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A German Requiem (Bernie Gunther #3)

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  2,685 Ratings  ·  178 Reviews
The disturbing climax to the Berlin Noir trilogy.
Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther novels have won him an international reputation as a master of historical suspense. In A German Requiem, the private eye has survived the collapse of the Third Reich to find himself in Vienna. Amid decaying imperial splendor, he traces concentric circles of evil and uncovers a legacy that makes
Hardcover, 306 pages
Published March 28th 1991 by Viking Books
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Oct 06, 2014 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of historical fiction
to start this book finishes Philip Kerrs' Berlin Noir trilogy and while the story starts in Berlin 1947, a city under siege by the communist threat, most of it plays in Vienna. So I would label this last book more Vienna Noir than anything.
This whole book was guided by my internal soundtrack of Orson Welles The third man mostly by Anton Karas who played the famous theme on the zither. Which is perhaps not that odd when you consider the story told in this novel and the amount both have in commo
Oct 29, 2016 Nigeyb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With ‘A German RequiemPhilip Kerr has saved the best until last, at least in terms of the original Berlin Trilogy ('March Violets’/'The Pale Criminal’/‘A German Requiem’). Ten years after this original trilogy Philip Kerr returned to the character and, in 2006, started to write more Bernie Günther books. At the time of writing this review in 2016, there are currently 11 Bernhard Günther books.

A German Requiem’ is superb. Echoes of the 1949 British film noir classic 'The Third Man’ directed b
Aug 15, 2009 Ed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
PI Bernie Gunther of post-war Berlin is a Marlowe-type shamus. Lots of Chandler metaphors, quips, and atmosphere. The hard-boiled element is there. Bernie goes to Vienna where he tangles with the Yanks, Brits, "Ivans", French, and Austrians. Shifty alliances and twists drive the plot. Great, intelligent read with first-rate writing. A must for any PI genre fans.
Chrissa Vasileiou
To "Γερμανικό Ρέκβιεμ" είναι το βιβλίο που κλείνει την 'Τριλογία του Βερολίνου' του Philip Kerr και η ιστορία του διαδραματίζεται το 1947, στη Βιέννη. Έχουν περάσει 10 χρόνια από τις τελευταίες περιπέτειες του Μπέρνι Γκούντερ, και τόσο η δική του ζωή όσο και ο κόσμος όπως τον ήξερε ως ήρωας κι εμείς ως αναγνώστες, έχει αλλάξει. Ο πόλεμος έχει τελειώσει, ο Χίτλερ έχει ηττηθεί και οι Σοβιετικοί με τους Αμερικάνους κάνουν τώρα κουμάντο.

Τα 3 αστεράκια δεν σημαίνουν πως δεν μου άρεσε γενικά το βιβλίο
Richard White
Sep 14, 2016 Richard White rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Wow! What an amazing series. Part historical fiction with a great protagonist. A must read if your interested in the inner workings of Nazi Germany. Finally a book from the viewpoint of a German during this troubled time in history. Best book on this subject hands down.
Feb 12, 2012 Tfitoby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-as-night
This one felt more like a history lesson than a noir thriller, Bernie Gunther basically behaving like a tour guide through post war atrocities than as a German Marlowe.

There's some kind of convoluted plot involving multiple parties with dubious morals and an elastic sense of who is working with/for whom, there's so much back stabbing and double crossing going on simply serving as a stream of red herrings and the padding out of the book to it's longer than previous entries page count.

The blurb ta
Lynne Premo
Jun 15, 2012 Lynne Premo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: germany, wwii
Mysteries have always been one of my favorite forms of historical fiction because of their ability (when well written) to provide a glimpse of life in another time, place, etc while still being entertaining but not insulting your intelligence. Kerr does so wonderfully here with post-WWII Berlin/Vienna, slipping in additional information about the Soviet POW camps, postwar espionage and hypocrisy among the governmental bodies involved, and the atrocities on all sides that came at the end of the w ...more
Vasilis Kalandaridis
Το Βερολίνο ειναι πληγωμένο,σακατεμένο σχεδόν διαλυμένο.Το ιδιο ακριβώς ειναι κι ο Bernie.Μαλλον γι'αυτό αποδρά στη Βιέννη όπου με το δικό του ξεχωριστό και επίπονο τροπο βρίσκει τελικά τη λύση και τη λύτρωση.Ο Kerr είναι μεγάλος μάστορας.
Apr 10, 2017 Shari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is 1947. Berlin is divided up between the four powers, Russia, England, France, and America. The emphasis is to clean up the country, find the war criminals and bring them to trial, and to clarify and attempt to bring a functional sense of government at work to the region. This would be easier if the powers that be could work together. Each of the four powers has several of their own departments working at odds with each other as well as working at odds with those of the other powers.

Marty Fried
Mar 02, 2017 Marty Fried rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book takes place just after WW2, mostly in Vienna. Bernie is now a private detective, living in Berlin. He gets hired to try to prove that an old associate of his did not kill some American, fighting against the clock to save him from the death penalty, coming up fast. A lot of things come up along the way, and it's never certain just who's in charge, who's the vilain, and who's going to die. But as usual, Bernie seems to be one of the few who finds all the answers.
Julie Barrett
The third in the Bernie Gunther series and far less appealing than the first two books. The third book occurs in 1947, nearly 10 years after the second book. That's quite a gap in the narrative. The reader learns near the beginning of the book a condensed version of Gunther's last 10 years - joining the SS under duress, requesting a transfer to the Eastern Front once he realized how sweeping the mass murders of the final solution were, being captured by the Russians & sent to a POW camp, esc ...more
Melinda Seyler
Mar 09, 2013 Melinda Seyler rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Melinda by:
Book 3 is "Requiem", which takes place after the war, mostly in Vienna. In many ways it is the least sexist and yet somehow falls flat to me. Again a lot of intricate plotting, but It's not hard to follow. This one moves right into Dashiell Hammett's nameless detective, even referring to various of his books again.
Here's a quote that feels to me much like a rewrite of the end Sam Spade speech from "The Maltese Falcon" where he tells the girl why he has to do things the way he does. This is from
Jul 13, 2013 Doug rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This gritty third book in the Bernie Gunther series keeps the noir action coming. The setting in 1948 Vienna is vivid, and the author obviously has done his homework. The threadbare, anxious postwar moment is expertly sketched through characters who must somehow scratch out a life as East and West duel over the spoils of World War II. The plot moves along through cafes, rubble, pensions, prisons, and suburbs the war missed as the constant question of who works for who unfolds. There are lots of ...more
Brian Williams
Feb 10, 2013 Brian Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the final book of the Berlin Noir trilogy, and in my opinion it is the best of the three books. It is 1947 and Bernie Gunther is back in the private investigation business after a stint in a Russian POW camp. He is hired by a former Kripo "colleague" who is being held in an American military prison in Vienna on a trumped up murder charge. He thinks Bernie can get him off. Bernie travels to Vienna, leaving his wife behind (I think this is the first appearance for his wife, Kristen) and ge ...more
Pierre Fortier
Sep 13, 2015 Pierre Fortier rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kerr nous manipule encore les méninges en nous faisant suivre Herr Gunther dans un labyrinthe d'intrigues qui change de piste à chaque tournant. On y perd au change, mais l'auteur se récupère par son humour incisif et sa grande imagination. Pas toujours évident à suivre ce 3ème volet de la Trilogie berlinoise mais toujours intéressant à lire. Passe temps.
I am enjoying this series but I am also very interested in WWII history. Each book in the series reminds me of a film noir!
José Vázquez
Mar 06, 2017 José Vázquez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
El último de la trilogía "original" de Bernie Gunther, el detective en la Alemania nazi creado por Philip Kerr, me ha parecido el más interesante. Quizá porque el escenario (abandonamos los años 30 para pasar directamente a la posguerra) es, casi contra pronóstico, mucho más interesante que en los dos anteriores. Un protagonista bogartiano rodeado de femmes fatales en una dictadura que tenía propensión a mandar a todo aquel que se le oponía a campos de concentración queda muy heroico, sí, pero i ...more
Even if I found it a little hard to follow in the beginning (probably because of a lack of attention), I really enjoyed the last part. Would give 3,5 stars if it was possible ;-)
Mar 10, 2017 Janet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was the end of what was supposed to be a trilogy and is now a full series, so it ended slightly open. It starts after WWII ended and about 8 years after that last book and jumps into the story. We slowly learn some of what happened with Bernie over the last 8 years as he gets completely stuck in a messy web of lies & spies. I did not give this one 4 stars like I did the first 2 simply because of the sheer confusion with all the competing spies and who is working for who, but is act ...more
Now I can say I have read all three of the Berlin Noir books. Apparently this series is a success, or Kerr likes writing them, because detective Bernie Gunther has continued to appear in other books, set in places like South America. But having read the first three, I must confess to thinking that this was the weakest of the pack - which is not saying that it is not a good book. Second rate Kerr is still better than the offerings of most mystery writers. The first two had the advantage of being ...more
A German Requiem felt the most subtly complex and thoughtful of the three (so far) in the Bernie Gunther series. Actually the third in the series, and more often than not sold in a trilogy with March Violets and The Pale Criminal, it actually feels a little like a summing up, as if it could well have been the final book in a trilogy if he didn’t get the go-ahead to carry on. I found it gelled very well with another book about the period just after the Second World War I was reading at the time, ...more
Wayne Zurl
Dec 22, 2014 Wayne Zurl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Book 3 in the Berlin Noir trilogy takes us to Berlin in 1947. Bernie Günther is finished with the SS, the Whermacht, and police service in general. He’s back in the private investigations business and business is good. Thanks to the war there are many missing persons to track down. But Bernie is in poor health. Food is scarce, the leg injured while a prisoner of war hurts like hell, his wife is being unfaithful, and his old clothes fit like a fifty pound bag on twe
Aug 12, 2013 Mila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This preface to the book gives me goosebumps every time.

It is not what they built.
It is what they knocked down.
It is not the houses.
It is the spaces between the houses.
It is not the streets that exist.
It is the streets that no longer exist.
It is not your memories which haunt you.
It is not what you have written down.
It is what you have forgotten, what you must forget. What you must go on forgetting all your life.
From 'A German Requiem', by James Fenton

I love his over-the-top descriptions
Sep 22, 2014 Joe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bernie Gunther is a smart-mouthed, sassy, hip private detective who exercises his speciality in the Nazi and post-Nazi Germany. If he is the star of Philip Kerr’s series of novels, Germany in the wake of Hitler’s rise,reign, and ruin is the co-star and creates the moral and cultural setting for Gunther’s life and work. The tensions are all there, how to live in a death dominated society, the practice of integrity in the midst of a lawless culture, the look of authenticity when the pursuit of sur ...more
I really enjoyed the first half of this book and thought it was more interesting than the first two in the trio "Berlin Noir." The setting after the war was fascinating as the country was dealing with the destruction and the entry of all the invading forces. The plot was fascinating and Bernie goes to Vienna to prove the innocence of a former colleague charged with murder. I found the final half of the book to be so convoluted and chaotic that I began skimming the text which was not a good idea ...more
Sep 18, 2016 Sean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The last in the Berlin Trilogy of books (which are technically all one kindle book, but I'm splitting into three books on goodreads for my reading challenge because I'm lazy).

Kerr is great at sequels. And what I mean by that is that he has a film editors eye for when to cut and what to open on next.

For example, in the last book we have Gunther solving a series of murders as a part of the Kripo (Germany's police force) in pre-war Nazi Germany. Pre-war, but the drums are beating and the fear is p
Jim Leffert
It’s 1947 and with the Nazis being defeated, the now married Bernie Gunther has gone back to being a private detective in Berlin. (Assigned to the SS during the war, Bernie quickly requested a transfer to a combat unit. This action was taken at some personal risk, since the SS heads considered this a form of desertion, but his request was granted.) In this entertaining third volume of Philip Kerr’s series, a Soviet colonel hires Bernie to go to Vienna to look for evidence that can free Emil Beck ...more
Buck Jones
Jan 31, 2016 Buck Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Back in this third installment of the Bernie Gunther series, following the less than stellar sophomore slump of his second book, Philip Kerr takes our irascible protagonist, former Berlin criminal detective Bernie Gunther into post-war Vienna where he is hired by a former police colleague to prove his innocence in a murder. Since coming back to Berlin after the war and trying to repair both his relationship with his wife as well as jump start a career as a private investigator, Bernie easily acc ...more
So Bernie Gunther is back! Hooray! After finishing "The Pale Criminal" a while ago and loving that so much, I was really excited about returning to this series. But, of course, I had to wait. I can blame my literature teacher for that. But, with the school year coming to a close I was able to return to this series. It's 1948 and World War Two is over. Gunther barely survived it, having been sent to a Russian POW camp, where the risk of surviving is about one in a thousand. He returns to Germany ...more
Apr 24, 2011 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third of the series featuring Bernie Gunther. WWII has now been lost, and miraculously Bernie has survived -- miraculously because, having been co-opted into the SS, he was able to escape having to participate in that organization's crimes only by volunteering for combat. Now, a PI in Berlin once more, he's wondering if his wife is giving blowjobs to occupying Americans for money and gifts when he's hired by a Russian officer to try to produce the evidence that will save a convicted murderer ...more
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  • Silesian Station (John Russell, #2)
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  • Rosa (Berlin Trilogy, #1)
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Kerr has published eleven novels under his full name and a children's series, Children of the Lamp, under the name P.B. Kerr.

Librarian’s note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
More about Philip Kerr...

Other Books in the Series

Bernie Gunther (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • March Violets (Bernard Gunther, #1)
  • The Pale Criminal (Bernard Gunther, #2)
  • The One from the Other (Bernard Gunther, #4)
  • A Quiet Flame (Bernard Gunther, #5)
  • If The Dead Rise Not (Bernard Gunther, #6)
  • Field Gray (Bernard Gunther, #7)
  • Prague Fatale (Bernard Gunther, #8)
  • A Man Without Breath (Bernard Gunther, #9)
  • The Lady from Zagreb (Bernard Gunther, #10)
  • The Other Side of Silence (Bernie Gunther, #11)

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