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Brandenburg Gate (Robert Harland #3)

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  508 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
In this brilliant, multilayered, espionage thriller, the 2005 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award winner Henry Porter captures the tense final moments before the fall of the Berlin Wall. September 1989. The Communist government in East Germany is on the brink of collapse. Even the Stasi, one of the most formidable intelligence agencies of all time, can’t stop the rebellion th
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Paperback, 448 pages
Published May 10th 2007 by Grove Press (first published June 16th 2005)
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Zoo Station by David DowningThe Good German by Joseph KanonThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréBerlin Noir by Philip KerrThe Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood
Berlin in Fiction
106 books — 32 voters
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Espionage
783 books — 865 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Manchester Military History Society (MMHS)
I visited East Berlin in 1989 a few months before the fall of the wall and the descriptions of the atmosphere (including smells!)and the run-down buildings echoed my memories.

To use a cliche - I found this hard to put down. Henry Porter has done a great job of combining the book's characters with the real events of 1989, from the street protests of October 1989 to the hopelessness of the dark dank cells of the Stasi prisons.

If you are looking for a good spy story combined with the epic events in
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Anna
An excellent spy novel, with enough action to satisfy everyone as well as an impressing character depth and world building.

The novel concentrated on Dr. Rudi Rosenharte, a former Stasi foreign agent who has in the mean time become somewhat of a figure in the art historian society, giving many lectures around the world. His trouble begins when his brother and his family is abducted by the Stasi communist force, and Dr. Rosenharte is forced to cooperate with the Stasi force, a cooperation he belie
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Miki Habryn
Sep 22, 2009 Miki Habryn rated it really liked it
A surprisingly enjoyable book set during the waning days of divided Germany. Not only a good plot, rife with human frailties and betrayals, but also an entirely credible societal context for cold-war East Germany. An excellent read, even if you aren't a fan of the spy genre.
Davidg
Aug 31, 2015 Davidg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another exciting thriller by Henry Porter. We follow a complex series of plots in the weeks leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of East Germany. Time is running out for some of the plotters as history catches up with them.

A cracking read.
Gail Barrington
Jul 16, 2017 Gail Barrington rated it it was ok
Another good post- war spy novel by Porter. Even a walk-on part by Putin. How the main character manages to keep four different governments on the hook at once is quite amazing. Worth a quick read.
Will
Feb 18, 2013 Will rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up at my local library on a "blind date with a book." My library thought it would be fun to pick random books, wrap them in paper, and only list the genre of the book. I enjoy spy books, so I picked this one up. It has taken me much longer to read than most books because I struggled getting into the book at times, but that wasn't the only reason. I had other personal issues to attend to that delayed my finishing this book.

The story of the book focuses on communist government o
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Marie
Oct 02, 2014 Marie rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, political
The great thing about this book is that is set in the weeks before the fall of the wall. This is a ticking clock that only the reader can hear and it adds a dimension and a tension to the events being told.

It has been quite a while since I read a cold war spy story and this is from the east German side of the fence rather than the Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy side (which was brilliant). I think that the book captures the feeling of paranoia and also the craziness of the situation pretty well. The s
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Stuart
Jul 10, 2012 Stuart rated it liked it
“The historical fiction novel "Brandenburg Gate" is an exciting and entailing spy novel that captivates its audience by its descriptive events. While a dominantly good read with a lot of forethought, I marked it as a 3 out of 5 because some of the events do seem to be skeptical when thought through. Such an event is happened as Dr. Rosenharte approached Checkpoint Charlie with wired bag and the guard tells him that Mr. Harland is waiting for him. With a wired bag the Stasi would have heard this ...more
Gerald Sinstadt
Mar 20, 2014 Gerald Sinstadt rated it did not like it
Shelves: crime
Strangely, there are people who read the last chapter of a book first in order to satisfy themselves that it has an acceptable outcome. That would be a good way to test Henry Porter's latest attempt to persuade readers that espionage is simply a subdivision of Fred Karno's army where everyone pretends to be in step with everyone else but in fact is facing in the opposite direction. If that is a confused metaphor, so be it; it is clarity itself by comparison wth events in this book.

Suggestions th
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Michael A.
Nov 16, 2013 Michael A. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely Porter's best novel yet out of the four!
With Brandenburg he can finally be added to my top few spy author's; alongside McCarry, Furst, and yes, Le Carre.
If you think you are going to get the same formula as his previous three, you'll be pleasantly surprised. Robert Harland returns but in more of a supporting role. This time, thankfully, Porter finally manages to discard his fixation with high tech computer/communications toys. Instead its more raw human emotion & motivation.
His p
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Frederick Bingham
A spy novel set mainly in 1989 East Germany. As the GDR collapses, the Stasi desperately works to destroy its enemies. The main character, Rudi Rosenharte, is stuck between the Stasi, the KGB and MI6 trying to get his brother freed. The brother was captured by the Stasi in order to use him as a way to get Rudi to do what they want.

The best part about this book is the window into the collapse of the GDR. It is amazing that up until the very end, the people responsible for that reprehensible gover
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Becky Motew
Sep 15, 2016 Becky Motew rated it really liked it
For those who like spy novels, this is a very good one.

It's tense and suspenseful even if one guesses that Rudi will end up okay. Stasi bad guys, lots of action, surveillance, tradecraft and the like, they're all there. I liked being in the action of the very end of East Germany and making a dash for the Wall at the last minute.

Wasn't sure what the American guy was doing there, but that did not impair my enjoyment. I visited Berlin a couple of years ago and knew that I had stayed in what used to
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Jason
Dec 15, 2016 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting subject of life inside East Germany and iron curtain Era spies and secrets. However, I found the multiple foreign intelligence agent characters introduced at the beginning of the novel confusing and descriptions not sufficiently interesting to help me remember who was who. It took longer than I had hoped to get into reading this book, and then when I settled in I found myself reading partly just to get to the end and learn the conclusion rather than reading because I was engrossed in ...more
Kate Millin
An excellent story set in East Germany in the last few weeks of the Communist world. Dr Rudolph Rosenharte is an East German but he is also an agent for MI6. He faces some difficult decisions, and has to be very careful during the tense times while the people in the communist east are starting to act together to make change happen. He is caught between the Stasi and MI6 and trying to protect his twin brother's family. Well written and easy to read
Srinath Narayanan
Jul 10, 2015 Srinath Narayanan rated it it was ok
not at all convinced with Henry Porter's writing. he introduced many characters who were actually essential for the novel but could not hold them together well. I have to agree that the plot, the idea behind the novel was very exciting but it was . very confusing to comprehend. maybe if it were written by a Tom Rob Smith or a Glenne Meade this might have turn out to be of a different class all together.
Studvet
Sep 16, 2015 Studvet rated it it was amazing
Loved this book and think his best so far. Gripped by the portrayal of East German life, mentality and machinations. His books are always informative as well as tell a great story. Have visited the Stasi Museum which was amazing in itself with Erich Miekle's office kept as it was and displays of spying paraphenalia hidden in everyday objects.
Bindu Vinod
Jan 16, 2009 Bindu Vinod rated it really liked it
It was a very nice experience reading this book, it give you a overview of the kind of atmosphere that people of East and West Germany was going through and the kind of work that spy's do and the risk that is undertaken. There are many characters in this book that sometimes its hard to remeber them and track them.
John Severs
Sep 24, 2011 John Severs rated it it was ok
Hard going but just readable enough to stop me giving up with it. Gave a good picture of life under the Stasi in the GDR but the action was a bit slow and I struggled to get the point of some of the plot twists. Good ending though.
Pete
Nov 28, 2014 Pete rated it really liked it
Henry Porter does an excellent job here of capturing the feel of espionage from the cold war era. There is tension and danger lurking at every turn and the reader is drawn into the chess game of intrigue where nothing is truly as it seems.
Barry Fulton
Apr 12, 2016 Barry Fulton rated it it was amazing
A brilliant novel that captures the psychopathic rule of East Berlin in the six months before the breach of the wall. The characters are engrossing and the setting is a reminder of life under an allegedly egalitarin but ruthless dictatorship.
Joy
Sep 10, 2011 Joy rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
Brandenburg Gate made me realize how little I know about the history of East and West Germany. My reading of this book happened to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the construction of the Berlin wall. I am going to go back and do a little research on this topic.
Judie
Oct 02, 2014 Judie rated it liked it
A bit long and a bit slow but interesting enough that I kept reading. As a spy novel, it was a bit fanciful, however Mr. Porter portrayed life in the GDR masterfully. A worthwhile read for its historic importance.
Swapnil
Dec 27, 2009 Swapnil rated it liked it
What if your twin brother is taken as a hostage as a bait for you? Its set to happen in east germany in the time when it was set for the fall of the berlin wall. Dr.Rosenharte a former agent is set up with the british and then..
Robert Dunn
Jul 21, 2015 Robert Dunn rated it really liked it
After about 100 pages you realize the espionage is just the background to a story about life in East Germany before the Berlin Wall came down. The way the e. German secret police intruded upon everyday life is very realistically portrayed. Overall a very good read. As a spy story just so-so.
Tharian John
Nov 05, 2011 Tharian John rated it it was ok
Good storyline. but tooo slow. Could have been better
John Feeney
Apr 06, 2012 John Feeney rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition


Very slow moving. I often had trouble picking it up. There were several different plots that just did not hold together.
John
Jan 21, 2015 John rated it liked it
The plot moved too slowly for me.
Linette Allen
Jul 02, 2016 Linette Allen rated it really liked it
Satiating characters and plot.
Jennifer Snyder
Mar 24, 2009 Jennifer Snyder rated it really liked it
Fun, light read.
Emma Gibson
Mar 15, 2011 Emma Gibson rated it it was amazing
fabulous if you like a good political thriller
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good template for spy story 1 5 Dec 26, 2007 02:14AM  
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Henry Porter has written for most national broadsheet newspapers. He contributes commentary and reportage to the Guardian, Observer, Evening Standard and Sunday Telegraph. He is the British editor of Vanity Fair, and lives in London with his wife and two daughters.
More about Henry Porter...

Other Books in the Series

Robert Harland (3 books)
  • A Spy's Life
  • Empire State

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