An Officer and A Spy

An Officer and A Spy

Audiobook CD - 2013
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It's Paris, 1895. A Jewish army officer, Alfred Dreyfus, has been convicted of treason and is imprisoned on Devil's Island; he has been publicly humiliated, bound in chains, banished to solitary confinement. But was he really a spy for Germany--or was his fate sealed because he was a Jew in an anti-Semitic time and place? Slowly, the petit bureaucrat Georges Picquart begins to suspect that Dreyfus--portrayed here mostly through heart-wrenching real-life letters he wrote from prison to his beloved family--has been scapegoated. As Picquart amasses more and more evidence about Dreyfus, he also must come to terms with some of his own behaviors and attitudes.
Publisher: [Westminster, MD] : Books on Tape ; New York : Random House Audio, p2013.
Edition: Unabridged.
ISBN: 9780804165679
080416567X
9780804165693
0804165696
Characteristics: 13 sound discs (965 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Additional Contributors: Rintoul, David

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jeanegan
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.

l
LibraryUser53
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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