me about the strong anti-semetic attitudes of the French during those times. Not a light read, but a good one.

May 29, 2015

Historical fiction set in 1890's France, about the so-called "Dreyfus Affair". A French military officer -- Dreyfus --- was convicted of selling France's military secrets to the Germans. A French counter-intelligent agent -- the novel's protagonist Picquart -- later discovered the conviction was a fraud, Dreyfus didn't do it, and set about to free Dreyfus from prison. The issue wasn't so much the secrets sold; they were of a trivial and unimportant nature. Instead, the Dreyfus Affair became an epic cultural battle, waged heartily in the French press, between two political factions: The Conservative "My Country Right or Wrong" type, and the Progressive "When My Country Is Wrong It Should Admit Fault and Make Citizens Abused Whole Again" type. As far as I can tell the story-line represents pretty much the way it all happened. The downside of this true-to-fact-based story line is it becomes slow-going and a little tedious. A condensed, faster moving plot, leaving out the minor details, would have made for a better novel. Excepting a tendency to impose French accents on the characters, making the dialog difficult to understand in places -- it is an English language novel after all -- the audio reader does a good job. Modestly recommended.


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