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The Moment (Paperback)

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Books : The Moment (Paperback)

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Books : The Moment (Paperback)
Thomas Nesbitt is a divorced American writer living a very private life in Maine. Until one wintry morning his solitude is disrupted by the arrival of a package postmarked Berlin. But what is more unsettling is the name accompanying the return address on the package: Petra Dussmann. For she is the woman with whom Thomas had an intense love affair twenty-five years before in a divided Berlin where people lived fearfully under the shadows of the Cold War. And so Thomas is forced to grapple with a past he has always kept hidden. For Petra Dussman was a refugee from the police state of East Germany. And her tragic secrets were to re-write both their destinies.

Specifications

Publisher
Arrow, Random House UK
Book Format
Paperback
Number of Pages
656
Author
Douglas Kennedy
Title
The Moment
ISBN-13
9780099509745
Publication Date
March, 2012
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
7.75 x 5.00 x 1.25 Inches
ISBN-10
0099509741

Customer Reviews

Average Rating:(3.6)out of 5 stars
5 stars
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5
3 stars
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Most helpful positive review
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars
This was a remarkable ...
This was a remarkable book. I didn't quite realize how long it was when I started and frankly, I was a little horrified when I actually looked at the last page and saw that it was over 500 pages. For the first 200 pages I wondered why it had been given such good thoughts in the reviews. Yes, definitely readable but I never love books with tons of drinking and I was not sure I liked the main character, Thomas, at ALL. But, I kept on and I'm glad I did. Kennedy includes a ton of details and I wonder what could be cut to make it a little easier to read, lengthwise. The story from Thomas's view and then, from Petra's view---just plain fascinating. There are definitely surprises along the way.
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars
Thomas Nesbitt is an A...
Thomas Nesbitt is an American writer, soon to be divorced, when one day a packet from Berlin arrives which bears the name of his former lover, with whom he had an intense but short-lived affair in the 1980s. This is the trigger for much reminiscing on Thomas's part, even before he plucks up the courage to open the package. This has got to be one of the worst books I've read so far in my life: told in the first person, the narrator is irritating in the extreme, smug and self-indulgent, always having other people tell him what a brilliant writer he is. The book with its love story at its core is supposed to be emotionally affecting, yet I never cared for either of the main protagonists; what's more, the book is filled with contradictions, implausibilities and sheer preposterousness and pretentiousness, as well as cultural stereotypes and cliches, not to mention pages of tedious details which I personally find deeply patronising (examples: "I took the bright red cover off my Olivetti and popped up the the V-shaped stays that held the paper upright, then rolled a clean sheet into the typewriter and sat up in my chair, positioning the machine directly in front of me.", "It took just under two hours to retype the revised eight-page essay - which included the time needed to dab correction fluid on the paper and wait for it to dry whenever I made a typo." & "Petra placed the record on the long rod that could house up to four LPs. Then she pressed the requisite lever, the disc dropped down with a decisive thud onto the turntable and the tone arm automatically positioned itself over the edge of the record and lowered itself into the first groove."). The love scenes played out like a man's sexual fantasy, described in the worst kind of slush, and the dialogue between the two lovers, which should be familiar and intimate, only sounds terribly stilted. In short, I gave up just short of halfway through the novel as I couldn't bear the thought of having to waste another week or ten days on it, when I've still got so many good books on the shelf waiting to be read.
Most helpful positive review
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars
This was a remarkable ...
This was a remarkable book. I didn't quite realize how long it was when I started and frankly, I was a little horrified when I actually looked at the last page and saw that it was over 500 pages. For the first 200 pages I wondered why it had been given such good thoughts in the reviews. Yes, definitely readable but I never love books with tons of drinking and I was not sure I liked the main character, Thomas, at ALL. But, I kept on and I'm glad I did. Kennedy includes a ton of details and I wonder what could be cut to make it a little easier to read, lengthwise. The story from Thomas's view and then, from Petra's view---just plain fascinating. There are definitely surprises along the way.
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars
Thomas Nesbitt is an A...
Thomas Nesbitt is an American writer, soon to be divorced, when one day a packet from Berlin arrives which bears the name of his former lover, with whom he had an intense but short-lived affair in the 1980s. This is the trigger for much reminiscing on Thomas's part, even before he plucks up the courage to open the package. This has got to be one of the worst books I've read so far in my life: told in the first person, the narrator is irritating in the extreme, smug and self-indulgent, always having other people tell him what a brilliant writer he is. The book with its love story at its core is supposed to be emotionally affecting, yet I never cared for either of the main protagonists; what's more, the book is filled with contradictions, implausibilities and sheer preposterousness and pretentiousness, as well as cultural stereotypes and cliches, not to mention pages of tedious details which I personally find deeply patronising (examples: "I took the bright red cover off my Olivetti and popped up the the V-shaped stays that held the paper upright, then rolled a clean sheet into the typewriter and sat up in my chair, positioning the machine directly in front of me.", "It took just under two hours to retype the revised eight-page essay - which included the time needed to dab correction fluid on the paper and wait for it to dry whenever I made a typo." & "Petra placed the record on the long rod that could house up to four LPs. Then she pressed the requisite lever, the disc dropped down with a decisive thud onto the turntable and the tone arm automatically positioned itself over the edge of the record and lowered itself into the first groove."). The love scenes played out like a man's sexual fantasy, described in the worst kind of slush, and the dialogue between the two lovers, which should be familiar and intimate, only sounds terribly stilted. In short, I gave up just short of halfway through the novel as I couldn't bear the thought of having to waste another week or ten days on it, when I've still got so many good books on the shelf waiting to be read.
This was a remarkable book. I didn't quite realize how long it was when I started and frankly, I was a little horrified when I actually looked at the last page and saw that it was over 500 pages. For the first 200 pages I wondered why it had been given such good thoughts in the reviews. Yes, definitely readable but I never love books with tons of drinking and I was not sure I liked the main character, Thomas, at ALL. But, I kept on and I'm glad I did. Kennedy includes a ton of details and I wonder what could be cut to make it a little easier to read, lengthwise. The story from Thomas's view and then, from Petra's view---just plain fascinating. There are definitely surprises along the way.
Thomas Nesbitt is an American writer, soon to be divorced, when one day a packet from Berlin arrives which bears the name of his former lover, with whom he had an intense but short-lived affair in the 1980s. This is the trigger for much reminiscing on Thomas's part, even before he plucks up the courage to open the package. This has got to be one of the worst books I've read so far in my life: told in the first person, the narrator is irritating in the extreme, smug and self-indulgent, always having other people tell him what a brilliant writer he is. The book with its love story at its core is supposed to be emotionally affecting, yet I never cared for either of the main protagonists; what's more, the book is filled with contradictions, implausibilities and sheer preposterousness and pretentiousness, as well as cultural stereotypes and cliches, not to mention pages of tedious details which I personally find deeply patronising (examples: "I took the bright red cover off my Olivetti and popped up the the V-shaped stays that held the paper upright, then rolled a clean sheet into the typewriter and sat up in my chair, positioning the machine directly in front of me.", "It took just under two hours to retype the revised eight-page essay - which included the time needed to dab correction fluid on the paper and wait for it to dry whenever I made a typo." & "Petra placed the record on the long rod that could house up to four LPs. Then she pressed the requisite lever, the disc dropped down with a decisive thud onto the turntable and the tone arm automatically positioned itself over the edge of the record and lowered itself into the first groove."). The love scenes played out like a man's sexual fantasy, described in the worst kind of slush, and the dialogue between the two lovers, which should be familiar and intimate, only sounds terribly stilted. In short, I gave up just short of halfway through the novel as I couldn't bear the thought of having to waste another week or ten days on it, when I've still got so many good books on the shelf waiting to be read.

Frequent mentions

1-5 of 9 reviews
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

This was a remarkable ...

This was a remarkable book. I didn't quite realize how long it was when I started and frankly, I was a little horrified when I actually looked at the last page and saw that it was over 500 pages. For the first 200 pages I wondered why it had been given such good thoughts in the reviews. Yes, definitely readable but I never love books with tons of drinking and I was not sure I liked the main character, Thomas, at ALL. But, I kept on and I'm glad I did. Kennedy includes a ton of details and I wonder what could be cut to make it a little easier to read, lengthwise. The story from Thomas's view and then, from Petra's view---just plain fascinating. There are definitely surprises along the way.

Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

Another great book by ...

Another great book by Douglas Kennedy. I always look forward to his books. This one takes place partly in East Germany and Berlin in the time before the wall came down, and partly in the present day. Having lived in West Germany during the time the wall was up, and having visited Berlin since the wall came down I could well identify with some of the images in the book The title is the moment-- what are the moments in our lives when we have to make a quick decision that could change the path of our life and have consequences we cannot forsee. Thomas Nesbiit is a travel writer who has never really known what love is until he comes to Berlin and meets a refugee form the East Petra Dussmann with whom he falls deeply in love. This is during the time when the wall divided the city in two. Years later Thomas in divorced and unhappy and living a very quiet life in Maine with only his daughterr to feel close to. However one day he receives a box in the mail and on opening it his past comes back to haunt him, and he learns the true consequences of the decision he made many years ago in Berlin. Its a great story that I could not put down. We travel the journey with Thomas and Petra and feel for them in their happiness and sorrow. The plot is absorbing with its twists and turns and the descriptions are great, creating the atmosphere of time and place very well. The characters and story will stay with me long after I have read it, the test of a good book.

Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

Douglas Kennedys newe...

Douglas Kennedy's newest novel The Moment defines and spotlights the moments that change our lives. Kennedy grasps the little things that occur in life, that in retrospect, become THE moments that change or define a life. The story is told primarily through Thomas Nesbitt's memories, as he relives his life as a travel writer in 1984 Germany, during the time of the "Berlin wall" and of a woman named Petra Dussmann. I really loved The Moment. Kennedy uses words the way a painter uses paint on a canvas, highlighting the highs and shadowing the lows. For those who don't remember the Cold War time frame, The Moment serves as a brilliant learning opportunity, a chance to see the world as it was, to see the heartbreak of two people divided by a political system that robbed their people of the freedom to live and their freedom to love. Kennedy also clearly uses Nesbitt's remembrances as a way to remind us that even the smallest decision, the smallest moment can haunt us forever. Nesbitt's decisions touch and forever mark the life of another woman and mold the life of his daughter. Forever changed and forever haunted, once Nesbitt receives Petra's box, Nesbitt finally tries to come to terms with his choices at the important moments of his life. This is a book that I'll keep, it's on my book shelf now, and I'll read it again and will surely see something else in it that I missed during the first read. But isn't that the way moments are in retrospect? I give The Moment 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. This galley was provided to me by the publisher and in no way affected my review.

Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

This is a smart and em...

This is a smart and emotionally affecting novel that grapples with universals: love, loneliness, guilt. The author is unflinchingly honest in depicting a life-changing affair: a perfect example of l'amour fou. He also balances this against what might be called marriages of convenience, how people make decisions that are wise but still violate what they know to be the truth: I'll never love you as much as I loved _____. The book also probes how guilt motivates us. How a child is often the best product of a flawed relationship. The two main characters are wonderful and Kennedy's ability to hook a reader on narrative-driven fiction is quite powerful. The drawback is that this book is overwritten as if Kennedy wanted this work to be his admission ticket to the pantheon of "great writers." It is far too pedantic, and I found myself skimming dozens of preachy pages. Ultimately though, the tale's central affair, and its backdrop of Berlin in the Cold War, as well as the ideologically driven sadism of the East German security apparatus and their culture of informants make The Moment an unforgettable read and one that is highly recommeneded.

Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

THE MOMENT by Douglas ...

THE MOMENT by Douglas Kennedy is an interesting,touching love story set during present day,2010 and during the Cold War in Berlin. While it moves from past to present it is easy to follow and a story of true love. It has love,danger,friendship,entrapment,entanglement unto spy games,betrayal and emotional turmoil during troubled times. It is about the moments of ones life,the good,the bad,the ugly and the truly wonderful moments. This is an epic love story set of all times during the Cold War of Berlin. The Moment is a wonderful,thought provoking story of the moments that change your life.The moments that define who you are.The moment you fall in love.The moment you know what you want. The moment you lose everything. The moment you may or may not be able to change anything in the moments of your life.This is an extraordinary story of two people's lives and the moments that defined their destinies and their lives forever. This is a great read of love and hurt.This book was received as a giveaway from Simon and Schuster and details can be found at Atria Books,a division of Simon and Schuster,Inc. and My Book Addiction Reviews.


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