Luke McCallin

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Luke McCallin

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Born
in The United Kingdom
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Member Since
June 2014


Luke McCallin was born in Oxford, grew up around the world and has worked with the United Nations as a humanitarian relief worker and peacekeeper in the Caucasus, the Sahel, and the Balkans. His experiences have driven his writing, in which he explores what happens to normal people--those stricken by conflict, by disaster--when they are put under abnormal pressures.

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Luke McCallin It’s when your characters begin to take shape and, eventually, become creations. You start with one or two things—maybe a name, a description, an…moreIt’s when your characters begin to take shape and, eventually, become creations. You start with one or two things—maybe a name, a description, an emotion, an impression, a place, a time—and then bit by bit they come to life. My own character, Captain Gregor Reinhardt, literally walked into my dreams one night, and he sat there, patiently, for a long while thereafter. I knew a couple of things about him. He was a lonely man. He was a good detective. He was a German. But why was he lonely? How did he become a good detective? Why did I imagine him German? You start to answer these questions, and each answer leads to more questions and more answers, until you have a ‘character’.

The freedom to invent, to explore, to imagine. Inviting others into your world, the pleasure you take in their joy of it. All these things, and more, are true.(less)
Luke McCallin I spent six years working in Bosnia, and you can’t live there, or in Sarajevo, for long without it seeping into you. As much as it’s an overused…moreI spent six years working in Bosnia, and you can’t live there, or in Sarajevo, for long without it seeping into you. As much as it’s an overused analogy, Bosnia really is a historical and cultural crossroads, and it’s so contested. It defies any simple explanation, just like the finest puzzle or book or question. No matter the need to reduce and simplify it, there’s no one way to read it or play it, and a place and time like that gives you so many options as an author, for drama, action, reflection, for asking big questions and trying out the answers to them.

I was a political advisor to the United Nations mission, mandated to reform the country’s police forces and judiciary. I spent a lot of time with people from all walks of Bosnian life. Not just policemen and judges and lawyers, but mayors and town councilors, with priests and imams, with refugees and people still living in ruins, with war criminals and those who survived them, with those who lived the war and those who fled from it, with women holding families together, and men who had fallen adrift of life. I began to build up a collage in my mind. I kept wondering, asking myself, what would I have done in their place, and I began weaving that human and historical tapestry, which is one of the most complex and fascinating you can imagine, into my books, and into another time, that of the Second World War.

Out of all that, came the idea for The Pale House of how, too often, the guilty escape justice…(less)
Average rating: 4.03 · 3,923 ratings · 345 reviews · 9 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Man From Berlin (Gregor...

3.92 avg rating — 1,982 ratings — published 2013 — 19 editions
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The Divided City (Gregor Re...

4.25 avg rating — 853 ratings — published 2016 — 10 editions
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The Pale House (Gregor Rein...

4.06 avg rating — 1,079 ratings — published 2014 — 14 editions
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A Gregor Reinhardt Novel (3...

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Les cendres de Berlin

0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings2 editions
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L'Homme de Berlin

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HOMME DE BERLIN

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Blood and Scales

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4.67 avg rating — 9 ratings — published 2015 — 3 editions
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What the World is Reading S...

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did not like it 1.00 avg rating — 1 rating — published 2013
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More books by Luke McCallin…
The Man From Berlin The Pale House The Divided City
(3 books)
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4.03 avg rating — 3,912 ratings

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Luke’s Recent Updates

Luke McCallin is now friends with Timea
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Luke McCallin and 55 other people liked K.D. Absolutely's review of The Wars:
The Wars by Timothy Findley
"I almost did it last night. When I finished this book, I was too overjoyed by its beauty, I thought of putting the book in front of me, stand up and applaud. It’s just that I was not at home. I was in a 24-hr Dunkin’ Donuts outlet and people would..." Read more of this review »
Luke McCallin and 14 other people liked Michael's review of The Wars:
The Wars by Timothy Findley
"Moving account of one Canadian man’s experience with World War 1. The novel is barely 200 pages, so what we have here is no sweeping coverage of the war, nor an in-depth immersion in the horrors. But we get enough pictures of Robert Ross’s life le..." Read more of this review »
The Ashes of Berlin by Luke McCallin
"I loved this book from beginning to end but can see that the subject matter would not appeal to everybody. Set in post war Berlin it paints a grim picture of life but at the same time gives hope.
I loved the main character, Gregor Reinhardt – very..." Read more of this review »
Luke McCallin wants to read
Blood Lily by Mason Cranswick
Blood Lily
by Mason Cranswick (Goodreads Author)
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Luke McCallin rated a book really liked it
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
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An immensely powerful book, one I return to often, despite knowing that war memoirs or novels published between the wars in Germany invariably became political due to the rancorous interpretations of the war in this period, especially why and how it ...more
Luke McCallin rated a book it was amazing
Safe Area Goražde by Joe Sacco
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Having worked myself in Gorazde, I know of few more interesting or addictive places. This graphic novel captures the experience of that city under siege brilliantly, as well as the wider war in all its internecine fury and tragedy. Mr. Sacco's artwor ...more
More of Luke's books…
“You talk to me of choices?’ said Reinhardt. ‘I only know that the choices life makes you take strip away the person we wanted to be. Builds us up into something we never wanted. Until you look back on life, and you see that the track of your life is a scar that hides what might have been.”
Luke McCallin, The Man from Berlin

“The two of them headed over the narrow road and away from Vukic’s house. The houses up here were beautiful,”
Luke McCallin, The Man From Berlin

“ablutions, washed and showered in the echoing space of the communal bathrooms with a hundred other men, then made his way”
Luke McCallin, The Pale House

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