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De nacht van Wenceslas
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De nacht van Wenceslas

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  99 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Een in Londen wonende jongeman van Tsjechische afkomst wordt op listige wijze gedwongen om geheime papieren uit Tsjechoslowakije te smokkelen.
Mass Market Paperback, 250 pages
Published 1997 by Zwarte Beertjes (first published 1960)
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May 31, 2012 Wayne rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of well written adventure tales
Recommended to Wayne by: the old green covered crime series from Penguin Books

But after a bit of sleuthing, I found that I HAD heard of his books.

Picked this up in the local Trash 'n Treasure type store.
Attracted firstly by:
its cover (it was a green covered Penguin, the colour denoting it's old Crime Series);
by its age (printed in 1960);
by its being compared to Graheme Greene's "The Third Man" which I read recently, and which made me realise it wasn't a Crime novel at all, but an International Spy Thriller, and more, a bit of a send-up of that genre
Always good to find yet another brilliant author of 1960's thrillers. To find a pristine paperback in a second hand bookshop is a rare thrill. The Night of Wenceslas traces the (mis)fortunes of penniless reluctant industrial espionage patsy, Nick Whistler, as he is forced to travel to Stalinist Prague in order to bring a formula for unbreakable glass back to London. At least that's what he's been told. His bumbling efforts and cowardice result in an almost Flashman-like ability to come out on to ...more
53 years ago in 1960 Lionel Davidson was 38 years old when he wrote his debut novel, Night of Wenceslas winning the Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger Award. The politics of the world have changed over the past 53 years but Davidson’s novel stands the test of time and rarely sounds outdated. The Cold War was not yet in Détente, Cuba had just been revolutionized in 1959, and France successfully launched their first Atomic Bomb in 1960. Night of Wenceslas tells the story of Nicholas Whistler, o ...more
Jim M
A glassmaker gets caught up with the secret police during a business trip to Prague.
Uwe Windhoven
read the 1960 version, 211 pages
Takes a while building up to the excitement about half way through then really gets going. Shame about typos throughout my edition.
Alexandra Peel
Another excellent thriller from Lionel Davidson - though not on a par with Kolimsky Heights. A normal bloke, with too little money, aspirations above himself and a girlfriend he can't decide if he loves or not, is thrown into the world of espionage in Prague. He had little choice - I'd hide and cry too!
Young Nicholas is trapped. Invited to Prague on what seems to be an innocent business trip, he finds himself caught between the secret police and the clutches of Vlasta.
Best seller of its year.
Nifty thriller set in London and Prague and written in 1960. Reads like a cross between Eric Ambler and John Buchan.
Gave this up in disgust. Not my taste in novel - after 50 pages I found it too boring to continue.
Ramana Raju
Glad I picked it from the roadside market.
Well crafted thriller that oozes tension.
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Aka David Line

Lionel Davidson was a three-times winner of the Gold Dagger Award (for The Night of Wenceslas, A Long Way to Shilo and The Chelsea Murders). His thrillers and adventure novels have won him enormous international acclaim.

See also Obituary at
[this reference added 12-Aug-2013].
More about Lionel Davidson...

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