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Many they decide on a whim to visit Czechoslovakia where Alexander Dubček's socialism with a human face is smiling on the worldMeanwhile Sam Wareham First Secretary at the British embassy in Prague is observing developments in the country with both a diplomat's cynicism and a young man's passion In the company of Czech student Lenka Konečková he finds a way into the world of Czechoslovak youth its hopes and its ideas For the first tim Set in the summer of 1968 this is about two couples who get caught up in the events of Prague Spring when reform briefly came to Czechoslovakia before the Russians moved in and took control Ellie and James are students at Oxford who are spending the summer travelling round Europe and who come to Prague on a whim Sam is a First Secretary at the British Embassy who has fallen in love with Lenka a Czech student They are all caught up with enthusiasm that change is in the offing but the reality of course is that the Czechs will be screwed as they have been so many times in years ending with an 8This is the third book I've read by Simon Mawer He's a skilful writer and this is a very well written book I liked it but I didn't love it It takes an awfully long time to get going really it's not until after the halfway mark that it gathers any momentum and I simply did not care about any of the four central characters And the ending which leaves the fate of one of them unknown is really frustrating Every now and then he takes a chapter out to give us a lecture on Czech history which admittedly is interesting and adds to our understanding of the situation but it's still an odd approach and I'm not sure it was entirely successful

book Prague Spring

Prague SpringE nothing seems off limits behind the Iron Curtain Yet the wheels of politics are grinding in the background The Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev is making demands of Dubček and the Red Army is amassed on the borders How will the looming disaster affect those fragile lives caught up in the invasion?With this shrewd engrossing and sensual novel Simon Mawer cements his status as one of the most talented writers of historical spy fiction toda I am way to analytic when it comes to the books I read This could be a fuction of working in a bookstore using goodreads and pretending I am a reviewer and just down right pretenious ness But it is becoming rarer and rarer that I just can enjoy something because I just like itI could nit pick this book apart But I just enjoyed the sentimental romantism of the piece Of the city of Prague of young love with a person and with history It was an easy book to sink into And sometimes that has to be enough

Simon Mawer ë Prague Spring kindle

read Prague Spring reader ô Paperback ë helpyouantib ✓ ❰Epub❯ ❧ Prague Spring Author Simon Mawer – Helpyouantib.co.uk New York Times bestselling author of The Glass Room Simon Mawer returns to Czechoslovakia this time during the turbulent 1960s with a suspenseful story that mixes sex poliNew York Times bestselling author of The Glass Room Simon Mawer returns to Czechoslovakia this time during the turbulent 1960s with a suspenseful story that mixes sex politics and betrayal In the summer of 1968 a year of love and hate of Prague Spring and Cold War winter Oxford students James Borthwick and Eleanor Pike set out to hitchhike across Europe complicating a budding friendship that could be something Having reached southern Ger If you know anything about the Prague Spring—which started in January of 1968 and went on until August 21 of the same year when the Soviet Red Army invaded it is the time of mild liberalization and democratization of the media and travel and of the citizens’ ability to enjoy freedoms in Czechoslovakia You can always research the history online which does help to comprehend the importance of this time Dubček's “socialism with a human face” as this time was called gave rise to many outspoken intellectuals and students as well as the civilian population tired of living in a communist bloc behind the Iron Curtain Mawer attempts to give it a human face also by centering on three British Nationals and one Czechoslovak woman with mixed results in my opinionTwo storylines inevitably converge As it opens two Oxford students James and Ellie who barely know each other she from a rich family he from humble beginnings decide to go hitchhiking around Europe together during summer break While they are navigating their way through Europe camping most of the time they are also navigating the terms of their relationship From the outset that is the most intriguing part of their story It’s personal individual set against 1968 and all that entails socially and politically With little money for this venture they start off with a sense of spirited enterprise flipping a coin at intersections to choose directions to follow which countries to go to next It’s all very spontaneous and governed by instinct contingency and adventureThe second storyline concerns Sam Wareham a British First Secretary to the Ambassador stationed in Prague because of his fluent Russian and passable Czech His uasi girlfriend is leaving for Germany and the future status of their relationship is unknown Not long after she leaves Sam takes up with Lenka a naturally striking young woman from Prague with a tragic and secretive past Sam is smitten with her and takes her with him wherever he goes including diplomatic gatherings and errands out of townThe narrative is pleasant enough Mawer is a skilled and sophisticated writer who doesn’t mince words and has complete control of his narrative However for me there’s not much liftoff I was always hoping for something to happen other than the ineluctable Soviet invasion that I know will come on August 21st I assumed like the blurb written for this book that it would be masterly and chilling But it came across as lukewarm to me Just as I felt that we may be getting close to the characters the text sort of pans out or leaves me with tepid thoughts about all these relationships A subplot of Russian musicians seeking asylum just distracts from getting inside the main characters’ storiesI’ve read other books by Mawer and was spellbound by THE GLASS ROOM Even TIGHTROPE kept me in suspense for much of the novel But I felt no real tension with this one The history added color the Moody Blues coming to play the ongoing protests the encroaching Red Army crawling closer like insects the ineluctable chaos when they come When the fate of one character is left hanging in the balance I was puzzled and didn’t think it was necessary—either that or the author’s reason for doing so didn’t work for me I’m aware that this may just be me not engaging with PRAGUE SPRING sufficiently and I don’t want to dissuade other readers from giving this a try I loved the scenes of Prague and the surrounding countryside which brought me back to that magical city of 100 spires But I failed to see the magic in this novel