The Cyclist

The CyclistI originally got this book as a free Kindle book that I thought my teenage son would be interested in I am glad it was free since I struggled to stay interested in it Based on the many good reviews, I stuck with this book until the end, hoping against hope that it would finally grab me and pull me into the story as it did others However, I found the story boring and repetitive over and over about the dead woman I believe that good police officers do their job, but Auguste went beyond and catching the murderer became a vendetta Some reviews I read mentioned a twist at the end Sadly, the ending was predictable to me. I was delighted to receive this book as a goodreads giveaway The story of a French policeman who witnessed first hand the horrors of the WWII and tried to reconcile his faith with what he saw What could go wrong Well I ll tell you Here we are in the possibly the worst period in our history, when we were doing some pretty unspeakable things to one another, and we have a French policeman who is guided by his saviour to win an extremely minor victory over the Nazis A saviour who, if you believe the stories, who can part the red sea at a whim, conjure a plague to destroy his enemies, deliver a flood to all but eliminate the population of the world And what is he doing while children are being sent to the gas chamber Helping a French policeman get one over on the Germans Well, whoop de doo for the Almighty.I only got about 90 pages in and realised that I could not read another word of this dross I found the whole thing to be in extreme bad taste, and feel the author should be thoroughly ashamed of himself for writing such drivel.This book has earned special status in my book collection It is one of only two books that I have never finished, but it is the only book that I have ever owned that has not found its way either onto my book shelf or recycled back to a charity shop This book is the only book ever that I have thrown in the bin. I received this book through First Reads, so I should probably hurry up and review it I m terrible at reviewing books I have all good intentions, but then the time comes to sit down and write all of my wonderful opinions down and I kind of lose the will to live I need to work on that I want to write for a living, and that s never going to happen if I can t sit down and actually write.Anyway, on to the Cyclist.Firstly, the reasoning behind my rating At the start of the book, I almost thought I wouldn t make it to the end I was planning on giving it one star A few chapters in, and I was feeling a little happier about it, but I was still hovering at about one and a half stars By the end, it was up to three, because the story had hooked me.But why was I only going to rate it one star The writing It s as simple as that The sentences are clunky, and mainly short These short sentences got on my nerves, breaking up the flow of the story with too many full stops The dialogue felt stunted and unrealistic I know that in reality the characters would be speaking French, and that s difficult to translate into spoken English, but I did feel they could have spoken a little naturally, and then I could have believed the characters And, there was way too much telling instead of showing, to the point where the characters even tell each other unnecessary information just so the reader can know it, even though we know that the characters would know it It s hard to give the reader all of the information they need when you re writing historical fiction, but there are better ways to do it than this book demonstrated.That aside, I did enjoy the story There were some funny lines one that comes to mind is his best friend was a Jew , so like but I have gay friends , and the book did elicit a few giggles from me The main character was interesting, and I did find myself wanting to know about him and the way he thought The ending tugged on my heartstrings a little, and I hadn t been expecting it view spoiler I had been expecting a Sound of Music esque ending, and instead received a tragedy I thought this was brilliant The book had managed to throw at least one surprise at me although perhaps I m just too optimistic a person, and really should have expected the sorrow Hmmm and I finished it feeling glad that I had read it, even with it s flaws.I m unlikely to reread this book, but I ll keep it on my shelf just in case hide spoiler Holding it in my hand, this book has a slightly larger than average format with a glossy cover and bright white pages, feeling like a textbook than a wartime novel Yet the story hidden behind this facade is anything but textbook The Cyclist is enthralling.The story is brilliantly executed Fast paced with short, snappy sentences and surprising plot twists, The Cyclist is a real page turner so much so that I found myself skimming paragraphs just to discover the outcome of certain quandaries Nath manages to strike a fine balance progressing with the plot while providing just enough quasi historical insight to fuel the story too much historical context can often overshadow the narrative But Nath s greatest success is the atmospheric tension that he creates somewhat effortlessly doors click closed, feet slap on floors, and heels clack on the cobbles outside the Prefecture Admittedly, I sometimes found the imagery to be slightly repetitive all doors seem to click closed , and yet the repetition does seem to be an invaluable tool in creating this atmospheric tension, which is well sustained throughout the text.At times, I found the the prose slightly akward He knew he must have been dreaming but had no recall of it , and the erroneous typo s throughout the text did distract me acc ompanying , in tolerance Dubois Dubos But none of this retracts from what is essentially a gripping and haunting story about a conflicted and tortured soul, and I highly recommend it. This was a thought provoking and compelling book The story takes place in Vichy, France Bergerac during WWII and centers about a policeman who, apart from solving murders and crime, is required to assist in the round up and interment of the Jews in the region At some point, the policeman begins to see the hideous nature of his role in implementing Vichy policies that are prompted by the Nazis While investigating the murder of a young girl by a Nazis officer, the hero has both religious and political revelations that change is his thinking But the story goes beyond the murder and the change of conviction It attempts to tackle the question of France s submission of Vichy to the Nazis and the grotesque betrayal of fellow Frenchmen and Jews This was a good book without being too preachy. I really thought I d like this book My dad recommended it to me and it had a lot of good reviews, plus the subject matter is right up my street I m sad to say that I was completely disappointed though The rave reviews totally puzzle me This read to me like a schoolchild s story The writing was laboured, with the dialogue between the characters especially stilted Mr Nath has no ear for conversation at all His characters are detached, forever noticing things rather than feeling or experiencing them They are cardboard cut outs with no depth and no attempts to flesh them out at all The protagonist, Auguste Ran, seemed to be a very weak man, seeing things only in black or white He wobbled from one point of view to the next, fixating on one thing, then another He never rang true to me Would a police inspector really be naive enough to believe that a sworn statement from him that someone confessed to a murder is solid evidence for a trial I also found the religious agonising jarring, especially as it came from nowhere.I was hugely disappointed and not a little irritated by this book by the time I finished it It was a feat of endurance just to get to the end of it I won t be recommending this to anyone or reading another of Mr Nath s novels I can hardly believe that this was published in this state as it is. Most of what I have read or seen about Nazi Germany occupying France has been from the perspective of the victims, the Nazis, or the military The Cyclist comes in from the perspective of Auguste Ran, the assistant Chief of Police With the Germans occupying his town, he feels he must comply with their demands in order to keep his family safe That is until a young woman is found murdered Auguste suspects Brunner, a German Security Police Major, of the crime, and begins to question himself and his beliefs This was quite the thought provoking story and ends quite unexpectedly for me.I looked up Fred Nath and he has an interesting story He is a full time neurosurgeon living in England, runs marathons, and began writing because he ran out of penny novels to read and felt he should write his own. I struggled with this book I received it as a Good Reads giveaway and it should have been better as it had an interesting theme and setting The problem is that the material was in the hands of an inexperienced storyteller The novel s characters were detached observers and not totally immersed in the unfolding storyline, leaving the reader similarly dispassionate and disinterested The book also needed some ruthless pruning and editing to cut out some elementary writing no nos for example, there is no need to explain that your character is thinking when the reader can work that out for themselves After being told too many times that Auguste was observing his surroundings and doing some reflecting, I abandoned the book on page 78. A note from the publisher This book is highly recommended it handles a heavy subject in an accessible, highly readable way During World War II, a French chief of police grapples with his conscience during the Jewish internment It s gripping stuff, with some very tense moments.The main character, Auguste Ran, develops in some unexpected ways and ultimately there s an exciting chase towards the Swiss border Get this book, you won t be disappointed. Nazi Occupied Aquitaine, A Beautiful Young Woman Is Found Murdered In The Shadow Of The Bergerac Prefecture Auguste Ran, Assistant Chief Of Police, Suspects Brunner, A German Security Police Major, Of The Crime The Auguste Investigates, The Obsessed He Becomes With Bringing Down The Seemingly Untouchable Brunner Auguste Begins To Realise He Has Been Conveniently Ignoring The Nazi Atrocities Going On Around Him, And Understands Too Late The Human Cost Of His Own Participation In The Internment Of The Local Jewish PopulationDriven By Conscience And Struggling With His Catholic Religious Beliefs, His Actions Start To Put His Own Family At Risk Harbouring The Daughter Of His Lifelong Jewish Friend Pierre, They Are Forced Into A Desperate Trek Towards Neighbouring Switzerland, Pursued All The Way By The German Sicherheitspolizei

Fredrik Nath is a full time neurosurgeon He lives in the northeast of England with his wife and daughter, his three sons having grown up and flown the coop In his time, he has run twenty consecutive Great North Run half marathons, trekked to 6000m in Nepal, crossed the highest mountain pass in the world and began writing, like John Buchan, because he ran out of penny novels to read and felt he

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  • Paperback
  • 314 pages
  • The Cyclist
  • Fredrik Nath
  • English
  • 22 December 2018
  • 9780956492517

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