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A German Requiem

(Bernie Gunther #3)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  3,860 ratings  ·  273 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
Paperback, 306 pages
Published August 29th 2006 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published March 28th 1991)
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Η Τρίτη περιπέτεια του Χερ Γκούντερ, μας βρίσκει σε ένα μεταπολεμικό Βερολίνο, ένα Βερολίνο κατεστραμμένο, απομονωμένο από τους Συμμάχους και με τους κατοίκους του να ζουν πληρώνοντας τα αποτρόπαια εγκλήματα που διέπραξαν οι Ναζί. Ο Μπέρνι θα καταφέρει να μπλεχτεί ξανά σε μία υπόθεση φόνου η οποία θα εξελιχθεί διαφορετικά από ότι συνήθως, κάτι που με ξένιζε ορισμένες φορές και άλλες μου άρεσε. Δεν μπορώ να καταλήξω αν ήταν «σοφή» επιλογή του συγγραφέα να κινηθεί σε διαφορετικά μονοπάτια από τα κ ...more
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For those of you who are not familiar with Kerr or his P.I., Bernie Gunther, I will provide this background. A German Requiem is book three in an ongoing series by Kerr that he started writing about thirty years ago. The series arc begins before World War II and continues long after it. Kerr, unlike many other authors, does not write his stories in chronological sequence. This places a lot of challenge on him to keep the back references consistent and Gunther’s character in line with what he has ...more
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-borrowed
In Kerr’s Bernie Gunther series, he successfully tells a historical narrative through the means of a hardboiled detective with the dark world of 1930’s Germany forming almost a hardboiled character of itself. The first three books of what later became a dozen novels form what is referred to as the Berlin trilogy, tracing Gunther’s passage through the 1930’s into a dark chapter of evil. The second novel leaves off as Chamberlain loses his last chance to stand up to Hitler and hands over a third o ...more
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
Oct 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent entry in the Bernie Gunther series —#3, set mostly in post WWII Austria.

With every page I was deeply impressed with the late Philip Kerr’s ability not only to realistically set his story in the world that existed in 1947, but to get the reader invested in characters who were, at a minimum, witness to unspeakable barbarism, if not actual participants.

Bernie Gunther takes on an assignment in Vienna, where a former colleague from the Kripo is facing a death sentence for the murder of an American soldier. Gunther soon concludes that both his colleague and the American were involved in shady dealings, maybe the flourishing black market or perhaps some kind of espionage, but the further he digs, the more loose ends and contradictions he uncovers.

I found this book less enjoyable than the previous two in this series (originally a trilogy which Phil
Feb 12, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Mar 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Richard White
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.
Lynne Premo
Jun 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wwii, germany
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
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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.
Mal Warwick
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It’s 1947. Berlin is a shambles. The meager amount of food available is rationed, leaving the surviving German population on the verge of starvation while the occupying forces eat their fill. The city is sharply divided between the eastern, Soviet-occupied zone and the rest governed by the three Western Allies. In the western zone, German women known as “chocoladies” sell sex for food, cigarettes, and alcohol. In the east, rape by Russian soldiers is nearly inescapable. As Bernie Gunther reflect ...more
Apr 10, 2017 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.

David Lowther
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A German Requiem is the third Bernie Günther story and was part of Philip Kerr's trilogy Berlin Noir. It's the second time I've read it and I was not disappointed. Bernie finds himself in Vienna, employed by the Russians to find out who murdered an American captain. Accused of the murder is Bernie's old colleague Becker whom our hero remembers with no fondness at all. However, he needs the money and becomes involved a plot which, despite its twists and turns, unfolds brilliantly with surprise cl ...more
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

En este tercer libro de la serie Berlin Noir, nos encontramos a Bernie en el Berlín de la postguerra; arrasado por las bombas, una isla en medio de territorio soviético, donde el hambre y la enfermedad son los reyes del mambo. Bernie es contactado por un antiguo compañero de la policía para que investigue el misterioso asesinato de un oficial americano en Viena. Y allá se va Bernie, a una Viena que niega cualquier pasado común con Alemania, en la que gobiernan de forma "comunal" los aliados, esp
Jim Mullin
Jul 28, 2018 rated it liked it
This is the third book in the Philip Kerr “Bernie Gunther” acclaimed series; and the best so far. To date the series takes place in pre WW2, during WW2 and shortly after WW2 Germany. The books makes it very interesting with regards to day to day life of the Germans coping with victory, defeat, chaos, holocaust guilt. As far as the “mystery/thriller the plot in this book was the top of the three.
Diana Babii
Not my personal preference.
Mr. Gottshalk
It's the summertime. I want to read books that are fast, interesting and not overly confusing. This book was none of those things. It's one of those reads that requires you to pay attention to every line of text, every character, every double-meaning and all that. So it was tough for me to get into this very dark story about the search for someone in postwar Germany and Vienna, where lots of Nazis are blending in to the neighboring country of Austria, changing their names to become someone they' ...more
Jon Koebrick
Jun 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Plenty of twists and turns in this Bernie Gunther tale combined with descriptions of Germany and Austria in 1947 made this a solid 3 star book.
Razvan Banciu
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
There is a slight difference between this novel and the former ones, as the action has more density and Bernie (almost to the end) makes fewer jokes. The interpenetration reality-fiction makes the book more interesting, characters are alive,the style is pleasant, there was some research work done by Mr. Kerr, all of these facts taken together make quite a fine book.
Marty Fried
Mar 02, 2017 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.
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
I get that he's a crackerjack noir writer but this one felt like torture porn.
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
Jul 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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
Eve Kay
Jun 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
*The sound of me slowly letting the air out of my lungs*
What a let down.
I was very optimistic until the middle, which only discouraged me very little with one scene and I kept going letting the disappointment sink in page by page in the end.

In this book Gunther goes to Vienna, one of the most beautiful cities I've visited. The book starts out slowly but surely laying out infront of us the backdrop and what has happened between this book and the previous one.
In the middle there is a scene that
Sep 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
Has there ever been a bad novel set in Vienna? If so, I've yet to read it. The sense of decaying opulence, of faded grandeur set against the unpleasant wartime history and the obsessive politeness of the residents are all milked here to good effect as Bernie Gunther takes centre stage against the murky espionage and shifting alliances of post-war power struggles. He escapes Berlin and a tottering marriage to take up the case of a wrongly accused former colleague, but he becomes submerged in the ...more
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Philip Kerr was a British author. He was best known for his Bernie Gunther series of 13 historical thrillers 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.

Other books in the series

Bernie Gunther (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Metropolis (Bernie Gunther, #0.5)
  • March Violets (Bernie Gunther, #1)
  • The Pale Criminal (Bernie Gunther, #2)
  • The One from the Other (Bernard Gunther, #4)
  • A Quiet Flame (Bernie Gunther, #5)
  • If The Dead Rise Not (Bernard Gunther, #6)
  • Field Gray (Bernard Gunther, #7)
  • Prague Fatale (Bernard Gunther, #8)
  • A Man Without Breath (Bernie Gunther #9)
  • The Lady from Zagreb (Bernard Gunther, #10)
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