Book Review: Babylon Berlin

Back in August, I read a Guardian piece about an upcoming European crime drama called Babylon Berlin based on novels by Volker Kutscher.

I was intrigued because, after all, northern Europe has been the source of a great deal of excellent detective material recently — Wallender, The Killing, Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, etc;  and the period, Germany of the late 1920s, is fascinating and lively — think Cabaret, So I ordered the only one of the novels held by VPL. It was the second in the series, the one called Babylon Berlin.

Now, I can usually push myself through most material but after two weeks effort, I have reached page 180 of the 520 and I have absolutely no feeling for any of the characters and the plots, such as they are, are tedious and failing to grab my attention.  The beginning of the book seems more like vignettes that might look good on the screen (and which seem to have been included only for that purpose) but which fail miserably on the page due to the dullness of the writing.

I was almost happy to receive the email from VPL telling me my time was up because I’ve given up on it, and I cannot recommend it.

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