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Two O'clock, Eastern Wartime

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  458 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Widely acclaimed for his groundbreaking crime novels "Booked to Die" and "The Bookman's Wake," award-winning author John Dunning triumphantly returns with a riveting new thriller that takes us back to the summer of 1942, when radio was in its prime, when daylight saving time gave way to "wartime," when stations like WHAR on the New Jersey coast struggled to create programm ...more
Hardcover, 1st., 480 pages
Published 2001 by New York: Scribner
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Not what I was expecting. What I thought this would be, from the book description, and what I wanted was something along the lines of (though probably more serious than) … oh dear, this will take a little searching. AMC series, radio station – Ah: Remember WENN (1996 – 1998). I did, in the end, remember. "… Set at the fictional Pittsburgh radio station WENN in the early 1940s, it depicted events (both dramatic and comic) in the personal and professional lives of the station's staff in the era be ...more
Jan Reelitz
I could not wait for this book to end...all the while thinking, gosh, this has been reviewed as one
of Dunning's best. Groan. Too many twisting plots, interconnecting (one hopes) at the end but I'm going, now wait a minute, didn't this guy die in New York some pages ago? One unique and very entertaining aspect of the book, was the historical detail of early radio and how exciting it must
have been to be working in the "new" medium. That was really cool and putting the setting of the radio station
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Lisa H.
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I thoroughly enjoyed John Dunning's BOOKMAN series and this one was quite a departure from that series. This time Dunning meanders through the inner workings of a small radio station in New Jersey. As a background mystery there are a number of disappearances to deal with. The lead characters wander in and out of the mystery while working at the radio station.

Sadly, by the time we get to the mystery and its revelations, the readers are only confused by it. Sure, there's a lot of wonderful histo
I'd really like to give this book a higher rating, because I've enjoyed the Bookman series. Like many books by authors who have a love for a particular historical period, this one is long on period color and short on the other things necessary to make an absorbing read. I found the plot to be thin and confusing, the characters to be more numerous and less rich than I'd like, the pace to be very slow, and the length to be, well...too long. Nevertheless, I persevered to the end mostly out of respe ...more
Nancy Black
Finished this novel yesterday. I had to plod through it as it wasn't easy to follow all the twists & turns from the first page onward.

I had read all the Booked books and love them but this one puzzled me.

First the hero goes by two different names and disappears by running away from a jail work party. The girl is just as puzzling. You never figure out what happens until the last few pages.

The authors work does have something going for it. The Radio Station and the reclusive owner. Murder mos
I picked this up before a European vacation last fall, thinking I'd have lots of time en route to enjoy some mystery novels. While this proved more suspense novel than mystery -- and a bit darker than I like my mysteries -- Dunning conjures a fascinating picture of American radio during the war years. It's several days since I finished this, but the story still lives on inside my head, as if the characters were still there, revising scripts, planning shows and drinking beer along the boardwalk. ...more
I listened to the book years ago. I was reminded of it after listening to "The Postmistress". It has all the flaws that other reviewers noted, but still packs a lot of entertainment if you are interested in radio and the impact of World War II on the East Coast. I found it fascinating to read about the behind the scenes work in putting together a radio production. The mystery part is confusing, no doubt about it, but if you hang in there, it all comes together. I definitely recommend listening t ...more
This book is one of the few I have read many times and also listened to the audio version!
It features Old Time Radio as a backdrop and that was way before my time. I found it
highly interesting to learn about this period and that was a bonus to the plot.
You really participate with the lead characters and the twists and turns of the plot are enthralling.
My only annoyance is Dunning has, to my knowledge, never written a sequel.
Highly Recommended!
Carolyn (in SC) C234D
I liked this book, but not as much as the Janeway books. There was a lot of interesting information about what went into producing radio shows in that era, and Jack Dulaney/Jordan Ten Eyck is a likable character, but there was just something that kept this from being a four-star novel for me. It's rather long, almost 500 pages, and perhaps would have been better had it been a bit shorter and tighter. It does contain a good mystery.
A great mystery novel but it took me awhile to get into it. Probably because I was very busy and I had little time to read. I normally like starting and finishing a book in the same week. This one took me 4 months to finish so that's why I gave it 3 stars. I wasn't drawn to get back into the story. I loved the era and setting of 1940s and the radio station on the east coast. Learned a lot of how they made radio dramas pre TV.
Evonne Edgington
If you haven't read any John Dunning, this is a great one to start with.
The best part of the book was the history of radio. There was the hope that radio in the forties was on the brink of something great but it was being dumbed down for the masses. The radio station in this story WHAR was going to be ground breaking. Radio never achieved the dream. But the dream was nice while it lasted. Television has the same struggles.
Barely six months after Pearl Harbor, Jack Dulaney is sitting in a California jail, dreaming of Holly Carnahan, onetime flame and his late half-brother's wife, now a war widow. When he finds out Holly is in trouble, he escapes and heads cross country to New Jersey -- in the guise of a radio writer -- to help her. A fast-paced and engaging read.
There are times when this got extremely boring for me and I didn't even know if I would finish it. The only saving grace in this average-at-best mystery was the dialogue between Jack and Holly. Their on again, off again relationship (to put it in a way that makes sense) had its quirks and their language was very real and honest.
Sheila Johnston
I loved this book. It was a departure from John Dunning's "bookman" series, but the writing is as good as ever. Set in a time of war, with a focus on old-time radio, add a pinch of conspiracy, mistrust and intrigue and great characters. You really don't know how it will end until it does, which is always a sign of a good mystery.
We both read this. Javaczuk liked it; I liked bits of it, enough to finish the book, but it was slow reading.Interesting historical perspectives, but rather dry at times. I liked it more when the author focused in on the Holly story, rather than the scripts. But I'm a romantic at heart.

This is a very complex tale. It is a story of star crossed lovers, an up and coming radio writer/director, a fugitive from the law, and a mystery with people killed for unknown reasons and a couple of German spies.

They are all woven together.

I look forward to more Dunning.
J. Ewbank
This book by Dunning is a stunner. The story line shifts and turns all the way through it. the main characters are believable and most are likeable. The plot keeps you reading. Enjoyed it.

J. Robert Ewbank author "Wesley's Wars" and "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the Isms"
Mike (the Paladin)
This story hearkens back to a time almost completely past. The 1940s and WWII era very few remember now and they're passing. I remember the 1950s and there were still radio dramas then, but it wasn't the war.

You'll get to know the people in this book, and remember them.
Sep 09, 2008 John rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to John by: Book club
This book isn't really good or really bad. It felt like a good story about radio in the 1940s shoved into a poor mystery. I'm still not sure what the killer's motives were, or the whole sequence of events that led up to the storyline.
A book about the creative process, love, loss, World War ii radio, cloaked in mystery. Very strong characters make this a stand out book for me.The weakest part of the book is the mystery. Well worth the time to read.
This will be my second Dunning and from here on out, I will buy anything I see with his name on it. This book was simply outstanding except for what I consider one small miss at the end but oh well. A great read.
Just really enjoyed reading about it took to produce a radio show in the 1940's. Better than the mystery element, but I got this book because I was fan of his Bookman novels which are excellent mysteries.
Anneli Sandstroem
I've read several of John Dunning's books and plan to read more. They can be very different from each other. This book is dense with the details of working at a radio station during WW2.
This novel, set in 1942 New Jersey, is about the new medium of live radio, and it's a mystery of a man who may have been involved in a Nazi spy ring. An excellent historical novel.
Anna Macdonald
This turned out to be more a story of old-time radio than a mystery story - the mystery was pretty weak - but I did find the radio story interesting.
John Gronner
I found this book facinating. To read about another media (old-time-radio) was very new since as old as I am I do not remember radio very well at all.
This was one of the best books I have ever read. It was just a wonderfully written story. I gave it to everyone I knew and they all loved it.
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John Dunning was born in 1942 in Brooklyn, NY. He was raised in Charleston, SC, is married, and has two adult children.

John always wanted to write, but was a poor student. He left high school in the tenth grade, partly because of an inability to concentrate and absorb lectures. Several years ago he was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD), a malady that could not have been imagined in t
More about John Dunning...
Booked To Die (Cliff Janeway, #1) The Bookman's Wake (Cliff Janeway, #2) The Bookman's Promise (Cliff Janeway, #3) The Sign Of The Book (Cliff Janeway, #4) The Bookwoman's Last Fling (Cliff Janeway, #5)

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