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If The Dead Rise Not (Bernard Gunther, #6)
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If The Dead Rise Not

(Bernie Gunther #6)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  5,316 ratings  ·  391 reviews
An instant classic in the Bernie Gunther series, with storytelling that is fresher and more vivid than ever.

Berlin, 1934: The Nazis have secured the 1936 Olympiad for the city but are facing foreign resistance. Hitler and Avery Brundage, the head of the U.S. Olympic Committee, have connived to soft-pedal Nazi anti- Semitism and convince America to participate. Bernie Gunt

Hardcover, 455 pages
Published September 3rd 2009 by Quercus
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  5,316 ratings  ·  391 reviews

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Mar 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: espionage, mysteries
After six Bernie Gunther mysteries, I've moved him into the realm of detectives I know and love and would follow anywhere, guys like Donna Leon's Commisario Brunetti or Mankell's Wallender. Gunther is funnier (or rather Kerr's narration is funnier), even while dealing with serious issues like the backwash of Nazism over the 20th Century landscape, the moral ambiguity of survival, the impossibility of love across the decades, and the persistence of evil. This episode is both a prequel and a seque ...more
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's easy to believe that the appeal of the Bernie Gunther series resides in its sincere imitation of Chandlerian noir. In the early novels, that was perhaps its only virtue, but Kerr proved in A German Requiem and The One From the Other that he was not only capable of assimilating other influences (notably Graham Greene) into his work, but also exploring the fascinating moral dilemmas of the Nazi and post-war worlds with great success.

At the end of the fourth novel, Kerr had Gunther flee Europe
Jul 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Do Germans actually have pantomimes in the same way the British do?

Is the phrase “let sleeping dogs lie” one which exists in German as well as English?

Philip Kerr’s novel inadvertently raises these questions. It’s something which – I suppose – is always possible when an English author writes a first-person narration from the point of view of a character from a completely different cultural tradition (in this case an ex-cop in Nazi Germany). Firstly, our hero notes that he and his companion are
Dave Szostak
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Bernie Gunther stumbles around 1934 Germany looking for a mystery that will grab the reader's attention. No luck though. Jumping ahead 20 years to Cuba (in the second section of the novel) fails to add any interest either, just a couple of egregious coincidences that even die-hard Gunther fans will find unpardonable. And Bernie jokes about EVERYTHING!! One feels like they are on the case with Henny Youngman or Joan Rivers (except they were funny). A tedious offering from Kerr.
Good, but I preferred the first half over the second, and the ending was a bit lazy - Kerr is far too good to wrap things up with the standard two page exposition of whodunit as for some reason he did here. Still, well worth the read. Some classic Kerr Guenterisms: "[s]he went back to her hometown of Danzig, which was either a city in Poland or a free city in old Prussia, depending on how you looked at it. I preferred not to look at it, just like I preferred not to look at a lot of things in the ...more
James Aura
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the better historical adventure/mysteries I've read lately. Dense descriptions take you straight into a street level view of Berlin as Hitler rises to power, seen through the eyes of a morally ambiguous character. Very well done and overall an enjoyable read.
It almost hurts to give a Philip Kerr novel three out of five stars, but given how much I have liked the other novels in the Bernie Gunther series, it was harder still to give this book a higher rating.
And it all boiled down to two major issues I had with this novel.
The book was divided into two parts. The first part takes place in 1934 in Berlin and finds Gunther dealing with American gangsters, a beautiful journalist, corrupt Nazis, oppressed Jews and washed up boxers. The story rattles along
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of historical whodunnits
Recommended to Mark by: Ed Lynsky
I do have this hardcover and the amount of pages is 455 and not 320, which makes the book a whopping one third longer as stated.

We meet Bernie Gunther in 1934 Berlin where he no longer works as a homicide detective due to a difference in general opinion when it comes to matters of the Third Reich. Gunther is no card carrying member of Nazi party and finds them terrible people, and that is also why he no longerworks for the State. He is now the house detective of hotel Adlon where his principles
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book was superb until the final 2 or 3 chapters, but even a sub-par offering from Philip Kerr is worthy of the highest praise. This novel is almost two novels in one, with the first half of the book taking place in pre-Olympics Nazi Germany, and the second half in pre-revolution Cuba.
Nov 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Philip Kerr is one of our best literary thriller writers.
Mehmet Utkan
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Don’t tell me that. I feel bad enough already.” She shook her head. “Why? I don’t understand you at all.” “Because it makes me sound like what I’m not. In spite of what you once thought, angel, I was never cut out to be a hero. If I was anything like the person you think I am, I wouldn’t have lasted half as long as I have. I’d be dead in some Ukrainian field, or forgotten forever in some stinking Russian prison camp. Not to mention what happened before all that, in those comparatively innocent ...more
Bent Hansen
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bernie Gunther has escaped to Argentina, but finds out that there quite a few Nazis there to complicate his life, but also ruthless locals that force him to cooperate and use his detective skills in order for him to stay alive. Another brilliant Bernie Gunther thriller with several exciting flashback chapters about the time the Nazis took over power in Germany and Gunther stopped working as a cop in Berlin.
Darrell Reimer
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Those of us who prefer our Galahads well-bloodied can't do much better than Philip Kerr's Nazi-era Berlin gumshoe, Bernie Gunther. I've read all the books, but the litany of torment is so extensive I've lost track of what happened when. Has Gunther survived the deaths of two wives, or only one? Certainly a veritable harem of girlfriends awaits him in Purgatory. Not that he's troubled by such a prospect. Surviving the rise and fall of Nazi Germany, including a short stay in Dachau and the sordid ...more
Dec 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
I knew he was trouble as soon as he walked through the door...
This is the first of the Bernie Gunther series I've read - I was given a few and this one had the earliest chronological date, with Berlin 1934. Turns out it's number six, but that didn't seem to make a significant impact.

Gunther is a hard boiled, hard drinking hotel detective, looking to private. He's everything you'd expect in a stereotypical noir detective. And he hates the Nazis. Hell he really hates them. He'll tell, you, he'll
Bookmarks Magazine
Jun 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: july-aug-2010
Favorably compared to the World War II espionage novels of Alan Furst (The Foreign Correspondent, The Spies of Warsaw) and the work of hard-boiled legends Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald, Philip Kerr reprises the Bernie Gunther saga with true fidelity to his detective's noir roots. The Berlin Noir novels (March Violets, The Pale Criminal, A German Requiem), a trilogy published nearly 20 years ago, are known in crime circles but woefully neglected by mainstream readers. With If the Dead Rise ...more
Alan Newman
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Entertaining Gunther noir this time bracketing the war, the story beginning in 1934 Berlin and skipping to 1954 Havana. Kerr masterfully sets the scene and the time period in this tale of American Jewish gangsters, the 1936 Olympics and the Cuban revolution. Though I have given up on naive beliefs of my childhood ( 1950s) that Americans act morally in world affairs
I feel defensive twinges when I read Kerr--the only people he hates more than Nazis is Americans--a constant thread in his writing.
Mar 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
After finishing the sixth book about Bernie Gunther I have to say I really have enjoyed this series of books by Philip Kerr. One thing is the crime story and the plot which is exciting and at times complex to follow. But the one thing that has fascinated me the most is the historical aspects of the story. Europe before, under and after the war and how life could have been for a police man and later private detective, is intriguing to read. And when the last stories brought us to Argentine and Cu ...more
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Utterly loved the depiction of a slightly clichéd but golden and tirelessly entertaining trope: the hardboiled cop in the noir vein. This particular one, Bernard Gunther, is different from most through the setting, pre-war but post 1933 elections Berlin, Nazi Germany. A thrilling ride in the underbelly of the capital of the infamous third reich. I'd recommend it to any fan of history, detective and noir novels as this one admirably mixes all of them.
Neil Spark
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Berlin, 1934, is one of the characters in this gripping thriller. The city is here in exquisite and exceptional detail. The incremental Nazi oppression and the horror that went with it This is the sixth in Kerr’s Bernie Gunther series and the first I’ve read. I’ll be reading more.

Gunther is a tough, cynical and wise-cracking ex-homicide detective. If you thought Lee Child’s Reacher or Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe were cynical and hard men, wait until you meet Bernie Gunther. He’s ruthless,
Lindsay Mouat
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A friend's recommendation drew me to Philip Kerr's Bernard Gunther character, one for which I will remain grateful.

This Berlin-noir crime story transcends 1934 anti-semitic Germany, increasingly brutal and controlling , through to, some twenty year later, the corruption of partying, pre-revolutionary Cuba.

Gunther, a former police detective is perhaps the most cynical of detectives. Now working as a hotel detective, having been unable to remain in the Nazi Party dominated police, Gunther becomes
Nick Davies
Aug 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
A little disappointing. This had the same stylish nature as the other (later) book in the series I had read, a likeable protagonist, an ambitious plot with some exceptional historical research obviously having been carried out, moments of wit and plenty to distinguish itself from others in a crowded genre. Our hero Gunther investigates the deaths of a Jewish boxer and a businessman in mid 1930s Berlin.

But alas, a lot missed the mark for me. The wide-cracking was often amusing, but became rather
Barry Flanders
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Powerful historical mystery set in Berlin just at Hitler is consolidating power. Probably my favorite in this series so far. I particularly liked the scene where the Jesse Owens race in the Olympics is taking place in the background...
Neal Wilson
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Terrific historical mystery set in Berlin as the Nazis consolidate power. Great descriptions and excellent character development from the late, great Philip Kerr.
Nancy K
Jun 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Just an okay entry in the Bernie Gunther series. Some excellent history and a good crime story. Liked previous ones better. I will, however, continue through the series : )
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great Bernie Gunther book.
Jim Durrett
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. Another superb story from Kerr. Bernie is not the wise-cracking P.I. that he was in the earlier novels. Now he is post WWII, more morally twisted, cynical and involved in a complex story about an American gangster who torments him in Berlin. Part was a slow read for me, the reason for 4.5 stars.
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I particularly liked the time jump in this narrative. Easily as good as any Raymond Chandler noir.
Margaret Sankey
Jan 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Back in 1934, shortly after being ejected from the KRIPO by incoming NAZIS, Bernie Gunther was hanging on in Berlin as a hotel detective at the Adlon. A beautiful American reporter got him involved in investigating the crooked construction of the Olympic stadium and the NAZI takeover of sports, as well as a cover-up to save her life. Now, it's 1954 and Bernie is attempting to live quietly in Havana when not only the dame and her daughter, but a ferocious American gangster and Cuban rebels surfac ...more
Michael Shaoul
series book too far

Alas this series has simply been extended too far. Gunther's reinvention in the first part of the book just makes no sense to anyone who read the first book in the series. It is also tediously long. The Cuba part is ok but frankly has been done before and the final twist added nothing. Not sure I will bother any other books in the series which is a shame because the early books are great.
Clive Parkin
Might even have drifted to two stars. There were some good moments here, but I lost connection when it shifted to Cuba 20 years later. A lot of the historical info feels like it has come from Wikipedia - not a bad idea, but just done too often for too many figures and events.
I liked the Berlin setup though and might well consider another book. This is number 7 in the series and maybe that was part of the problem, rather than starting earlier
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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)
  • March Violets (Bernie Gunther, #1)
  • The Pale Criminal (Bernie Gunther, #2)
  • A German Requiem (Bernie Gunther, #3)
  • The One from the Other (Bernard Gunther, #4)
  • A Quiet Flame (Bernie Gunther, #5)
  • Field Gray (Bernard Gunther, #7)
  • Prague Fatale (Bernard Gunther, #8)
  • A Man Without Breath (Bernie Gunther #9)
  • The Lady from Zagreb (Bernard Gunther, #10)
  • The Other Side of Silence (Bernie Gunther, #11)

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