An Officer and A Spy

An Officer and A Spy

Audiobook CD - 2014
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Paris, winter 1895. Georges Picquart, recently promoted head of the agency that helped convict Dreyfus of treason. Picquart believes in Dreyfus's guilt, even after he witnesses the man's protestations of innocence. But gradually Picquart comes to suspect that a spy remains at large in the military. With evidence mounting, pointing to deceit at the highest levels of government, Picquart has nowhere to turn and is compelled to question his most deeply held beliefs about his country and himself.
Publisher: [United States] : Random House, Inc., 2014
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780804165679
Branch Call Number: UCD FICTION HARRIS
Characteristics: 13 sound discs : digital ; 4 3/4 in


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Nov 04, 2017

Four stars. I didn't think I would like this book and was prepared to abandon it if it was boring. However, the author managed to make a period of history interesting and suspenseful. I only vaguely remembered the Dreyfus affair from my French history class. This book also taught me about the strong anti-semetic attitudes of the French during those times. Not a light read, but a good one.

May 29, 2015

Historical fiction set in 1890's France, about the so-called "Dreyfus Affair". A French military officer -- Dreyfus --- was convicted of selling France's military secrets to the Germans. A French counter-intelligent agent -- the novel's protagonist Picquart -- later discovered the conviction was a fraud, Dreyfus didn't do it, and set about to free Dreyfus from prison. The issue wasn't so much the secrets sold; they were of a trivial and unimportant nature. Instead, the Dreyfus Affair became an epic cultural battle, waged heartily in the French press, between two political factions: The Conservative "My Country Right or Wrong" type, and the Progressive "When My Country Is Wrong It Should Admit Fault and Make Citizens Abused Whole Again" type. As far as I can tell the story-line represents pretty much the way it all happened. The downside of this true-to-fact-based story line is it becomes slow-going and a little tedious. A condensed, faster moving plot, leaving out the minor details, would have made for a better novel. Excepting a tendency to impose French accents on the characters, making the dialog difficult to understand in places -- it is an English language novel after all -- the audio reader does a good job. Modestly recommended.


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