Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Bridge of Sighs by Olen Steinhauer

I was hoping this book would be like The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer, or Mission to Paris by Alan Furst. It's a thriller set in some unnamed Eastern European city (possibly in Ukraine) after World War II so you can see why that was a reasonable wish. But alas it has neither the sprawling reach of TIB nor the sympathetic characters of MtP. It's just a dark story of a troubled man in a miserable city during an unpleasant time in history. I read about two thirds of it and just...gave up. Which isn't to say it didn't have some redeeming value: Steinhauer writes lovely prose, and maybe in another mood the gallows humor might have appealed to me. Sometimes it isn't the book, it's the reader, though in this case I think it was a bit of both.

(Book 32, 2013)


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