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Archangel Paperback – Nov 2 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (Nov. 2 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099527936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099527930
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 299 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #341,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
Late one night a long time ago-before you were even born, boy-a bodyguard stood on the veranda at the back of a big house in Moscow smoking a cigarette. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
Archangel is a two-part novel. First one gives a fine if bleak picture of Russia today, where everything is for sale, if only for survival sake, much to the chagrin of the sellers. This part is quite entertaining, with well-defined characters (those puffy academics) and atmosphere to boot. The second part of the novel-which should deliver the punch and is only able to deliver embarassed laughters-fails, and Lord does it fails, to convince the reader. Now imagine a new Stalin, looking, talking, frowning, grinning remarkably like the original one, a man who has lived all his life in the remotest of places, mimicking dialectics by having learned by heart his old master's speeches and writings, still able to pick off with an old gun the best of a small contingent of Red Army attack troops... The fact that Stalin's return were to be welcomed again by some segment of the population of modern Russia is not in question, he sure would be, as Hitler would be, as slavery would be, there is always those who regret the tyrant or the tyranny, what is in question here is the conditions in which this new Frankenstein is created, those are ex-cru-ci-a-ting-ly unbelievable. The novel falls apart real bad at the end. Read the novel's first part, it is very good stuff indeed; stop reading when Kelso and O'Brian take off for Archangel. Then go buy some other book.
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Format: Paperback
I did like it, but it had some poor ideas shown. Like the keeping a secret for a decades in Russia. The good parts, in my humble opinion, show the more personal insights of family and social life.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found Archangel by Robert Harris to be mesmeizing in its unflinching blending of fact and fiction. Realistic, imperfect characters trying to deal with the horror and terror of the past while obessively running head long into it in the present. Harris is a master at developing characters and an complex storey line that holds you in a death grip till the final climax. Bravo Robert Harris you have just made this readers top ten list. If you like intrigue, unapologetic grit, and your fiction, intelligent, hardnosed and unrelenting then you must read this book. His interweaving of fact and fiction paint a picture of true evil, its power and its ramifications. Magnificent!!!
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By A Customer on Dec 20 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I write this review as (1) someone who loved _Fatherland_, (2) teaches Russian history professionally, (3) has lived and studied in Russia many times since the late '80s. And I hated this book beyond belief.
To explain why would take a small novel to begin with, and I'd give away whatever lame excuse for suspense Harris's writing contains. I'll stick with three things.
First, the excitement of the novel is based largely on the fact that a secret has been kept from Stalin's death in 1953 till the mid-1990s, when a British historian of the USSR happens to stumble across it. The secret's location happens to be the Russian city of Archangel -- which, as it happens, is the last word screamed out (in the novel) by Lavrentii Beria, the secret police chief who's killed shortly after Stalin's death (in real life) and goes to his grave knowing where the novel's secret is kept. The word "Archangel" is supposedly baffling to Beria's interrogators, and no one connects it with the actual city. The problem here is that, as anyone who's taken 2 weeks of freshman Russian knows, the Russian word for the city is "Arkhangelsk," while the word for archangel is "arkhangel." So no Russian would be confused by Beria's last words. The fact that Harris makes so much out of this linguistic confusion shows that he doesn't know nearly as much about Russia as he does about Germany.
(...)_.
Thirdly, Fluke Kelso -- the British historian who serves as the main character -- is totally unappealing. Harris has created the most boring, cliched, unlikeable picture of an academic imaginable: hard-drinking, womanizing (is there a novel anywhere that doesn't depict a professor sleeping with his students?), and self-absorbed.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first Robert Harris novel I have read and I enjoyed the story. Harris gets straight to the point with the story and every step by the main character, a historian called Fluke Kelso, seems to be logical.
Most historical fiction somehow cop out in the end but this didn't. Don't want to reveal details but the final hundred pages are not as anti-climatic as other similar novels I have come across.
Also, his caricatures of journalists, historians and Stalin are pretty amusing. Yet the little known facts that he mentions about Stalin were very interesting and deeply disturbing. Harris claims that Stalin is more alarming figure in history than Hitler and the case he makes throughout the novel is pretty convincing.
There is a sense that he,(Harris), is having fun with the story and Soviet history and I enjoyed the ride. Beautiful book. Can't wait to get hold of his other works.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I dont normally submit reviews, but felt I had to defend this book against a paltry 5 star rating. It successfully combines the best features of an historical novel and a thriller - I was absorbed totally in the sombre atmosphere of the book - a real "must read" that I've recommended to all my friends and family.
I prefer it to "fatherland" personally!
The ending is excellent - brings the threads all together
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