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Het alfabethuis / De bedrijfsterrorist

3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,367 Ratings  ·  492 Reviews
Het Alfabethuis is een thriller over twee Engelse piloten in de Tweede Wereldoorlog die tijdens een verkenningsvlucht boven Duitsland worden neergeschoten. Om niet in handen van de vijand te vallen nemen zij de plaats in van twee patiënten die per trein op weg zijn naar een psychiatrisch ziekenhuis. Dan blijkt dat ze door hun actie de identiteit hebben aangenomen van twee ...more
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Published April 2012 by Prometheus (first published November 18th 1997)
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Chris Morris I'm so glad I saw your comment/question. I was also disappointed. It should have been a great book - the basis for the plot is incredible. But the…moreI'm so glad I saw your comment/question. I was also disappointed. It should have been a great book - the basis for the plot is incredible. But the characters fell flat, and the plot seemed to pick up steam and then slow down in fits. Department Q books are much better.(less)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Morana Mazor
Oct 15, 2015 Morana Mazor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Još jedan vrhunski uradak odličnog, danskog autora J.A. Olsena!
Iako se radnja ovog izvrsnog i vrlo potresnog psihiloškog trilera događa u okrutnim vremenima 2. svjetskog rata ( i nešto nakon njega), ovo nije ratni roman, što i sam autor naglašava u pogovoru.
Ovo je jaka, ljudska priča o prijateljstvu, odanosti, izdaji, osveti i ostalim međuljudskim odnosima koji se mogu dogoditi u bilo kojem vremenu.
Ali, budući da u izvanrednim situacijama, poput rata, neke ljudske osobine puno lakše i brže i
...more
Chris

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.

Sometimes plots and ideas don’t just work for some readers. This is one of those books for me. The Alphabet House would make an excellent movie, but as a book it doesn’t quite fly. The story starts with two English fliers in World War II. They get shot down and eventually, after a series of events that do and don’t work, find themselves in the Alphabet House, a hospital for Nazi officers.
The two Brits, Bryant and James, never really seem to come alive as individua
...more
Steve
While I received this from Netgalley (a VERY long time ago) in exchange for an honest review, I ended up listening to this book on Audible.

4 stars.

This is a tale of two books.

The first half of is mind-numbingly monotonous and downright boring, almost to the point of putting it on the DNF shelf. The second part is exceedingly suspenseful, complete with violent confrontations, a touch of romance, and a tale of revenge on a trio of monstrous villains. Adler-Olsen touches on the universal themes of
...more
Caitlin
OK. So I wanted to like this book. I really, really did. It had everything I like: asylum, WWII era, historical fiction, a good plot. However, This book just drug ON, and ON, and ON. It was so slow moving, and I found myself really not looking forward to reading it every time I had time to read. It just didn't do it for me. Very creative plot, and had amazing potential for a thriller...just didn't have the thrill aspect. I wish I could have said I loved this book, but sadly it was not all I was ...more
Liz Barnsley
The first thing I have to say is that this must have been extremely well researched, the detail is magnificent, horrifying and yet strangely fascinating. Set in two parts, the first following two friends, trying to evade capture, who end up in a mental institution in Germay, the second portion of the novel deals with the fallout many years later.

I thought this was cleverly done – the first half is fairly slow moving, allowing the story to unfold at a pace that truly allows you to take in what th
...more
Manchester Military History Society (MMHS)
The nature of friendship, war, loyalty, guilt and love told via a brilliant thriller.

I must admit I was expecting a standard World War 2 escape story, and the book does start that way. However, it rapidly descends into a dark place as the two escapees hide on a train reserved for wounded SS men where they end up in a mental hospital where they undergo various brutal treatments whilst trying to maintain their disguise.

This is not one for the faint hearted and the descriptions of the mental hospit
...more
Gary
Feb 26, 2015 Gary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It’s got evil Nazis and narrow escapes. It takes place in a mental hospital staffed with soulless doctors and nurses whose “care” is administered with equal parts cruelty. It’s got betrayal and a swift and certain death sentence for anyone suspected of deception. Add in a pair of World War II British pilots trapped behind enemy lines and faking mental illness to avoid capture.

So what’s not to like?

Plenty, as it turns out.

For most of the first 200 pages Bryan, the novel’s narrator, is lyin
...more
Greg at 2 Book Lovers Reviews
Two WWII British pilots are trapped behind enemy lines in Nazi Germany. This is the story of their desperate attempts of survival, but can they survive with their lives and their sanity?

The Alphabet House is one of those stories where I really have to ask myself, where do authors get these ideas? The story was so well developed and intricate; every minute detail fell perfectly into place.

The story is written in two parts. Part one deals with Bryan and James’ escape from their pursuers, and their
...more
Toni Osborne
Mar 08, 2015 Toni Osborne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an ambitious psychological thriller that explores the limits of endurance and the irreparable breaches in friendships. This story is extremely detailed and begins in 1944 in the midst of WW11 when a pair of British pilots is shot down over enemy territory.

Right from the first page I was swept along so absorbed by this fantastic story that I hated to put this book down. It starts with an exciting and very tense sky chase, a losing battle for a RAF plane soon shut down in an area swarming
...more
Ed
Mar 02, 2015 Ed rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting plot premise but it should have been 350 pages instead of 500. I loved the authors Department Q crime fiction but unlike Charles Dickens, he's not getting paid by the word - or at least, I hope not! My advice would have been to get Jo Nesbo's editor to read it with a pair of scissors at the ready before publication!
Kimberly
Mar 12, 2015 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
The Alphabet House is not a novel or audio you will consume in a single sitting. Froth with danger and unimaginable decisions the first half of the novel deals with events during the war and their stay at the Alphabet House. The second half begins almost thirty years and shares the consequences those years had on these men.

The characters Bryan and James are beautifully developed and Adler-Olsen brings their thoughts and emotions to life in a very realistic way. As I read, I feared for them, shri
...more
Cynthia
Mar 06, 2015 Cynthia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, i-reviewed
Fans of Adler-Olsen's Department Q series with Detective Carl Morck will find The Alphabet House quite a different novel. Although billed as a psychological thriller, the uneven pacing, verbosity, and flat characters limit the amount of tension that can build up. It's unfortunate, as the plot is interesting and unusual. It would make a great movie, though.

Adler-Olsen's research into WWII and his firsthand knowledge of asylum life are apparent. I found the scenes in Part I depicting the plane cra
...more
yexxo
Apr 16, 2012 yexxo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ausgeliehen, thriller
Dass Adler-Olsen gute Thriller schreibt, ist hinlänglich bekannt. So wurde auch sein Erstlingswerk, das bereits vor 25 Jahren erschien, mit entsprechenden Vorschusslorbeeren bedacht (offenbar ohne dass es von den entsprechenden Leuten vorher gelesen wurde).
Der Beginn ist vielversprechend: Zwei britische Soldaten stürzen im II. Weltkrieg über Nazideutschland ab und retten sich, getarnt als psychisch kranke Nazigrößen, in einem entsprechenden Militärkrankenhaus. Schweigend entgehen sie ihrer Entta
...more
Maxine
Mar 28, 2015 Maxine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is 1944 and two British pilots, James and Bryan, are on a reconnaissance mission over Germany when they are shot down. To escape capture they jump aboard a train that turns out to be carrying wounded SS officers. The pair take the place of two of the officers hoping for a chance to escape unnoticed later. Unfortunately, the chance doesn’t come and they have to act as if they have had some sort of mental breakdown. Their act is so convincing that they are taken to The Alphabet House so named b ...more
RoseMary Achey
A tough book to complete-the pace and timing seemed so irregular. The first 200 pages were redundant, however the final portion moved far more quickly.

Great premise, less than well executed.
Denise Gianelli
Jul 29, 2015 Denise Gianelli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Alphabet House is a psychological thriller that begins in WWII. Childhood friends, James and Bryan are in the RAF and shot down while on a photo recon mission in Germany. Ending up in Alphabet House, they endure beatings, shock treatments and pills. Bryan does escape, bringing the reader thirty years later in Part Two. This Danish author skillfully brings this powerful, descriptive and disturbing novel to its ultimate ending. The traumatic events that occurred in this novel leave the reader ...more
Barbara
I decided to read this book because I'm a fan of Jussi Adler-Olsen's 'Department Q' mysteries and thought this standalone (written prior to the Dep't. Q books) might be a good read.

As the story opens it's 1944 and World War II is raging. English flyboys Bryan Young and James Teasdale are sent on a mission to do aerial reconnaissance over Germany, where they get shot down. After some hide-and-seek with German soldiers Bryan and James make their way onto a German medical transport train, throw of
...more
Donna
I've come to appreciate the work of this Danish author. He's fast become one of my faves. I've read his 'Department Q' series and have enjoyed them all.

This was a unique and creatively thought out plot, which I have come to expect from him. It had some great twists along the way. He does that well and the same can be said for his characters and their development throughout the story. They are detailed. The author makes them vivid, even when they aren't well liked.

I just never know what I'm goin
...more
Christine
Apr 23, 2015 Christine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-reads
I couldn’t describe the book any better so from the book cover:

“During World War 2, two British pilots, James and Bryan, are shot down over Germany. They know that they will be executed if taken hostage. Pursued by German dog patrols, they manage to escape by jumping on to a German hospital train transporting mentally deranged German SS-officers away from the front. James and Bryan throw a couple of patients off the train so that they can occupy their sick beds, hoping to make an escape later on
...more
Jill
Mar 02, 2015 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book, although just translated into English, was first published in Denmark in 1997, and predated Adler-Olsen’s Department Q detective series.

It tells the story of two British pilots, Bryan Young and James Teasdale, friends from childhood, who were sent on a dangerous aerial reconnaissance mission over Germany during World War II. Their plane is shot down, and the two manage to bail out, but now they are in German territory, somewhat injured, and have no way to get back to the Allies. They
...more
Lectus
Apr 27, 2015 Lectus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't give it the full 5-stars because of the ending.

This is a compelling work. I couldn't stop reading it. It is not about the regular Nazi crimes against Jews but about a Nazi asylum for the insane. I literally devoured the plot.

At the beginning it was a little slow paced, but it was necessary so we could understand what James and Bryan went through to adopt their new identities. And life in the asylum! I expected a little bit more instances of crazy-like behavior but, it was good.

The only t
...more
Sheila
Apr 26, 2015 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brian and James were flying a secret mission for the RAF over Germany in 1944 when their plane was shot down. In order to escape execution they managed to exchange uniforms with 2 German SS officers and sneak on a train for injured officers. What they didn't know was it was a train destined for The Alphabet House a mental institution determined to weed out the malingerers. For almost a year they endured everything from experimental drugs to shock therapy. Brian manages to escape but can't get Ja ...more
Nick
May 06, 2015 Nick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was very disappointed with this story. For anyone considering this book because it has been said it is similar to Alan Furst's writings, don't be fooled. The WWII portion of the story is poorly done. I can't tell if it was just horrible editors, or something lost in the translation. I have one pet peeve with WWII historical fiction - it needs to be well researched and historically accurate - at least to the extent it can be to fit the fictional writing. One thing that got me in this book is th ...more
Carolyn
Apr 18, 2015 Carolyn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Having read the Department Q series and enjoying the well developed characters, humor and the solving of cold cases I was looking forward to the Alphabet House by the same author. Before purchasing it, I read a summary and thought the plot to be original and intriguing. The story involved two British bomber pilots shot down in German territory during WW2. To avoid capture they assume the identities of two high ranking Nazi officers and are hiding in a mental hospital for elite officers who have ...more
Joann
Apr 19, 2015 Joann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nachdem mir die Reihe um das Sonderdezernat Q so gut gefallen hat, habe ich ganz gespannt nach diesem Buch gegriffen und ich bin nicht enttäuscht worden. Natürlich ist "Das Alphabethaus" in keinster Weise mit Adler-Olsens anderen Büchern zu vergleichen und teilweise kam mir sein Schreibstil noch ein bisschen stockend vor, aber die Idee, die hinter diesem Buch steht hat mir sehr gut gefallen. Während der erste Teil mit einer subtilen Spannung, einer bedrückenden Atmosphäre und vielen historischen ...more
Maureen
Apr 05, 2015 Maureen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this one though the book really seemed to have two halves. The first set in WWII Germany and the 2nd half in Germany 1972. Two British flyers are shot down and their story of nearly a year in a mental institution for SS officers lays the groundwork for the 2nd half of the novel. I would like to see this story told by Ian McEwan. :)
Jenn
Mar 04, 2015 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I knew this would not be similar to his Department Q series, but I think the stark differences put me off balance for a bit. Part 1 (roughly the first third of the book) is interesting in an almost clinical way. Part 2, however, is riveting.
Sonja
Nov 15, 2011 Sonja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Een heerlijk boek maar geen spannende thriller. Een indrukwekkende roman is wat “Het Alfabethuis” in mijn ogen eigenlijk is. Echte spanning is, op een enkele keer na, vaak ver te zoeken. Hier en daar is het te langdradig en mag er meer vaart in het verhaal, maar ondanks dat heb ik er enorm van genoten. Ik vind “Het Alfabethuis” een bijzonder goed geschreven, makkelijk leesbaar boek met een prettige schrijfstijl. Jussi Adler-Olsen heeft voldoende kennis opgedaan, deels gebaseerd op eigen ervaring ...more
Mallory Heart Recommends
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Tony Nielsen
Sep 14, 2014 Tony Nielsen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read a number of Jussi's books and this one is exceptional and very different from the Scandinavian base thrillers that I have read previously. The setting is (initially) the Second World War, involving James and Bryan, best mates since childhood, and now together on a mission above Germany in 1944. Their plane is attacked but they manage to parachute out of it, although James is wounded. They're as deep as you can get in enemy territory, so they resort to a risky but ultimately successful ...more
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Author Jussi Adler-Olsen (b. 1950) began in the 1990s to write novels after having followed a comprehensive career as publisher, editor, film composer for the Valhalla-cartoon and as bookseller.
He made his debut with the thriller “Alfabethuset” (1997), which reached bestseller status both in Denmark and internationally just like his subsequent novels “And She Thanked the Gods” (prev. “The Company
...more
More about Jussi Adler-Olsen...

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