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The Amber Room

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  238 ratings  ·  37 reviews
"The Amber Room was one of mankind's greatest treasures, a masterpiece of staggering ambition and value. Commissioned by Frederick I of Prussia in 1701, its vast and intricately worked amber panels - many times more valuable than gold - were sent in 1717 as a gift to Peter the Great of Russia. Passed on by imperial succession, the room was finally erected by Catherine the ...more
Hardcover, 386 pages
Published February 10th 2006 (first published June 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 533)
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Michael Gerald Dealino
A look at one of the world's most intriguing mysteries, the authors used good research to show the history of the Amber Room: its history, descriptions of how it looked like, and the circumstances surrounding its capture by the Germans during the Second World War and its disappearance in the final months of the war in Europe. I find the authors' theory that the Soviets' negligence was one of the reasons why the treasure was captured by the Germans in the first place and why it was probably destr ...more
Cheryl
During World War II, the Nazis implemented a plan to add all of Europe's priceless art treasures to a national museum in the Reich. The Amber Room in Russia was one of the targeted items. When Russian soldiers liberated Leningrad, the Amber Room was missing from the museum at the Hermitage. Co-authors Scott and Levy attempt to trace its whereabouts and this book details their efforts. Lots of twists and turns--reads like a spy novel!
Kasia
I swollowed it in one go last sunday. It's a great, quick and absolutely mesmerising read.
Julie
Though offering no irrefutable conclusions as to the whereabouts of the lost Amber Room, this is an incredibly well-researched book. It presents a variety of theories investigated over the years and explores many sources such as eye witnesses and archives of various institutions and governments. I cannot deny its thoroughness, but the intrigue did not pick up pace until halfway in. Aside from the history of the Amber Room itself, the first half was tedious as the authors attempt to locate restri ...more
Tīna
Es lasu Ketrīnas Skotas- Klārkas un Eidriena Līvija grāmatu "Dzintara istaba". Šo grāmatu izvēlējos tāpēc, ka pati pirms vienpadsimt gadiem esmu bijusi Pētrburgā un bijusi Katrīnas pilī, kurā bija daudz greznu izstabu,bet gribēju tad noskaidrot- kāpēc tad īsti šajā istabā bija aizliegts iet un kāpēc?!
Ketrīnas Skotas- Klārkas un Eidriena Līvija sarakstītā grāmata atklāj vairāk nekā piecdesmit gadus sevu Dzintara istabas noslēpumu- to, kas īstenībā notika ar pasaules vērtīgāko mākslas darbu, kur
...more
R.E. Thomas
In the early 18th Century, Prussian ruler Frederick I presented Tsar Peter the Great with a truly unique treasure: meticulously carved amber (then worth twelve times its weight in gold) that had been expertly assembled into enough wall panels to decorate an entire room. The beauty and value of the amber aside, as a work of craftsmanship the Amber Room was remarkable: imagine trying to repeat the same feat entirely from a single type of gemstone! The panels were assembled and re-assembled by the ...more
Vera Cobb
Fascinating book on the search for the amber room, looted from Catherine Palace inRussia during the second world war. Really precise investigation, but no solution to the mystery. Very much enjoyed. Couldn't put it down. Wonder what, if anything, has been discovered since it's publication in 2004
Tomi
This book was a little hard to follow; the writing style was disjointed and jumpy. It followed the various attempts made by th Soviets and the East Germans to find the Amber Room. The authors presented a logical conclusion to the story, but recent discoveries (December of 2013) undermine that conclusion.
Laura
I'd really like to give this book 2 and 1/2 stars. It presents an interesting mystery of what happened to the Russian Amber Room during WWII--was it destroyed in a fire? looted by Germans Nazis? looted by Soviets? is it still hidden? I won't give too much away, because you may want to read it in the future, but know that the book really isn't about the room itself, but about Russian bureaucracy and political corruption. What surfaces is essentially what you already know--governments are corrupt ...more
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
This is an interesting story, with interesting characters. The problem is that the authors sometimes shone the spotlight on themselves a little too much. There are large chunks of waiting for things to happen, and the narrative generally feels unfocused. Shadow Divers did a good job of keeping the book interesting during periods when answers to the central riddle were not forthcoming; this one, not so much. (It doesn't help that there isn't much of an answer to the question in this book. The mys ...more
Christine
Fascinating story, obviously really well-researched, but I felt that too much of the book became out the authors' quest for the room rather than the room itself. It makes sense when you get to the end, which I don't want to spoil, because in essence the quest is the story. The answers are so elusive, you really only get the quests--and there have been many. My biggest complaint is that the authors put too much of themselves into this, one of my pet peeves in a "scholarly" historical work. This i ...more
Gavin
Two investigative journalists go on the track of the Amber Room. The Amber Room has, like many other very beautiful things, been described as the eighth wonder of the world.

This investigative history of the Amber Room shows that it is probably now no more, although I understand the replica in Catherine's Palace outside St. Petersburg is quite something to behold.

The observant reader would probably figure out what happened in the first two or three chapters; the books continues for about a furthe
...more
Clare
The focus of this book was to try and solve one of the mysteries of World War II - What happened to the lavish, amber paneled room in the palace at St. Petersburg? During the war it was taken by the German forces and never seen again. The authors spent many months fighting through red tape and combing through pages of information to try and find out where this treasure may be now.
Although, basically a story of their search, there is so much more to this book - interesting stories of heroism,
...more
Steve Schlutow
The book taught me the interesting history of the Amber Room.. I did not know to much about the subject, since it was not taught in my history classes, at least I do not remember the subject.. The only thing I knew about the Amber Room was from a fictionalized novel by Steve Berry (good book)... This book was interesting and taught me the history of the gift, and how it was stolen during WWII.. I guess in my ignorance of the subject I was hoping for a little more conclusiveness of its mysterious ...more
Mary
It is obvious that this book is written by "investigative" reporters, every tiny detail which leads to every secondary (tertiary?) character who knew anything about anything is written about in great detail. I often feel like I'm reading a court deposition. While the story itself (priceless amber-coated paneling decorating a huge (12 ft high) ballroom in Catherine the great's castle in Russia stolen by the Nazis during WWII goes missing after the war) is engrossing, the writing style of the book ...more
Andy
Nov 10, 2007 Andy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like mysteries
I really enjoyed this book. The Amber Room story makes for some great historical reading. Even more so because of the history of Soviet Russia and East/West Germany that is involved. The authors in researching it went through so much trouble it feels like those old governments are still around. The people and governments involved are still hiding and keeping secrets. All around it is a goodread.
Judith
Oct 06, 2014 Judith added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: true lovers of Russian history
Recommended to Judith by: no one - saw it on the book shelf
Interesting and enlightening - but not as informative as I expected it to be. I am mesmerized by Russian history, and this book gave me yet another glimpse of its contradicting components. I cannot imagine a priceless creation being passed through so many hands and yet hopelessly lost. The book was not an easy read, but I'm glad I worked my way through it.
Joe
It reads more like a Cold War intrigue novel (something John Le Carre would write) than history, although to be honest the constant reading of notes and journals, added with the frustration trying to get ahold of records from Russian bureacrats, grows old after a while. I found myself speed reading chunks of the novel at times. But still an interesting read.
Lori
Quite a slog. Since I have seen the re-created Amber Room in Russia, I was interested in this story. There was way too much research background. I would have appreciated a shortened version highlighting the interesting "characters" in this historical drama -- they grew more to be more interesting by the end of the story.
Viktoriya
Two researchers are trying to uncover the truth of what really happened to the famous Amber Room that disappeared from St. Petersburg, Russia during World War II. Did the Germans steal it and it is still hidden somewhere? Or did the Russian have something to do with it?
Cathy Postmus
I hear they may have just found the remains of this room. Hmm?? Really?
Anyway, interesting story, it was fun to follow these "detectives" around. Very intriguiging and mysterious. Can't wait to visit Russia some day to see the replica.
Jaime
A good non-fiction mystery. Tragic though,because whatever one thinks of the Prussians, Koenigsberg is no more and all that amber now burnt with a few pieces turning up now and then. POST TENEBRAS LVX
Dao
An interesting topic but the reader gets bogged down with too many details. Consequently, I got through half the book... hoping to return to it at some point.
Amy
Fascinating look at communist bureaucracy. Reads a *bit* like a detective story. It's hard to keep track of all the 'characters' but a very interesting story.
Kelly Proulx
An interesting journalistic investigation into missing art and Soviet espionage. What more could you want? Maybe to find the original amber room.
Jonas Ortega
I read this book before a trip to st Petersburg where I had the chance to visit and enjoy the replica ofbthe Amber Room. It added to the experience
Janie
May 11, 2011 Janie added it
Though the topic of this book is interesting, it is written so horribly that I cannot force myself to read past page 75.
Christen
I guess it just wasn't my style of book. The reading really dragged and the ending was a big "well, alrighty then".
Kerrie
Very interesting read. If you like Russian history, or cold-war history, this book was enlightening.
Joe Capecchi
Interesting but not compelling. The writing is straightforward. Not a page turner
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